Politics is looks

Photo by charlesdeluvio

The defining factor of Emmanuel Macron’s entire presidency, if he were to resign tomorrow, would for me be the chest hair. Does that make me vapid? The only thing missing was a Galousies discreetly nestled between index and middle fingers. 

The defining thing about Rishi Sunak is surely his suits. My, that man’s dapper. The defining element of Donald Trump? Undoubtedly his hair. Bojo? Ditto

Dictator chic

But these are the image conscious aesthetes of the democratic world, hankering after votes. Surely, autocrats are more interested in industrial policy and geopolitical alignments than hair spray?

And yet. And yet, in a two-decade career as Russian supremo, what is the defining takeaway for me from Vladimir Putin? Why, that topless horseback riding shot (doctored or not), of course. Either he waxed his chest or he is unusually hairless. Either way, it’s suspicious. 

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Where do I start? Despite a long and patchy career in both domestic Libyan and international affairs, this man found time to pretty much define the sartorial cues of dictator chic. First, he brought the Raybans. Then, he upped it with those tasselled army jackets straight outta Michael Jackson’s wardrobe. And finally, he flipped again to full-on Saharan vibe in swirling robes.

The eyebrows have it!

I’m not saying what Michael Heseltine did for internal auditing among ministers wasn’t to die for. But really, it was that floppy mop and those eyebrows that won him a place in the annals. 

Tony Blair was a man imboiled in a lot of politics in his time. But what’s the enduring memory? Surely, that 2001 footage of him wielding his electric guitar as he relived his glory days as axeman in the band, Ugly Rumours.

And they say only female politicians are judged by their looks… Not a bit of it.

Want more highbrow politics? How about the damning verdict of the (first?) Trump presidency?