8 thoughts on “Presidential Objectification?

  1. The second and third link seem to go to the same places.

    I’m not sure I’ve seen a head of state get the rock star approach before. There’s a presumption of familarity – that is, a presumption we can act as though he’s familiar, as opposed to his being at a more formal distance. So why is he treated with less gravitas – if that’s the way to put it? Race? Class? Something else?

  2. sarkozy is treated like a celeb by the european press. and i bet press coverage of kennedy might’ve felt similar, in the day. i don’t think it’s anything sinister. of course, much nicer if they’d talk about his low cholesterol or good sleeping habits (or whatever) than his attractive pecs. america could use a fit, healthy role-model.

  3. lp, I wasn’t clear – though you may still think I am wrong, i didn’t mean just that he was treated as a celeb, but that he was getting the rock star treatment that you might see in the Daily Mail; e.g., descriptions of his body and what one might do to get the same.

    Now, somehow I’m less sure the French are less interested in getting a body like sarkozy. :) Being able to remember coverage of Kennedy, I don’t think he got the same. It would be out of bounds to have anyone describe how to have someone’s hair cut like JFK’s at that time. At least as I remember it. Pecs wouldn’t havecome in the picture, since there was a sense, I think, that he had all these physical problems.

  4. Actually, let me raise a question: do male celebs get that body treatment? I’m quite sure female ones do. I suppose we know quite a bit about weight gain and loss among the male stars…

  5. If Bush or Clinton had looked like that, I’m fairly certain that they would have received similar attention. Older men rarely look as fit, never mind politicians. And the fact people are ecstatic about Obama in general probably doesn’t hurt, either.

    Not long ago, there was a similar tabloid reaction to pictures of governor Schwarzenegger wearing a speedo on the beach (though in that case, remarks were decidedly less complimentary).

  6. jj, i see what you mean. i agree, the body is up for grabs in a way it wouldn’t have been in the past. but maybe this is just a change in the way _celebs_ are treated; and the popular head of state–in being treated as a celeb–is now subject to this different treatment? if this is right, it’s still worrying, but not because it tells of a disrespect for obama. and re your second point: no, you’re right, i don’t think we hear about what fad diet the gents are on in hollywood, nor do we get front-page collages of leading men’s cellulite caught on camera. but we have heard about presidents in this way in the past, i think. remember clinton’s wobbly belly jogging in the park, and all the talk about his love of mcdonalds?

    sulla, ‘older men’? isn’t he something like 44?? eek!

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