Everybody loves Justin: How Trudeaumania, Vol. 2 is bringing sexy back to Canada
In the late 60's, Pierre Elliot Trudeau's reputation for being dauntless and dashing garnered him enough favour to spark Trudeaumania. While some remained decidedly un-manic about Trudeau, we're now faced with a different problem: having to specify which Trudeau we're manic for. Because the mania is definitely back.
On last night's episode of Girls, the massively popular Lena Dunham HBO show (my mom never misses an episode) about millennial women, Trudeau gets casually referenced as the ideal human. If there's been doubt up to this point, it's now official: Justin Trudeau has as much pop culture street cred as his dad. And he's been building that cred for awhile now.
If you lean left, your heart may already belong to Justin Trudeau. If you have eyes in your head to boot, your wasted heart will pine for him all the days of your life. I'm being facetious but the internet obviously loves to joke about him being a heartthrob. Cyberspace recently exploded with strong suggestions that no one knows that pining better than Ivanka Trump, the daughter of POTUS (DOPOTUS?). There are numerous pics of her looking, maybe not longingly, but certainly with soft-faced favour on our PM.
While it's pretty reductive to liken a woman who's just doing her job to a crushing fangirl, the worldwide media obsession with "Mr. Steal Your Girl" Trudeau has only just begun to gain steam. If Ivanka's glances suggests she's already a card-carrying member of the Justin Trudeau fan club, she's not alone. There's also an actual fan club. It's Finnish.
There's no mistaking that Trudeau is easy on the eyeballs. He's referred to widely as "Canadian PM and international dreamboat". Often in one breathe. One aspirated, dreamy breathe. That his beauty eclipses his brains (and his successes in office), if only momentarily, is to be expected.
In Hollywood terms, Justin probably only lands a soft 8/10. But in the political sphere, he's a hard 13. He's a cheetah at a sloth party. Don't blame me, I didn't invent empirical beauty, but there aren't a lot of lookers on The Hill. The media has taken note. Vogue included him in their pick of "10 Unconventional Alternatives To The Sexiest Man Alive" branding him a special kind of sexy for the worldly sapios out there.
Like Hansel once was, Trudeau is so hot right now. Canadian artist Ryan Faist included him in his Canadians as Cats series which reimagines famous Canadians. As cats. GQ's called him "the most stylish politician alive right now". They also dubbed him the "Prime Minister of suave" and yes, he made the cover. Vogue even got a hold of him and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, for an interview complete with dreamy photo shoot. Vogue is on the Trudeaumania train, if not conducting it. And Vanity Fair listed him as one of their International Best Dressed Best Men of 2016. The truth is, he's bringing sexy back to Canada in a big way.
But Justin's political milkshake also brings all the… well, a lot of people are in his yard. Though he still has his work cut out for him, Trudeau has revoked the rules that muzzle government scientists allowing them to speak about their work, he's appointed an equal number of women and men to his cabinet, he's a vocal feminist and a proud champion of LGBTQ rights. He's launched a public inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and approved funding that will preserve aboriginal language and culture. He's cut taxes for middle income families. He's tweeted his mind about how Canada handles immigration compared to you-know-who (and doubled the allowable number of applications for immigrant parents and grandparents), without being smug about it. He's said, however, that his greatest achievement has been to introduce a tax-free Child Benefit, lifting many kids out of poverty. His party line, more than his jaw line, generates love feels.
In this CBC Radio Canada Day special, Senior News Correspondent and seasoned political journalist, Neil Macdonald gives his POV on whether or not we should believe the hype and offers some insight on Justin's "happy sunny ways thing".
Trudeau senior made it cool to be Canadian, at least in some people's minds. Not many cats could get away with wearing a cape let alone his cavalier attitude. He was fiercely progressive, and maybe least Canadian of all, he never apologized for it. Justin too has a bit of his father's swagger. But he takes after mom too.
"He's swimming in warm bath of public approval," MacDonald says, quickly pointing out that it always ends. He adds that while Justin "hasn't come close to fulfilling his election promises yet, he's more his mother's son than his father's son, he does really mean it, he's sincere". How that plays out for Trudeau and Canada is to be continued. "Happy-lovey-dovey is one thing, actually getting things done is another."
If you'd rather look at Trudeau's accomplishments than his picture, here's a non-partisan account of his achievements so far.
Whatever your take on Trudeau, he's famously resisted Trumps "power" handshake, the one he obviously pulls to throw other men off balance. It's like yelling "Hi!" into someone's face when they say hello, at a normal human level. It'll get'cha. Unless you're Justin Trudeau. He remained immovable in Trump's grasp and maybe even bested Trump at his game of hands. However small that game may be.
Heroic? Could be. Trudeau is an actual comic book character. He plays himself in the Civil War II story line. Alpha Flight asks him for guidance. Alpha Flight, for the non-comic nerds out there, are the Canadian Avengers (or X-Men, if you like). The cameo is something of a family tradition. Pierre Elliott Trudeau had a comic book cameo back in 1979. Like father, like son. I have that 1979 Trudeau comic. My geeky heart swoons knowing that Justin is following in his dad's footsteps in the Marvel Universe as well as ours.
Not everyone is a Justin fan but the world still can't seem to look away. And as one Trudeau meme puts it, all of a sudden everyone cares about Canadian politics. More power to us. Unsurprisingly, there are benefits to having a leader who looks like a strong-jawed Disney prince. His intentions so far, seem just as noble.
Marc Beaulieu is a writer, producer and host of the live Q&A show guyQ LIVE @AskMen