February 18, 2009
If power is sexy, then it stands to reason that world leaders would all have something to offer in the hotness department. But a brief review of presidents and prime ministers past and present reveals that this is more often the exception than the rule -- for every fetching Trudeau, there's at least a dozen jowly Nixons.
Since it's the season of hearts and arrows, and in honour of the new US President's first official visit to Canada, we're checking out how Barack Obama measures up against standard measures of sexiness: Is he well dressed? Is he in good shape? Does he have a sense of humour? Is he self-confident? And – most importantly – is he Canadian enough to be sexy?
Is he well-dressed?
On the opening day of Milan Men's Fashion Week, Donatella Versace dedicated her spring/summer 2009 collection to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. She said he was "the man of the moment" and that he inspired her new collection, which was designed for "a relaxed man who doesn't need to flex muscle to show he has power".
She then went on to offer the now-US president some wardrobe advice: "I'd get rid of the tie and jazz up the shirt."
To date, he has kept the tie, but often looses the jacket, even in the Oval Office, which breaks a cardinal Bush White House rule.
The verdict: A well-dressed rule-breaker who inspires Versace? Totally sexy.
Is he in good shape?
While supporting Obama rival John McCain during a campaign rally in November, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told the audience he wanted to invite Obama to a bodybuilding contest.
"I want to invite Senator Obama because he needs to do something about those skinny legs," he said. "I'm going to make him do some squats. And then we're going to make him do some biceps curls to beef up those scrawny little arms."
Obama is no Mr. Universe (a title Schwarzenegger once held), but he does work out 45 minutes, six days a week. And it shows. Sexy? Check.
Page 1 of 2 - On page 2, find out if Obama is Canadian enough to be sexy.
Politicians are not usually known for their funny bones. But Obama knows how to deliver a joke and is at his funniest when he shows his self-deprecating sense of humour, like he did at the Al Smith Dinner last October, where he talked about his image:
"Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jor-El to save the Planet Earth. Many of you know that I got my name, Barack, from my father. What you may not know is Barack is actually Swahili for 'That One.' And I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn't think I'd ever run for president. If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome."
Awesome, indeed. Also: funny. And funny is sexy.
Is he self-confident?
Nothing is sexier than genuine, well-deserved self-confidence. A hottie sans confidence is a big disappointment, but one who¹s over-confident is an even bigger turn-off.
Barack Obama brims with self-assurance. The 46-year-old first-term senator had the confidence to challenge Democratic presumptive candidate Hillary Clinton for the democratic nomination. And now that he¹s president, he consciously invites comparisons with celebrated American president Abraham Lincoln.
His self-confident attitude is appealing, but his self-confidence can only be deemed sexy if he can pull off his promises. The verdict is pending.
How Canadian is he?
From the leading man good looks of Ryan Renolds to the wide-eyed athleticism of hockey star Mike Fisher, there¹s no denying that being Canadian is inherently sexy.
Barack Obama is American. He's also kinda Kenyan. And he did some growing up in Indonesia. He's not Canadian . . . but he has some Canadian connections.
His half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng is married to Burlington, Ont., native Konrad Ng and Obama and his fam visited the couple here, staying in Toronto, visiting Burlington and
Mississauga and checking out Niagara Falls in the process.
Obama has also chosen Canada for his first foreign visit as president. Peter Kent, Canada's minister of state for foreign affairs of the Americas, has said he's honoured by the choice, which continues the longstanding tradition of new American presidents choosing Canada for their first official state visit.
(The tradition was broken by Bush, who headed to Mexico instead.)
Verdict: We'll take him as an honourary sexy Canadian.
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