The pressure to have and maintain a certain look is an issue women all around the world have faced. Bleached skin, plastic surgery excursions, and above all else is the ultimate goal to look impossibly young. This pressure has led to dangerous experiments and activities that have either resulted in the loss of lives or long-lasting self-esteem issues.
This long-standing issue of female body shaming comes to mind after the recent comments of Brazilian President, Bolsonaro, towards the first lady of France, Brigitte Macron. Brigitte Macron is married to the French President but the 25 year age gap between herself and her husband has been of much discussion. Although the chatter about her age died down after Macron’s inauguration, there have however been a few unwarranted jabs here and there about Brigitte’s age, and the latest by the president of Brazil resulted in a flood of criticism.
It all started with a war of words between President Macron and President Bolsonaro over the Amazon fires, but it suddenly took a personal turn. In a post on Bolsonaro’s Facebook page, a user insulted the French first lady, Brigitte, by comparing her appearance with that of the Brazilian president’s wife. The very expensive joke implied that the younger first lady was more attractive than the older one. The commenter suggested Mr Macron was jealous, and that was why he was ‘persecuting’ the Brazilian leader. Bolsonaro hit the ‘like’ button on the post, writing: “Don’t humiliate the guy… haha.”
The public response by Brazilian citizens and people all over the world has been refreshingly encouraging, with the hashtag #pardonbrigitte and #sorrybrigitte going viral.
However, the question does come to mind again, why is a woman’s age and looks often used against her in attacks? There is a 25 year age gap between the Macrons but let’s flip it round to another Presidential couple. There’s a 24 year age gap between Donald Trump and Melania, yet no fuss or insults have been made about Donald’s age. Also, there’s a 28 year age gap between President Buhari and the First Lady, Aisha who is 48. Can you imagine the wahala if it was the President who was 48 instead?
Come on, it’s the 21st century, when will a woman’s age and looks stop being used as childish attacks in an attempt to bring her down? When will we stop feeding into the superficial myth of a woman having to look unattainably appealing? Well, the mindset seems to be changing gradually.
Read more on this story here
See below some of the #pardonbrigitte tweets that swept over the internet.