Saturday, August 25, 2007
Russian dressing down, French leave it out: summer antics
Vladimir Putin's KGB six-pack on display caused ripples (and not just muscular ones) around the globe. The precise message that the Russian leader intended to send about Russian virility, personal fitness, and posturing was puzzled over. He's like a petite Arnie Schwarzenegger wannabe with Arctic eyes. Komsomolskaya Pravda published a pinup of the barechested Russian president alongside a workout guide to pump up a similarly "vigorous torso." Putin's prowess as a downhill skier and a black belt in judo is underscored with constant macho photo ops. Turn on the tv and watch the Supremo at the controls of truck,a train, a submarine or a fighter jet.
And while the shirtless look on holiday is sported by the French leader, too, not all bulges are created equal. L'express accused their rival, Paris Match, of airbrushing out the Presidential love-handles of Nicolas Sarkozy. To prove the point, they published side-by-side photos. Paris Match sensed fishing for an August silly story and declined to comment on the alterations to the wire photograph. Are they courting favour through flattering images of the leader? Time will tell.