What’s so special about Trudeau’s marriage?

News coverage about Trudeau’s marriage challenges his picture-perfect image

Image by: Herbert Wang
Trudeau attracts an unusual amount of attention with the announcement of his divorce.

Justin Trudeau’s separation from his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau is taking centre stage in Canada, shocking supporters and detractors of Canada’s most handsome prime minister.

In an age where high-profile celebrity scandals dominate the news cycle and social media, Canadian politicians haven’t quite made the headlines for their home lives. This is possibly the first time Canadians have paid any attention to the personal lives of their politicians, let alone their marriages.

This marks a stark contrast from the United States, which always seems to draw attention to itself in any matter regarding the political and entertainment landscapes.  With America’s pervasive influence in both global politics and broader culture through Hollywood, it’s no surprise American politicians attract the same attention as celebrities.

When it comes to the personal lives of politicians in the States, media coverage takes on a life of its own. Their personal lives are treated as a public spectacle, and this fascination with politician’s lives shapes the national political narrative.

In the past, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal sent shockwaves around the world. This scandal showed nationally beloved politicians aren’t flawless and they too can have their reputations marred by controversy.

The marriage between former US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama is a more positive version of America’s fixation on their politicians’ relationships. During Obama’s presidency, the world was mesmerized by them. Their relationship was a symbol of political strength and represented the ideal of the American dream, showing two Black Americans thriving and embodying American values.

Without this global fixation on Canadian culture, however, politicians aren’t pushed to represent Canadian values in the same way.

This makes the coverage of Justin Trudeau’s separation interesting.

Trudeau holds an appeal his Canadian predecessors didn’t have: unlike them, he’s charismatic and conventionally attractive, and has been referred to as “Trudaddy” over social media. This appeal paved the way for Canadians to view him more as a celebrity than politician.

The Trudeau’s relationship represented the closest Canadian imitation of what the US had in the Obamas.

It would be more accurate to say Canada is a National Geographic documentary, while the States is an ongoing reality TV show. But this fixation on Trudeau’s marriage marks an end to Justin Trudeau’s clean, idyllic image. Now he’s going to be met with the increasing trend of hating a Liberal politician with nice hair.


Justin Trudeau, Liberals, Politics, United States

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