Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s photo shoot for Trendi magazine sparks debate over sexism


A photoshoot involving Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin sparked a debate over sexism in the country.

Marin, who became the world’s youngest prime minister when she took office at the age of 34 last year, posed for the October issue of Trendi magazine wearing a blazer, shirtless underneath .

Mari Paalosalo-Jussinmäki, director of women’s media for magazine group A-lehdet – editor of Trendi – told CNN there had been a “huge” backlash against the photoshoot and the coverage in Finland. She said the magazine came under fierce social media criticism shortly after its October 9 release.

The photoshoot sparked a “huge” reaction in Finland. Credit: Jonas Lundqvist / A-Lehdet Oy

“If you were to generalize, it’s going to be the men who say it was wrong and the women who say it was fabulous,” Paalosalo-Jussinmäki said.

“It was a bit surprising,” she said, adding, “We’ve had this kind of picture before, obviously, in a woman’s glossy fashion magazine: we’ve portrayed women in blazers without. nothing underneath for years and years, with people, and they’ve never created a response like this.

Paalosalo-Jussinmäki told CNN that many critics of the cover story seemed upset that the prime minister was featured in a magazine about women’s lifestyles, and some were angry that she did so when the government was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was seen as a waste of the Prime Minister’s time,” she said.

But the cover story – in which Marin spoke of the demands of his job, exhaustion and struggling to balance work and family life – also sparked a wave of support on social media. In response, women and men posted their own images in blazers, under the hashtag #imwithsanna.

“I think it shows that women are tired and tired of being restrained and being told how to act and look and behave, and be judged by their appearance – if you are young and beautiful you cannot be taken seriously, ”said Paalosalo-Jussinmäki.

Marin is far from the first female politician to be criticized for her appearance – both in public life and in magazine appearances. In 2016, former British Prime Minister Theresa May came under scrutiny by the tabloid press after being photographed in leather pants for The Sunday Times Magazine. Meanwhile, UK MP Tracy Brabin has this year been forced to respond to online trolls after being abused on social media after her shoulder was exposed during a debate in the House of Commons, with doubts about whether the member’s dress was “appropriate dress”.

CNN has contacted Sanna Marin’s office for comment.


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