Name: Chest hair.
Age: Until recently, it was believed to have been invented by Sean Connery and Burt Reynolds in the 60s and 70s. Chest hair is now thought to have been around as long as man himself, but has come and gone, according to acceptability and fashion.
And now it’s come, presumably? Mais oui!
French because? Because Emmanuel Macron.
The French president has it? In abundance. And very much on show.
Where? On his chest!
No, I meant … I know, the picture. His official photographer has released a series of behind-the-scenes photographs of him before the second round of voting in the presidential election.
With chest hair? In one, he is lounging casually on a mustard leather sofa, manspreading, chest rug sprouting virilely from his unbuttoned white shirt, left arm draped lazily – maybe even invitingly – along the back of the sofa …
And this is the missile to sink Marine Le Pen? It may even reflect a bigger trend: the return of he-vage. Plus it has seen social media users compare him to … Roger Federer.
Wait, did you say he-vage? Yes – cleavage, but for guys, and very visible these days. Too much of it was previously considered tacky (yes, Monsieur Cowell, we are looking at you). Then, on this year’s Oscars red carpet, Timothée Chalamet got his out. Lenny Kravitz and Jared Leto followed suit at the Grammys, unbuttoning daringly …
But also less hairily. I guess someone in Team Macron – perhaps Emmanuel himself, perhaps Brigitte – decided manscaping was passé, no longer de rigueur. Plus the French have always had a healthier, more natural attitude to body hair – and some Twitter users have even dubbed the new pictures a “thirst trap”.
What’s a … never mind, let’s stay focused. What does Macron need to do to get another term (and slow the spread of rightwing populism in Europe)? Just beat Le Pen on Sunday, it’s now a two-horse race. There’s probably a chevaux-cheveux pun in there somewhere but my GCSE French isn’t quite up to it.
How hairy is it looking? (Sorry.) Well, he beat her in 2017 with a resounding 66% in the second round. But the worry this time is that some younger voters, even on the left, have warmed to the far-right, anti-immigration, pro-Frexit candidate.
And this fuzzy-chested display is going to bring them back? And all that comes with it – the extra room on the sofa, the inviting smile, the downright masculinity of the man.
Do say: “Voulez vous voter pour moi ce soir?”
Don’t say: “Pretty sure it’s a (chest) wig. Je vote Marine!”