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Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s photo shoot for Trendi magazine triggers debate on sexism

A photo shoot involving Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has sparked a debate on sexism in the country.

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

Mari Paalosalo-Jussinmäki, director of women’s media at the A-lehdet magazine group – publisher of Trendi – told CNN that there was a “huge” setback to the photoshoot and cover story in Finland. She said the magazine received harsh criticism on social media shortly after it was released on October 9th.

The photoshoot triggered

The photoshoot triggered “huge” setbacks in Finland. Credit: Jonas Lundqvist / A-Lehdet Oy

“If you had to generalize it, it would be men who say it was wrong and women who said it was fabulous,” Paalosalo-Jussinmäki said.

“It was a little surprising,” she said, adding, “We’ve had that kind of photo before, of course, in a woman’s glossy fashion magazine: We’ve portrayed women in blazers with no wonder for years and years, with famous people, and they had never created an answer like this. ”

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

“This was considered a waste of the prime minister’s time,” she said.

But the cover story – which featured Marin talking about the demands of her work, exhaustion and the difficulty of balancing work and family life – also led to an outpouring of support on social media. In response, women and men have posted their own photos in blazers under the hashtag #imwithsanna.

“I think it’s talking about women being tired and tired of being limited and being told how to act and look and behave, and be judged by their appearance – if you are young and beautiful, you can not 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 faced control from the tabloid press after being pictured in leather pants for Sunday Times Magazine. Meanwhile, British lawmaker Tracy Brabin this year was forced to respond to online trolls after receiving abuse on social media after her shoulder was exposed during a debate in the House of Commons, with some questioning whether the MP’s outfit was “appropriate attire. “

CNN has contacted Sanna Marine’s office for comment.

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