Topless Under Stylish Blazer: Finland's Youngest PM Creates a Ballyhoo

Published October 16th, 2020 - 09:03 GMT
Finland's prime minister Sanna Marin (Instagram)
Finland's prime minister Sanna Marin (Instagram)
In 2015 Ms Marin told the Menaiset website that as a child she felt 'invisible' because she was unable to talk openly about her unconventional family.

Finland's prime minister Sanna Marin has sparked controversy after wearing a stylish black blazer with a plunging neckline and no top underneath for a recent magazine photoshoot.

The 34-year-old, who leads the country's centre-left government, appeared in the country's leading fashion publication Trendi over the weekend as their October cover star.

However, the politician's outfit choice was branded 'inappropriate' by some social media users after a snap of her wearing the jacket with a deep neckline, and without a blouse underneath, was shared on the magazine's Instagram account. 

One suggested the outfit 'eroded' her credibility, while another commented: 'Yeah a real role model. It would have been better in the darkest of clouds. Ridiculous that the breasts of a woman appear in two without a blouse. Someone with taste and sense of style.' 

Ms Marin's outraged fans were quick to show their support and rally behind her, launching the hashtag #imwithsanna and sharing photographs of themselves posed in similar ensembles to the prime minister's. 

Thousands of posts have been shared featuring photos of everyday people and Finnish celebrities wearing near-identical outfits. 

And fans were quick to praise the original photograph, with one person writing: 'Stylish image. Anyone who condemns an over-open neck can stop hypocrisy. Our beautiful Prime Minister, who is a good role model for all Finnish women.'

Another wrote: 'Such a wonderful woman who is not afraid to break the dusty hardened patriarchal formulas.' 

'Great picture of our prime minister. Remember that women will dress in sacks in the future, especially in magazine photos, so that your competence or reliability is not called into question due to external factors,' commented another. 

Trendi's post introduced their cover star with the caption: 'Prime Minister Sanna Marin has a leading position as an example, a role model, a change of things and an influencer.'

In the accompanying interview, Ms Marin revealed the 'pressure' and 'exhaustion' she has experienced during this difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

'It's clear that these years are leaving their mark,' she said. 'This is not an ordinary job or a normal life but heavy in many ways. It may be that the pressure and exhaustion will build up and come later.'

Anu Koivunen, Professor of Gender Studies at Tampere University, told YLE that the social media storm over her outfit wouldn't have come as a surprise to the Finnish PM.

'There are certainly some who think that Sanna Marin shouldn't appear in glamour magazines because it diminishes her position as a prime minister or politician,' she said.

'These politicians know very well what kind of discussions they are starting. They are very media savvy and this social media storm [over Marin's outfit] did not come as a surprise. 

'Marin's actions are done with full cognizance. The photo caption in the Trendi article reads that Marin is aware that a woman's appearance is always a matter of debate and that is why she, as prime minister, always strives to dress the same 

Ms Marin, a social democrat who has been a prolific user of social media and a keen advocate of environmental issues, became Finland's prime minister in December. 

At the time she was the world's youngest serving head of government - a title she lost a few weeks later with the return to power of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who turned 34 in August this year. 

In August she married her long-term partner Markus Raikkonen, with whom she shares two-year-old daughter Emma Amalia Marin. 

The couple have been together for 16 years after meeting when they were 18.

Their wedding was at Kesäranta, Ms Marin's official residence, and attended by 40 guests made up of close friends and family. 

Their permanent home is in the Kaleva district of Tampere, but during the 2020 pandemic they've resided at the Prime Minister's official residence. 

According to Finish media, Ms Marin was brought up in a 'rainbow family' by her mother and her female partner.

She lived in Espoo and Pirkkala before moving to Tampere, where she became the first person in her family to go to university.

A politician for the millennial 'Instagram generation', during her rise to success in the political field Ms Marin charted her pregnancy journey on her Instagram page, sharing selfies of her pregnancy bump and even a candid breastfeeding shot.

She's also shared poolside shots from a romantic holiday to Italy in July 2017, during which she and Markus travelled to Portofino, Rome, Sardinia and Veneto, and snaps from Pride events, where she showed her support for same-sex unions.

In 2015 Ms Marin told the Menaiset website that as a child she felt 'invisible' because she was unable to talk openly about her unconventional family.

'The silence was the hardest,' she said. 'Invisibility caused a feeling of incompetence. We were not recognised as a true family or equal with others. But I wasn't much bullied. Even when I was little, I was very candid and stubborn. I wouldn't have taken anything easy.'

She also admitted that she never expected to get into politics, telling the publication: 'When I was in high school, I felt that the people who make politics are quite different and come from different backgrounds than I am. At that time, I didn't think it was possible to get involved myself.'

Ms Marin, who spent her teenage years working in a bakery, added that her mother has always been very supportive and made her believe she could do anything she wanted.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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