Friday 24 November 2017

Get to grips with public displays of affection

The new French First Lady has rewritten the rules on how to smoulder without any of the awkwardness

Up close and personal: the Macrons steal a kiss ahead of his inauguration
Up close and personal: the Macrons steal a kiss ahead of his inauguration
The Trumps' clinch looks awkward
Enda and Fionnuala Kenny share a smooch

Lola Borg

So the new clean-cut French president has been snapped, behind a red velvet curtain, having a very intimate kiss with his smouldering wife during the handover of his inauguration (it has been described as a 'peck' - who are they kidding? Look at the way he's gripping her arm, like he's about to pull her right on to a chaise longue).

In this one shot, you can virtually feel the steam hissing off the page.

It helps that the photo has that through-the-keyhole quality about it; we look like we have stumbled in on a very private moment just before she gets very mussed up hair.

The glamorous Brigitte Trogneux, a former schoolteacher, was launched into the spotlight by her husband's campaign, and the relationship between the Macrons has been a subject of much fascination (you may have heard from the screaming headlines, she's 25 years older than him).

The Trumps' clinch looks awkward
The Trumps' clinch looks awkward

She is believed to be taking a more prominent role than First Ladies traditionally do, and will reportedly focus on education and charitable causes in her work.

But her influence extends far beyond politics.

Just as the admirable Brigitte has carved a new swathe for the way the 'First Lady' might dress (suddenly it's obligatory to do subtly sexy), she's also now redefining the rules of public displays of affection (PDAs).

Forget the awkward puckerings of the Kennys at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, the show air-kisses of the Trumps that reek of insincerity and - remember them? - the cringe-inducing Blairs with needy Cherie looking pleadingly at Tony. One trés, trés sexy smooch has made all those seem bogus and in one swoop remastered the art of PDA.

So take note. These are the new Post-Brigitte rules…

Make it look convincing - or don't bother

Enda and Fionnuala Kenny share a smooch
Enda and Fionnuala Kenny share a smooch

At least not for the camera. Despite all the catty rumblings of my scurrilous French friends who snigger about Macron's sexuality, he and Brigitte absolutely look like they, you know, do it. And a lot. Ever get that feeling about Enda and Fionnuala?

No, me either. The very idea makes me come over a little queasy. The French novelist Jean Giraudoux's saying has been endlessly hacked but he was right; if you can fake sincerity you've got it made. Most celebrities - and certainly politicians - can't act that well.

Look like you have sex... lots of it

Suddenly, that's fine. We're just not very used to it in Ireland, it might put us off lunch. But high voltage electric currents between couples are now perfectly acceptable, even preferable. I mean, we want politicians who look like they do normal things and that includes the occasional shag between two consenting adults. It's just that in this arena, we're used to either no sex at all or uber-kinky. Now, that's all set to change.

..but remember, public gropings are always out

No one can stomach the Get-A-Room syndrome - in the UK, former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik's public embraces with his 'Cheeky Girl' ex-fiancé Gabriela Irimia left voters shuddering. The beauty of Brigitte is she knows instinctively how far she can go in skirt lengths and in PDAs and effortlessly leaves us wanting more.

If you can't do 'smouldering', at least look at ease

The Obamas spent eight years perfecting the art of amiable companionship, so you have no need of a degree in psychology to work out the perfect mirroring in their posture. Watch and learn.

Don't attempt any PDAs if you've had a row

No one is fooled. Think Charles and Diana.

The French really CAN get away with it

It may only be a ferry ride away, but different rules apply over that side of the water. Do we want to see Enda and Fionnuala doing a 'Brigitte and Emmanuel' and having an intimate tongue sandwich? God forbid.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life