For whatever reason, men comprise 93 percent of world leaders. So, naturally, we find ourselves in a situation in which murderous Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin and the Western leaders who attended the recent G7 summit have challenged each other to take off their shirts. (Yes, women can be war criminals and horrible bosses, too; but at the very least, they probably wouldn’t subject us to this particular flavor of hell.)
Putin, being a man of sound height and emotional stability, has apparently not taken kindly to a joke that Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau made at the G7 summit earlier this week, in which Trudeau alluded to the Russian strongman’s famous 2009 photos posing topless on a horse. He suggested that the notably male G7 leaders like President Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson follow Putin’s lead and take off their shirts to “show that we’re tougher than Putin.” Cool, we’re all having a nice laugh as the world burns!
Asked about Trudeau’s jokes during a Thursday morning visit to Turkmenistan, Putin responded with the maturity and temperament you might expect from a man who is currently carrying out what experts are calling “genocide” in Ukraine. “I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” he told reporters, per the Associated Press. “But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
I, personally, am proud to report that I’ve never pictured any of the G7 leaders undressed, either “above or below the waist,” but good for Putin! Bereft of neckties, they were all basically naked anyway:
Putin, mind you, added that he does not look “disgusting” when shirtless and mounted on a horse, because he exercises and doesn’t drink. To look good shirtless, “it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.” As one of the wealthiest men in the world who clearly cares very much about his appearance, you’d think he’d look… not like this… but nonetheless, he’s taken it upon himself to dole out advice, and I long to possess that same, entirely misplaced confidence.
Many thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed since Russian forces invaded the country in February, and there remains no end to the war in sight. Ukrainian children are apparently being kidnapped and taken to Russia, and Ukrainian women are reporting rampant sexual violence from Russian soldiers. But naturally, this is what Putin takes issue with: jokes about the ridiculous bare-chested portraits immortalizing his fragile masculinity.