New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her handling of Covid-19.
In what outside journalists classify as an empathy-based approach, PM Ardern has managed to curb the spread of the virus in the islands of New Zealand.
However, one TV show host seemed to be laser focused on something that is notably much less important: the PM’s hair. Ryan Bridge, host of ‘The AM Show’, asked Ardern why she had dyed her hair and queried whether it was to cover her grey spots.
The PM seemed visibly uncomfortable at the question, nervously laughing for a while as she gathered the right words to respond. Eventually, she said that Bridge should not ask that questions to any guests, whether it be male or female. Typical of her character, she did later confirm that she did “a little touch-up”.
Bridge tried to explain the reasoning for his question and attempted his best to put the interview back on tract. The host explained that he asked the question because he wanted to know whether all the pressure that comes with leading a nation through a pandemic affected her hair.
He tried to lighten up the mood by saying that the new hair looked great on her, and that grey hair does make anyone look older than their age. Bridge clarified that he was not trying to be rude.
PM Ardern responded by saying that she was aware of how grey hair looks on camera, and rather sarcastically thanked the host for reminding her of it. The Daily Mail reports that the PM continued to look uncomfortable until the end of the interview.
Social media users have jumped on to discuss whether Bridge’s question was appropriate. One user wrote that the host was grandstanding, and knowingly asked a rude question to create a viral moment. Others pointed to what they perceived as sexism, saying no male politicians are asked these questions.
Those who were more sympathetic to the host said that it was no secret that the PM had dyed her hair. In fact, her husband Clarke Gayford had uploaded a Twitter post saying that he helped dye Ardern’s hair.
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