Macron’s victory and marriage intrigues Chinese public
Description：Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election has made him a headline in Chinese media while also attracting the Chinese public’s attention, with great interest being shown especially in his unconventional love story.
Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election has made him a headline in Chinese media while also attracting the Chinese public’s attention, with great interest being shown especially in his unconventional love story.
The president-elect has been a hot topic in China ever since the French election began to heat up. Online discussions hashtagged “French Election Final Round” had garned over 86.1 million views as of press time. Most posts were dedicated to Macron’s victory on May 7 over his rival Marine Le Pen, also a high-profile political figure in China.
Among ordinary Chinese people, Macron is known for his handsome appearance and love for his much older wife. These attributes elevated Macron to celebrity status as his candidacy progressed.
“After reading the love story of Macron and his wife, my faith in love has been renewed. It’s unconventional enough to love your teacher who is 24 years older than you, much less marry her and keep her as your only sweetheart for a lifetime,” one netizen wrote.
The hashtag “Macron’s wife” has garnered over 1.1 million views on Sina Weibo, with most posts focusing on the future first lady’s marriage. Some netizens compared France's future presidential couple to their controversial American counterparts, joking about the two couples’ age differences.
“The French president-elect is 24 years younger than his wife, while the U.S. president is 24 years older than his wife. If Macron is 32 years younger than Trump, then how many years younger is the American first lady than her French counterpart?” read a question that internet users designed in jest for elementary school students.
Another popular post circulating on social media encouraged "leftover" women to stay hopeful, pointing out that Macron was elevated to the French presidency with the help and support of his older wife, and this means that other older women can raise their partners to illustrious positions, too.
But even as some people joke about the age difference, many others find it genuinely inspiring. A Washington Post article pointed out that a number of major French political figures - all men, until now - have had spouses far apart from them in age. In fact, the current president had an affair with a woman 18 years his junior after separating from his wife. Now, though, the genders have been reversed, and many French women say it's about time.
A French fashion designer told the Post she liked the fact that then-candidate Macron was married to a much older woman. The fact that his wife "has wrinkles and cellulite makes me think of him as a feminist," she explained. "He is the opposite of Donald Trump."