Politicians just wanna have fun

After Finland’s prime minister went viral this summer for dancing, CultureShift discusses how our expectations of leaders will change as different generations age into office.

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin, arriving at the Meeting of The Nordic Prime Ministers, in conjunction with the Nordic Council Session in Copenhagen in November 2021.

There’s a set of expectations we have when it comes to the leisure activities in which our leaders participate in the United States. But those expectations aren’t the same around the globe, especially as world leaders get younger, and often represent a generation that’s all about sharing who they are and what they’re doing via social media.

Two such leaders recently found national spotlight for what they were doing outside of their political office, including Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin, who went viral for dancing at a nightclub.

Alyssa Rosenberg wrote about this in an article for the Washington Post titled, “Forget Hot Girl Summer. It’s Hot Prime Minister Summer.” She argues that Marin’s situation was met with unnecessarily negative feedback, and she spoke with CultureShift about how gender, age and nationality played a role in these criticisms.

“It would make a lot of sense that at some point, you’re going to see a president who really wants to see Beyoncé on tour or who likes partying with glowsticks or playing pickleball or whatever it is that people who are not 60 do in their free time. And that’s gonna look different to people.” – Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post

Listen: As millennials age into political office, what they do in their free time could break American expectations.



Photo credit: News Øresund – Erik Ottosson

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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.
  • Sophia Jozwiak
    Sophia Jozwiak is the Digital Content and Communities Assistant for 101.9 WDET.