A KIWI GAL'S REACTION ✕ DOES OUR PM BELONG IN VOGUE?
When I first saw this photo on Instagram alongside captions that mentioned Jacinda Ardern and Vogue in the same sentence, I jumped to the wrong conclusion.
I assumed that this snap of our new prime minister had been regarded so Vogue-esque that many joked it should grace the magazine's pages. But we all know what assumptions make out of us... (An ass, for those of you that don't know the saying).
As I discovered, it was actually Vogue that deemed Jacinda - and this shot by Derek Henderson - worthy of its publication...and I take my hat off to the title and to Jacinda for the feature - for showing New Zealand's prime minister in a light beyond politics and in a light that so many of us Kiwi girls see her in.
I've watched the last few months unfold - the New Zealand election, Jacinda's triumph and her first few months in office - from London; almost as far away from New Zealand as a girl could possibly get. But despite being a world away, I was swept up in 'Jacindamania' all the same, and it, and she, have made me incredibly proud to be a female hailing from that little country at the bottom of the world.
Of course part of it is because Jacinda - a fellow Kiwi girl less than 10 years older than me - is the new prime minister of our country and the world's youngest female government leader. And also because, in a few short months she will also not only be looking after my home country, but also her first-born child. Some would say that she's taking on the two hardest jobs in the world at once - juggling the demands and cries of a nation with that of her own new-born baby. Both jobs she didn't see coming, but both roles that she is embracing and taking on with every inch of her being. But those are the things we already know from every other news headline.
The #1 reason why I'm such a fan girl - that Vogue clearly saw in her too - is because, irrespective of her 'admirable' job title, she's proven that she's a woman and a human being that deserves to be admired.
She's shown us that she's someone who fights for what she believes in, and it's a belief and a passion that's contagious. She has the confidence to speak her mind and to have a voice (that even includes brilliantly calling out Donald Trump), yet she knows when to stay silent, and when and how to listen. And despite being under the constant watch of security guards, the media and the world, she oozes humility, a down-to-earth-ness, and an infectious smile that reminds us that when you strip back the title and the power suits, she's human - and a caring and charismatic one at that.
Has there ever been a prime minister who is so much 'one of us' that her first call with Trump was taken at the kitchen table in her modest West-Auckland abode and almost noisily interrupted by her adopted cat? Or a prime minister who, on her first night in Premier House, ordered a takeaway curry as her first meal (which was never delivered because the restaurant thought it was a prank)?
In only a few short months Jacinda has taught so many of us that nothing is impossible; that if your dreams don't scare you, you're probably not dreaming big enough - and that even if you hold the power of a country in your hands, there's nothing more powerful than being a decent human being (especially during times in this world, and particularly in politics, when they seem hard to come by).
Jacinda is in the spotlight - and now on the pages of the world's most influential fashion magazine - not because she chases it (like some other world leaders out there...), but because she deserves it. Because she's a politician that's proven to be about so much more than just politics: she's a young, empowering visionary that will inspire Vogue's female readers. Because yes, she's holds the title of prime minister but she's also managing to hold onto herself.
So Jacinda, from one Kiwi gal to another (and a Vogue reader), you've got this. And you've also got so many of us Kiwi girls behind you, no matter where we are in the world.