There are lots of photos of President Donald Trump. And there are a lot of bad, weird ones. I haven’t done the definitive analysis of this, but you and I both know that his personal quota of bad photos is higher than other very-photographed people in the world, who themselves suffer from a statistical likelihood of looking less than their best every now and then.
But occasionally, a new Trump photo goes viral that seems to distill his essential clownishness. The latest was this gem, a snap of Trump with his amateurish, undergraduate tan lines glowing under a shock of matted hair caught in the wind:
@realDonaldTrump returns to the White House from Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by William Moon at the South Lawn of the White House on February 7, 2020 pic.twitter.com/n1a1Z93LrJ
— White House Photos (@photowhitehouse) February 7, 2020
Now, it’s important to note there’s been some debate about whether or not the Twitter poster enhanced the coloring on this photo. It would only take some very basic Photoshop skills to bump up the saturation for this kind of effect. Even so, photos from the same setting published by official news agencies reveal that telltale lack of facial blending. (The version I’ve used as the main photo for this article was taken by Associated Press photographer, Manuel Balce Ceneta, as the president returned to the White House, from a trip to Charlotte, N.C. on Friday; I haven’t adjusted it at all, aside from cropping it to size.)
Here's an official Reuters pic and they don't allow photoshop or retouching. The one circulating probably has the saturation bumped a bit, but is pretty accurate. pic.twitter.com/EWTKYEjhGs
— Chris Sorensen (@sorensen_chris) February 8, 2020
Not one to let a sleight slide, the president responded on Saturday afternoon in a tweet that labeled a black-and-white version of the photo “fake news”—and blamed the whole hair situation on the wind.
More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good? Anything to demean! https://t.co/t8ptYMCYHf
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2020
Lest we forget: here’s a reminder of just how viciously Trump has attacked other people for their looks, targeting women especially by using such demeaning terms as “horseface”, “fat and ugly,” and “pig.”