It’s time to say what we’re all thinking: Barack Obama is looking bae lately. Like, super bae. Bae AF. Barry is looking like the lead character in a rom-com who just got dumped by her two-timing boyfriend and stumbled into the arms of the millionaire. He’s got the new wardrobe. He’s got the tan. I’m assuming he got a facial at Elizabeth Arden. He’s so chill, we’re going to call him Glow-bama from now on.
This has only become more apparent since Glow-bama returned from his Virgin Islands romp and threw all of Manhattan into a tizzy by popping by Starbucks, hitting up Broadway shows, and lunching at restaurants I can’t get into on a Friday night. Barry, the man who used to get snapped out and about in light-wash dad jeans and Reebok trainers, is wearing dark-washed, slim-cut denim. He’s got on sports coats and brogues. His shirts are unbuttoned to the second button, which says, “I’m definitely chill, but not trying to be vulgar about it.” While Obama looked like he was going to pick up Sasha and Malia from soccer practice in a blue mini van, Glow-bama looks like he is sitting down with Oprah to discuss The Secret and her 2020 presidential run over some negronis.
Now Obama didn’t suddenly morph into Glow-bama for any ‘ol reason. There’s some serious meaning behind his new wardrobe. “Presidents and politicians are always trying to put out a certain image — one of being relatable to their constituents,” says Jessica A. Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Law School and political commentator. “That’s why you rarely see presidents wearing a Rolex — they’ll wear a Timex instead. That’s how they indicate what kind of person they are.” In other words: It’s not a bad idea to dress like the people you represent — and the majority of Americans don’t look like they just stepped out of a GQ editorial. Not to mention the way overt personal style in some circles can be seen as social suicide — or in this case political suicide. So that explains the dad jeans of the Obama era.
But what does his new, tailored denim mean? “There’s a good chance Obama will never run for office again,” Levinson says. “So he can wear really nice clothes without fear of critics saying what they said about him before — that he was an elitist.” Basically, Obama does not care whether or not you think he is an elitist because he knows he’s fine. He would kindly ask that you do not come for him. Or do come for him. Whatever. Glow-bama is so chill now, that if you come for him, he’ll probably just flash a smile and then go water-skiing with Richard Branson.
In fact, we likely have Branson to partially thank for the spruced-up Barry we’re all obsessed with lately. We all know that post-vacation glow is a real thing. But Obama has something more — he’s got post-POTUS glow. Imagine having the weight of the free world weighing on your shoulders, and then suddenly having it lifted. I mean, I notice an extra pep in my step if the subways are running properly. Obama’s stress-level was likely a little higher back when he was running things — which means stress skin was a real thing. Obama got a little sallow and jowl-y towards the end of his term. (Sorry, bro.) But now? “[Obama] is able to enjoy the in-the-moment experiences away from his phone, meetings, and in paradise… with minimal stress as compared to his previous role as the POTUS,” Levinson says.
While the rest of us are stress eating pizza every time a New York Times alert pings on our phone (or is that just me?), Glow-bama is living his best life. And as much as I want to cry about the unfairness of it all — why does he get to move on when I can’t?! — I have to feel happy for our Barry. He went through hell and back for us, and now he’s free. So to our very own Glow-bama, I’ll say the same thing I’d say to a recently single friend after one-too many glasses of wine: You do you, girl. Forget that jerk you left in your wake. Homeboy doesn’t even know how to do his hair. You. Do You.
Also what moisturizer are you using?