Angela Merkel’s G7 Photo: Leading From The Front
Angela Merkel’s G7 photo, in which she is seen towering over Donald Trump has gone viral for rightly capturing the dynamics between the G7 leaders. Even though many versions of the image are doing rounds on the Internet currently, but it is the photo released by Merkel’s office which remains the talk of the town. Probably due to the power dynamics which are palpable from the body language of the leaders involved in it. From Trump’s point of view, it is him against the leaders of other six nations. With his defiance to co-operate, the US President seems to be at loggerheads with other G7 members and their policies. But if you view it from another perspective, this is a picture of Angela Merkel leading the other six national representatives against a stubborn one.
It is not often that you see a female leader exude such authority. Perhaps this is why people are finding this photo so fascinating.
The 44th summit of the Group of Seven nations has been probably the most tensed one ever since the formation of this alliance between the seven largest advanced economies in the world. Mostly, Trump’s attitude was the cause of soaring tempers this year. His decision to impose tariffs on the steel exports of the US’s closest allies as well as refusal to sign the joint statement to be issued at the end of the summit preceded the events which lead to this picture.
Whatever may have led to it, let us focus on what is going on here. While Trump looks like a defiant toddler refusing to finish his food, all other world leaders are standing up against his tantrum. But in this particular picture, Merkel seems to be the only one who has direct eye contact with Trump. The lighting and Merkel’s position also create an effect of being at the center here.
Different shots from varying angles of the same setting give weightage to different leaders. Yet there is something about how Merkel appears to be in control in the above picture, which has drawn social media to it.
Merkel dwarfs the many powerful male leaders around her with her commanding body language. We have to remember that there were just two female leaders in this meet, Merkel and the Prime Minister of UK Theresa May. While May is not clearly visible, it is the German Chancellor who seems in the lead of the charge against Trump. This is probably a rare occasion when a woman is leading negotiating terms and coaxing compliance out of very a powerful world leader. The power that she exudes speaks of how times are changing.
Who says that women cannot be commanding and no-nonsense leaders?
Who says that they prefer to hide behind tall male leaders at summits like G7 and shy away from taking a lead? Merkel has proved that women like her simply refuse to stand with their heads hanging in tough situations. Female leaders like her are increasingly coming forward as solution seekers and team leaders. They will stare down a million Trumps and wade through the obstacles they create and lead others from the front. Hopefully, we will get to see more women in powerful summits like G7 calling the shots, instead of entitled clueless men, who simply have nothing better to do, than create impediments.
Picture credit: Twitter
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.