Canada's studly PM has inspired a cottage industry of weird shit.
If it isn't already evident that the entire world is enveloped in a frothing lust over Canada's new prime minister, you've probably been living under a Facebookless rock for the last few months. From hashtags declaring Justin Trudeau the most fuckable of all world leaders, to hordes of teenagers awaiting his landing in the Philippines like a member of *NSYNC circa 1998, it's pretty damn clear that The Second Coming of Trudeaumania is in full effect.
And naturally, as happens with all memes and cultural phenomenons in the 21st century, a strange market of Trudeau-related items and products has popped up to add to the already overbearing mythos of the prophesied Trudeau son. From fanfiction to memorabilia, nude paintings to "Daddy Trudeau" Twitter handles, here is a definitive catalogue of all the embarrassing stuff Canadians have created to honor their new leader.
It wasn't that long ago that the infamous nude painting of Stephen Harper made headlines after it resurfaced and was sold to a Vancouver-based millionaire who also happened to be a harsh critic of Harper and his anti-terrorism measure, Bill C-51. Now that all the #PMILF-inspired hashtags and Sexy Trudeau essays have cooled off a bit, the inevitable has happened: someone has painted a nude painting of the prime minister.
Anthony Sampson, a former oil/gas worker from Calgary, Alberta, contacted me through Twitter this weekend with a shot of the painting featured above. It's an oil painting stretching 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide, and it's pretty fucking good for an oilman.
All the details are there: Trudeau in all his ripped glory, splayed out on a black canvas like a Greek god. He's got his signature shoulder tattoo, as well as his curly black locks and gleaming smile. It even features the iconic image of a Canadian beaver covering the prime minister's junk, although that seems a tad on the nose.
Sampson confirmed to me during a phone interview that Trudeau, as you can probably already imagine, didn't pose for the painting. It was only Sampson's second painting ever—he just started painting after layoffs hit the oil and gas sector.
"I actually used to work in oil and gas and, on my days off, I was basically just going to watch some Netflix and chill, but instead I decided to go out and buy some art supplies to learn how to paint. I tried to paint a portrait of my younger brother, and it turned out pretty well," Sampson told me. [Author's note: When I asked Sampson if his brother was also nude, he said they're "not that close."]
"I figured it's something I'd pursue and try and get good at. Then about a month ago, I heard about the Harper nude portrait, and I figured if people would be interesting in see Harper nude, they'd definitely be interested in seeing Prime Minister Trudeau nude."
Sampson says he has no plans for what he's going to do with the painting yet, but that he might send it to Trudeau as a birthday present later this year. In the meantime, he said he's going to hold onto it and see if other people want to come by to see Trudeau's rock-hard abs.
The wealth of Trudeau memorabilia, while nowhere near the height of what followed Barack Obama's 2008 presidential win, is still pretty absurd. In October, someone copped Trudeau's "Just watch me" note (in reply to someone asking in 2013 if he could beat Stephen Harper in an election) for a whopping $12,301. Since then, everything from index cards to posters from the most recent election have gone to auction on sites like eBay for hundreds of dollars. In my search for weird items, I found this coat listed on Kijiji, which is noted as the "same style worn by Justin Trudeau" and is even advertised with a black-and-white photo of the PM himself.
Of course, catch phrases coined by the leader—particularly the "Because It's 2015" punchline—have been plastered onto shirts and pin-on buttons for sale at various boutiques and gift shops across the country, which is no surprise considering the ridiculous clickbait the Liberal Party has tried to push through their newsletter ("Jake, you're not going to believe this!" is one I get pretty regularly). The "Because It's 2015" shirt in particular was being marketed for a honking $100, and people were arguably pretty pissed.
And then there's the third-party stuff, which ranges from pretty cool to absurdly horrific. For example, the sweater that features a glowing, somewhat-loveable image of Trudeau riding a horse in front of a waterfall and foliage as sparkles envelope him is pretty great. On the other hand, there's a god-awful embroidery of JT's face that looks like a drunken sesh of Microsoft Paint and my pasta art from kindergarten joined in unison. One of these is not worth their asking price (the latter piece of abstract art can be bought for $99)—I can imagine you can figure out which one that is.
Less than two weeks after the Liberal's sweeping majority win in October, gay erotica loosely based on the new PM ended up selling like Drake singles on Amazon. The story, called Serving the Prime Minister: A Canadian Romance, is about a fresh-from-the-election prime minister named Dustin Waterhole and his secret, steamy romance with the leader of the fictional Leaf Party.
Shortly after our article on the book, we published a VICE writer's take on what appeared to be a budding bromance between President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau. This seemingly innocuous act caused the author of the aforementioned fanfiction to create a sequel involving the two world leaders, which was sent to us directly.
Foreign Affairs: A Diplomatic Romance paints a sizzling picture of sexy time between the leader of the free world and the leader of hair, hashtags, and hockey. Despite being initially nothing more than a joke, Shiver told VICE she created the eroticas out of a genuine love for the PM's stud-like looks.
"But while Serving the Prime Minister was largely a lighthearted thing, I'll happily admit that I think Trudeau is extremely attractive. He looked like a pre-Raphaelite angel before he cut his hair so short."
While it's unclear how long this will continue or far the trend will go, it's obvious that the craze between Trudeau has inspired a new faith in Canadian-ess and will probably sell a plethora of shitty red-and-white marijuana flags and Trudeau-embroidered beer coasters. Already, one such cheesy commodity that exists is the Justin Trudeau brand of Zig Zag rolling papers.
After being hailed the "Prince of Pot" (real original, guys) by some for his pledge to legalize marijuana, JT has been on the up and up with many weed enthusiasts looking to light up these last few months. And even though the rolling papers first went on sale in 2014 to great success, images of the the Trudeau Zig Zags have been circulating social media again since his takeover as prime minister—the favorite hashtag for people sporting these papers seems to be #TruDope. Stoner humor has really improved.
Where will this wacky trend of making JT-related crap go next? Who knows. The one thing that's for sure is that people are getting it while it's hot—like, physically hot. Trudeau's sexy image has sent ripples around the world and has surprised many, which isn't shocking considering most world leaders look like this. Perhaps the global economy's future lies in the cottage industry surrounding hot, fit politicians. If that's the case, maybe all this garbage might be a bargain.
Follow Jake Kivanc on Twitter.