Monday, August 8, 2011
Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female Prime Minister, has become an instant internet sensation.
While the outgoing Thai premier, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has a leadership style often described as cold and distant, Yingluck melts the hearts of the Thai people and has garnered enough support during her short career as a politician to secure a win for Pheu Thai.
Besides her background as a successful businesswoman from a powerful family, and the obvious influence of Thaksin Shinawatra (her brother and exiled former Prime Minister) – which some speculated could potentially work against her previously, considering a significant portion of Thai citizens have strong feelings against him – we all must agree Yingluck’s stunning smile, beautifully maintained appearance (can you believe she’s 44?) and perfect coif & immaculate style played an important part too. A perfect example of the beauty bias at work in politics!
Add to her feminine rosy demeanour and natural ease while mingling with the crowd a brilliant marketing campaign featuring Miss Yingluck’s empathetic smiles, a generous dose of hugs& kisses to the common woman & baby on the street, and her classic index-finger-held-up-high stance to “give your vote to number one” — and there you have it…a powerful winning formula which highlighted her strengths beautifully.
Many Thais, especially the ladies, see Yingluck’s victory as a big step for women in a country where they have struggled for equal representation in government as well.