Unlike some other countries that have fusty old traditions like monarchy, there are only two requirements for becoming the most powerful man in the United States of America. Firstly, you have to be a natural-born citizen. Secondly, you have to be 35 years old or older. What they don’t tell you is, even if you take office at 35, you might look 65 by the time your first term is over!
Although we all have presidents that we loved, and presidents that we disliked, or even hated, we all have to admit that it’s got to be the hardest job in the world.
Because of this, it takes its toll on the bodies of those who enter office. Often we don’t notice it happening, given that we see these people on the TV almost every day, but these before and after pictures are pretty shocking.
Check them out:
1. Barack Obama (served from 2009-2017)
This is probably the president that we remember most, given that he is the most recent one to leave office. In the build-up to his successful 2008 presidential campaign, Obama looked incredibly youthful, and most were surprised to learn that he was 47 when he took office – he barely looked 40 years old!
However, two terms in the White House, backlash from some controversial policies, along with the endless criticism that comes with the role, appears to have taken its toll on President Obama. The age difference between the picture on the left and the picture on the right appears to be about 20 years, but it’s only 8!
2. George W Bush (served from 2001-2009)
George W Bush took office 12 years after his father, George HW Bush. Throughout the ‘Dubya’ presidency, America saw some of the most shocking events of the 21st century so far, the effects of which are still being felt today. Of course, there was the ultimate tragedy of 9/11, and its aftermath – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were the subject of mass protests at home and around the world. Then, in 2005, there was the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, which saw Bush heavily criticised for the government’s lack of response. It led to rapper Kanye West saying on live TV hat “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”.
All of this unimaginable stress has aged George W Bush considerably, as you can tell by the two photos above. Still, he managed to serve two terms, unlike his father who was a one-term president.
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Served from 1933-1945)
Roosevelt commanded the Oval Office at a time when America was experiencing great strain as World War II and the Great Depression threatened to push the country into complete turmoil. Serving four terms in office (Roosevelt tragically died 11 weeks into his fourth term after his health severely deteriorated), Roosevelt is one of America’s most popular presidents with both historians and citizens of the time.