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© Screen grab via @EreA_Lehcim on Twitter

Text by Tracy MCNICOLL

Latest update : 2017-07-01

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his official presidential portrait to the world on Thursday. And social media took it from there.

The tech savvy 39-year-old Macron evidently took the time to position two smartphones just behind his right hand for the carefully calibrated photo -- unusually modern props for a French leader’s traditional portrait. Shortly after his history-book-bound snapshot was released on Thursday, the French leader went on to attend the launch of the world’s largest start-up incubator in Paris.

So Macron himself couldn’t have been surprised by how quickly the official likeness, poised to hang in public buildings across the country, was memed and misappropriated to the glee of social media. FRANCE 24 presents some of Twitter users’ quirkiest takes.

The impostors

Some had stand-ins for the president, like French footballer Zinedine Zidane...

Or House of Cards's slithery fictional politician, Frank Underwood.

Others seemed to think Macron was the impostor, be it of Barack Obama...

Or of another television president, the West Wing's Josiah Bartlett.

The wacky

Some are frankly just out there.

This one would make good wall art for a child's room, the tweeter suggests, complete with Teletubbies accents.

Another appealed to the kids turning the French president into a fidget spinner. Its author suggests he will need such a gizmo to calm his nerves during Macron's promised labour reforms.

One tweeter recalled Macron's investment banker past, likening him to the Wolf of Wall Street.

Another reminded Macron, a young man, that he doesn't have to feel down. His fledgling La République en Marche party picked itself off the ground.

One meme might double as an advertisement for the Paris 2024 Olympic bid.

The interlopers

In terms of political commentary, the presidential portrait also saw photoshopped photobombs. Here, disgraced conservative presidential candidate François Fillon, considered a shoo-in to win the Elysée Palace before scandals stymied that dream, still looks aggrieved.

Former Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls, another disappointed erstwhile Elysée contender, came in for similar treatment.

Perhaps more ominously for Macron, a phalanx of union demonstrators have photobombed their way into the palace gardens here.

Choose your own adventure

Well? On your marks, get set, en marche!

Date created : 2017-06-30

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