“Shipping” is the practice of spinning relationship fiction between two characters—or in the case of politicians and celebrities, two real people. Pundits and journalists have made a habit of shipping hunky Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau with female politicians. When photos of Ivanka Trump appearing to gaze wistfully at Trudeau emerged following his visit to the White House, Twitter exploded with amusing remarks about the encounter.
His recent meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron at this week’s NATO summit produced a number of photographs featuring the two hunky heads of state gazing at each other in ways that similarly could be interpreted as homoerotic. So, predictably, fans of the two liberals fantasized about a gay love affair between the two.
David Mack, an editor at BuzzFeed posted a series of photographs of the two leaders. Riffing off a popular meme, he wrote: “Find u a man who look at u like these two look at each other.”
Brookings India’s Dhruva Jaishankar captioned the Sicilian image “right out of a liberal fantasy dream sequence.”
Tara Mulholland, CNN’s social media journalist, noted how their summer stroll looked “insanely romantic.”
There are hundreds of similar tweets, many of which received hundreds of likes and retweets.
While fans of both leaders may be having fun with Macron’s outing with Canada’s hunk-in-chief, the French president is unlikely to be as amused by their shipping fantasies. During his run for president earlier this year, Macron had to publicly battle press allegations that he had conducted gay relationships in the past.