One of the first things that came up when I first googled Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau was a New York Post article proclaiming her “the hottest first lady in the world.”
The article went on to list her hobbies as yoga and music while speculating on infidelity rumours that have plagued the Trudeaus since they were thrust into the spotlight. At first I thought the coverage was typical tabloid fare, but almost every article I’ve read about Canada’s new first lady focused primarily on her looks or wardrobe.
In some respects, I get it. We’re used to the Laureen Harper type of political spouse: buttoned up with short hair and a Martha Stewart demeanor. Sophie’s flowing locks and cleavage are as out of the norm as a Prime Minister with a visible tattoo.
So who is Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and why is her name hyphenated? Here are some quick facts on the first lady of Canada that have nothing to do with her resemblance to Shakira.
From personal shopper to etalk correspondent
Long before she became Canada’s version of FLOTUS, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau was just another university grad with dreams of a career in journalism.Reaching her dreams meant working some menial jobs, including the position of personal shopper at Holt Renfrew.
I imagine being a personal shopper at a place like Holt’s to be challenging. She has probably had shoes thrown at her head by bratty clientele. It must have been a great primer for work in the cutthroat field of broadcast. Sophie paid her dues breaking into the industry with a bunch of reporting and editing jobs, including one at News Ticker which she proclaimed “the worst job ever.” After her and Justin were married she was hired by etalk as a ‘cultural reporter.’ But wait, it wasn’t all stories about ‘conscious uncoupling’ and Bieber – she claims to have most enjoyed covering celebrity charity work.
She’s a self-identified feminist
Gregoire-Trudeau has been open about her struggles with body image and self-esteem. As a young woman she battled bulimia and now gives talks to educate others about the disease. She credits yoga and the help of family and friends for her recovery. She is passionate about women’s rights and considers herself a feminist. She is an ambassador for Plan Canada’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign and in 2013 she was the recipient of the United Nations Women National Committee Canada Award for her work. She, like her husband, is committed to bringing justice to the missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. She is currently a proud stay-at-home mom and told Global News working in the home “was a decision that I had the luck and luxury, in a way, to be able to make.”
She knows what she wants
Does Sophie have problems making choices? It may seem that way when you consider her love of hyphenated names. She not only chose to hyphenate her own last name, but also the first name of her daughter Ella-Grace. One thing she was quick to make a decision on though, was her love of Justin Trudeau. She told her mom that she felt she was ‘meant to be with’ Trudeau when she saw him in the papers in the early 2000s. She had once been childhood friends with his brother Michel who tragically died in a ski accident, but it had been years since she had seen Justin in person. Just like a middle schooler with a crush she vowed to make her and Justin happen. They eventually ran into each other at a charity event, after which he ignored her follow-up email. She felt rejected, but didn’t give up. A few months later they ‘randomly’ ran into each other on the street and the rest is history!
She takes yoga very seriously
Gregoire-Trudeau is a certified yoga instructor and credits the practice with helping to treat her eating disorder. When Justin Trudeau was running for leader of the Liberal party she became fond of giving speeches about authenticity and the healing powers of the practice. During one talk to a group of school teachers in 2013 she reportedly chanted in Sanskrit to her audience promising that “the sacred feminine is on the rise.” That sounds like great news. She even responds to crime in a very zen manner. In one interview she said “that event was not cool” in response to the Trudeau family house getting broken into over the summer by a drunk teen.
Maybe he was searching for the messiah of the sacred feminine?
Image credit:etalk, Instagram