If it’s true that American presidents age two years for every year in office, Barack Obama’s second-term portrait is certainly evidence.
We’ve all been noticing that the president’s hair has grayed since 2009 -- but putting his two portraits side by side shows just how much. In the first-term portrait, the 47-year-old Obama’s hair is almost entirely black, with just a little dusting at the temples. The skinny Obama almost looks like a kid -- you wouldn’t peg him for much older than 40.
The 51-year-old Obama is a silverback. His hair is almost entirely gray, and his face looks fuller, although that could just be because he’s smiling. Most importantly, he finally looks his age. Now that he's president, the years have caught up with him. That’s a good thing for a leader who needs to project maturity, wisdom and gravitas.
Of course, if the presidency has aged Obama, that’s because he still had aging to do. John McCain, who is 76, wouldn’t have looked any balder or grayer after four years, because he was already an old man.