Being President of the United States sure requires a lot of work. And over the years, time certainly takes its toll. To celebrate Obama's 53rd birthday, I decided to see how time truly changed him. He's endured two tough terms — the ongoing health care struggles, the national budget, and the debt limit is enough to turn anyone's hair gray. I'd say that the White House Physician from 1992 to 2001 summed it up perfectly to The Washington Post.
You look at the picture when they’re inaugurated and four years later, they’re visibly older. It’s like they went in a time machine and fast-forwarded eight years in the span of four years.
Maybe all of the aging comes from stress. Or perhaps it is from constantly being on the go. Whatever it is — however this "rapid aging" occurs —it's pretty remarkable. From gradual changes in the hair to weakened immune systems, changes are prevalent in not only Obama, but many of his predecessors, as well.
So, what is the cure for this inevitable aging? Exercise — and Obama is certainly a guy who works out. Wonder why President George W. Bush was known for running? How about why President Gerald Form performed his daily exercise routine in his pajamas and robe? Or why President Ronald Reagan rode horses?
Well, I understand that seeing Obama on television all the time might make it hard to actually see the changes. So, why not take a look at the last 10 years and let's see how Obama has really changed over the years.
Throwback to the days of Senator Obama in Illinois. This was also the year that he was a keynote speaker of the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Look at that wrinkle-free, tan face and short black hair. Nice look!
Round of applause to Senator Obama. In 2005 he received the Chairman's Award at the 36th NAACP Image Awards in LA. There doesn't really appear to be much of a change from 2004, and that's a pretty big smile if you ask me — must've been a pretty calm year for him.
2006 was yet another relatively stress-free (solely based on appearances) for Senator Obama. He published a book, The Audacity of Hope and signed plenty of copies for his beloved fans. Lookin' a little more serious here, but I guess that's nothing compared to what he's getting himself into the next few years...
Still relatively wrinkle-free. But it is by now that Obama had announced his big run for U.S. presidency. He also gave a television interview after the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill. Slowly becoming a bigger deal, Mr. Obama. But, still looking good.
Aww, look at that big smile! As democratic president-elect, he can't get that grin off his clean-shaved face. Hair is still black. Suit is clean. Smile is prominent. Ah, yes, it's the beginning of his story.
In 2009, Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. During his first 100 days in office, he already created his presidential footprint by working on the economic stimulus package, as well as making policy changes on the domestic and international fronts. He even announced his plan to withdraw from Iraq.
In just a few months of being president, I see some gray. But, I'll cut him some slack — despite all this work over the year, the guy still looks pretty good! Just maybe a bit exhausted...
In 2010, Obama delivered his first State of the Union address. And that's a pretty big deal. During this year, he also signed the health care bill — and that was met with plenty of backlash. Attorney generals from 13 states declared the bill unconstitutional. Guess this year took a toll on him — I see plenty more wrinkles and the hair is definitely a grayer shade than it was in 2009. Plus, he looks wildly exhausted. Poor guy.
No smile, Mr. President? Times are getting tougher this year. In 2011, he signed the first 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Of course, the bill was met with opposition, which ultimately led to backlash from supporters. You just can't win, can you? He also defended the U.S. decision to establish a no-fly zone over Libya. But it doesn't stop there — In May, he announced the death of Osama bin Laden. And then, August happened: His approval ratings were below 40 percent. I guess that's where his smile went. :(
In May, he mustered up the courage to declare support of same-sex marriage, and even hosted a reception in honor of LGBT Pride Month at the White House. But, of course, that wasn't his big "claim to fame" of 2012 — Obama won re-election against Mitt Romney.
As he entered his second term, he was immediately faced with more issues, such as a divided Congress and the tragic Sandy Hook shooting.
Must've been a long and tough year – I see a pale face and lighter hair — certainly took a toll on him.
Since 2009, President Obama has been getting more and more exhausted looking — and understandably so. Perhaps this was due to the ongoing issue of how to decrease the deficit. In 2013, he proposed a 10-year budget plan. He also delivered another inaugural address, spoke about an immigration reform, and attended services for Boston bombing victims. Wow, all that hard work and constant moving would turn anyone's head gray! And I guess it would give anyone more wrinkles, too...
Holy cow! Scroll back up to 2004 and do a little side-by-side comparison. This year has been yet another busy year for our president and it certainly shows. But who needs non-gray hair when you're the president of the United States?
All that said, happy birthday Mr. President — here's to the big five-three!
Images: Getty (10), Bill Clinton/twitter