A photo of Anthony Albanese giving a consolatory hug to Matildas superstar Sam Kerr displays the wear that the burdens of office are extracting from the Prime Minister.
In the photo taken on Saturday night after Australia lost 2-0 to Sweden in the play-off for third place at the soccer Women’s World Cup a noticeably greying 60-year-old Mr Albanese embraces the substitute striker.
Compared to the relatively fresh-faced Labor leader who took office just a little under 15 months ago Mr Albanese’s complexion appears pale with deeper furrowed care lines and blue veins popping out more visibly on his hands.
The rapid ageing of those who hold high office is commonly observed, sometimes even by the leaders themselves.
‘The first thing I want from young people is to stop calling me old,’ then US President Barack Obama said in 2015 while half way through his second term.
‘When I came into office, I had no gray hair, and now I have a lot. I don’t dye my hair, and a lot of my fellow leaders do. I won’t say who, but their barbers know, their hairdressers.’
The stress of leading nations is such that winning candidates live three years less than the opponents they defeated, a Harvard Medical School study found.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese embraces Matildas super star Sam Kerr after Australia lost to Sweden in the women’s soccer World Cup
Mr Albanese famously underwent a makeover before last year’s May election, where he succeeded at age 59 in toppling the Coalition government led by Scott Morrison.
The Labor leader lost almost 20kg and overhauled his wardrobe to ditch his previous baggy dark suits, for lighter, better-fitting ones, and started wearing more youthful-looking spectacles.
In 2015 he also underwent major dental work to fix what Mr Albanese called his ‘terrible working-class teeth’.
The makeover even led Mr Morrison to suggest that he was being his authentic self.
‘I’m not pretending to be anyone else,’ Morrison said during the campaign.
‘I’m still wearing the same sunglasses. Sadly, the same suits. I weigh about the same size and I don’t mind a bit of Italian cake either … I’m not pretending to be anyone else.’
Once a snaggletoothed statesman, Mr Albanese openly admitted in 2015 to having braces and eventually dental implants to fix his ‘terrible working-class teeth’. (Pictured left in 2009 prior to dental work, and right in May 2022 after braces and veneers)
A comparably youthful-looking Mr Albanese can be seen in this photo taken about a week after he was elected in May, 2023
When Mr Albanese was photographed with what looked like a rejuvenated complexion while meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in September last year it even led to some experts suggesting he had injected botox.
Dr Naomi McCullum, who owns The Manse clinic in Sydney, suggested cosmetic treatments could be at play.
‘Looking at the images from his last press conference, his skin does look a bit smoother and plumper,’ Dr Naomi told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Has he had some laser, or the newly released injectable Profhilo? Or has he been using some cosmeceutical skincare?’
Profhilo is a type of injectable that involves placing a hyaluronic acid moisturising treatment beneath the skin to create a subtle plumping effect.
Mr Albanese later laughed off the suggestion he had botox or some similar type of treatment.
He did, however, supply a weight loss tip that he ate two eggs for breakfast while avoiding carbohydrates or snacking between meals.
Clinical Nutritionist Lee Holmes from Supercharged Food suggested Mr Albanese’s recent health kick could be behind his improved complexion in Japan.
‘He certainly looks healthier, his skin is plumper and more even. Healthier eating can definitely improve appearance,’ Ms Holmes told Daily Mail Australia at the time.
‘Regarding his glow up, weight loss doesn’t always mean clearer skin, as losing weight on a low calorie and nutritionally devoid diet can make the skin dull and lifeless.
Mr Albanese was photographed with what looked like a rejuvenated complexion while meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
Mr Albanese lost 20kg and overhauled his wardrobe in the lead-up to the Australian federal election in May. (Pictured right in June 2013, and left in December 2021)
Mr Albanese has been open about his incredible weight loss, having shed 20kg in less than a year ahead of his election campaign against Scott Morrison.
The politician dramatically transformed his physique by giving up alcohol for three months, cutting out carbs, going on long walks and installing a treadmill in his Canberra office.
He also plays tennis twice a week and goes on regular bike rides around the city.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia in May, Mr Albanese said the secret to his incredible transformation is ‘commitment and discipline’.
‘It’s not easy in your late 50s to lose 20 kilos but I’ve done it without anything other than controlling what you put in and what you do in terms of just food choice,’ he said.
Mr Albanese also revealed how surviving a car crash in January 2021 inspired him to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
‘When you have a head-on car accident and there’s a Range Rover coming for you full bore and you survive you think about your health, and it did make me really determined to do so. I’m proud,’ he said.
The politician, who enjoys red wine and craft beer, also noted the importance of moderation when it comes to dieting.
‘I’m careful but not fanatical about it. I think that’s the key as well – done over that period of time. I still have a beer. I had a kebab last week. But I haven’t had very many,’ he explained.
‘So it’s just a matter of being sensible and really health conscious. And I’ve got to say, I have so much more energy.
‘It’s put a spring in my step and for someone who’s got back issues from accidents – I’ve had three major car accidents in my life, well two in a car and one on a motorbike – less weight has meant my back’s better, I feel much better for it,’ he said.
Previously Mr Albanese would eat cereal for breakfast and pasta and potatoes with lunch and dinner – but now he’s largely carb-free.
‘Now I have eggs for breakfast rather than cereal and will typically eat meat and couple of veg for dinner,’ he said.