The Big Rig
President Trump has done the standard White House picture opportunities: the bill signing, the handshake with a foreign leader, the remarks in the Rose Garden. But in his first six months in office, he's also shown a decidedly boyish enthusiasm for photo ops involving things like trucks. Most notably, he climbed into the cab of a big rig in March during a visit by a trucking group.
The Fire Truck
The truck photo was criticized, since it was taken even as the Republican health care bill was failing in the House. Online, Trump critics turned it into a meme. But that didn't seem to bother Trump, who went ahead in July and climbed into a fire truck for a very similar photo op even as the health care bill was faltering in the Senate. “Where's the fire?" he joked. "I'll put it out fast.”
The Hard Hat
In a way, these photo ops are a natural outgrowth of Trump's old career as a real estate developer, a job where people in dressy clothes often put on hard hats and walk around heavy equipment to show off to reporters the site of a new casino or apartment building. That's something Trump has done for decades.
The Coal Miners
They're also an extension of his policies. During the campaign, Trump talked a lot about bringing back blue-collar manufacturing jobs and helping struggling industries like coal mining. His rhetoric often focused on specific concrete things that can be built, such as a border wall or improvements to roads and airports.
In office, that's naturally led to a lot of events with heavy equipment, such as this front-end loader that he inspected during a "Made in America" themed event.
The Aircraft Carrier
He's also called for strengthening the military, which naturally leads to photo ops involving big pieces of military equipment, such as an aircraft carrier.
But there's something else at work in these photo ops. Big rigs, fire trucks, construction equipment and motorcycles—these are all things that tend to be associated with a youthful sort of masculinity.
The Flight Suit
To be fair, Trump is not the first president to pose with a big piece of equipment or craft a macho-seeming photo op.
The Light Saber
Nor is he the first to exhibit a boyish glee at an official White House event.
In the past, though, these have often been balanced out by other photo ops involving activities that aren't viewed as traditionally masculine, something that has rarely happened so far with Trump.
The Baseball Bat
Indeed, the cumulative effect of these photo ops has been to highlight the gender of the president, who won the 2016 election in large part due to strong support from male voters in the widest gender gap in recorded election history.
The Cowboy Hat
And if it also risks making him seem a little too boyish, that's not entirely a negative either, considering he is the oldest person ever elected president in the United States.