Barack Obama pictures show how US President has aged since taking office in 2009

Social media users leap to American leader's defence after seven years in 'brutal' job

The President in 2009 (left) and in 2016 (right)
The President in 2009 (left) and in 2016 (right)

Two photos that show how much Barack Obama has aged since taking office in 2009 are being shared by social media users.

TIME magazine placed pictures of the President side by side, both taken from State of the Union addresses - the first, in 2009, and the second, from his speech on Tuesday evening.

The 53-year-old has frequently joked about going grey, but Twitter users also pointed to the worry lines, stress marks, and more pronounced age spots he has developed during his seven years as leader.

However, a number of users leapt to Mr Obama’s defence, saying he has a "tough" and "brutal" job.

Mr Obama is not the only president to go grey in the White House. Abraham Lincoln was described during his tenure as having aged with "great rapidity".

Lyndon B Johnson's hairline visibly thinned while serving his term as president, while Franklin D Roosevelt's liver spots were said to have worsened under his eyes during his last term in office.

But while many commented on the toll Mr Obama's job had taken on his image accompanied, others remarked that First Lady Michelle Obama's appearance had fared far better.

During his 2016 State of the Union address, Mr Obama said his biggest "regret" was how he will leave the US more polarised than when he came to office in 2009.

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