Emmanuel Macron meets locals in Marine Le Pen stronghold after first round ...

French president Emmanuel Macron faces a worrying challenge from far-right Marine Le Pen in a nervy run-off next week.

But for now, he’s letting his hair down - or should we say, letting it out?

On Sunday, many swooned over a photo of Macron lounging on a sofa with what looked like four buttons popped.

Marie Le Conte drew attention to the snap, saying: “A very good afternoon to Emmanuel Macron's official photographer, who has, apparently, as of today, taken to just posting thirst traps of the president of France on Instagram.”

The sight of an exceedingly bushy amount of chest hair bursting through his crisp white shirt certainly turned heads, with one person saying they’d become a ‘chest hair truther’ because they didn’t think the fuzz was real.

“That cannot be his real chest hair,” they wrote, alongside a close-up image of the hirsute head of state.

For some, it's fair to say that the thirst trap left them, well, incredibly thirsty.

But others thought it was a little icky, and Le Conte later acknowledged that the photo had provoked "some strong but divided opinions".

Others had concerns that the UK's political leader might be inspired to the same thing...

It's all certainly a step-change from his Zelensky-inspired look seen recently:

Marine Le Pen received her highest ever results during the first round of presidential elections in France last week.

Le Pen secured 23.3 per cent of votes on Sunday, coming a close second after Emmanuel Macron, who topped the round with 28.1 per cent of votes.

The results mean she will go head-to-head with Macron on April 24 to determine who will be the French president for the next five years.

This is the closest Le Pen has come to potentially evicting Macron. During her 2017 run, she lost to the Macron by 66 per cent to 34 per cent.

Her troubling policies include a ban on Muslim headscarves in public places and deporting foreigners who have a period of unemployment of over a year. Le pen has also attempted to tap into the grievances of voters who have faced rising fuel, food and energy costs.

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