Why Denmark’s politicians are posting their school photos on social media

Why Denmark’s politicians are posting their school photos on social media
PM Mette Frederiksen posted her school photo on Instagram. Photo: Aris Oikonomou/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix


School photos have been the subject of public debate in Denmark this week after a report featuring parents who have their children’s images digitally enhanced.

Broadcaster DR earlier this week reported on the trend of parents requesting an idealized outcome of their kids’ class photos.

In one report, photographers described requests from parents to edit images by removing things like zits and cuts.

Another DR report featured a parent who said that she had asked for scratches and cuts to be removed from her four-year-old son’s picture, and for discolorations to be removed from his teeth.

“I just want him to look back on the photo when he is older without noticing the discolorations on his teeth,” Darlene Popkey Nielsen told DR in the report.

Focus on the trend has provoked a reaction from several politicians and public figures using the hashtag #delditskolefoto (share your school photo), with the overriding message ‘you are who you are’, referencing a popular Danish children’s song.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is among those who have posted childhood photos on social media.


“Edited child photos? No, right? We are who we are. Wonky teeth or whatever else it may be,” the PM wrote on Instagram.

Conservative party leader Søren Pape Poulsen and Inger Støjberg, deputy leader of the Liberals, also posted their childhood pics, as did Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, former lead spokesperson with the Red Green Alliance who is now general Secretary with charity Save the Children Denmark.

“Teaching children than you can retouch reality away does not give children more self-value or the robustness to tackle the world. We should sweep everything that’s difficult away from our children,” Poulsen posted on Instagram.

After Schmidt-Nielsen published her pic, she followed up by posting a comparison between her young self and actor Matt Damon.

The Local/Denmark