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A compilation of the worst Jacinda Ardern merchandise.
A compilation of the worst Jacinda Ardern merchandise.

SocietyJanuary 24, 2023

The 10 worst items of unofficial Jacinda Ardern merch

A compilation of the worst Jacinda Ardern merchandise.
A compilation of the worst Jacinda Ardern merchandise.

Today is Jacinda Ardern’s last day as prime minister of New Zealand. To mark the occasion, here’s some terrible tat.

How do you immortalise six years of leadership and countless media moments? In the spirit of capitalist fandom, you make merchandise. 

Online marketplace Redbubble made the news in 2017 for selling Jacinda Ardern-branded clothing. It turns out things have gotten stranger since then. Here are some of the weirdest, worst and most unnecessary items celebrating or berating our now-former prime minister. Arguably, these say more about us as a nation than they do about her.

10. MAGA baseball cap

On the one hand, there is nothing weird or surprising about Trump slogans being recycled into anti-Ardern accessories. On the other hand, it is quite odd that an unknown number of people now own completely redundant hats.

9. Golf balls

Hitting something printed with the face of someone you dislike is a classic form of catharsis. Alternatively, Ardern could be signalling her new retirement plan. 

8. ‘Mentally dating’ mug

Novelty mugs have presumably been around since the dawn of pottery, but this one surely deserves a shelf in the annals of creepy crockery. Finally, Jacinda can spend more time with her actual fiancé – and you can drown your weirdly jealous sorrows in another cup of tea. 

7. WWJAD T-shirt

For some, Ardern ascended to a Christ-like figure. If we’re not mentally dating her, we’re praying to her for divine inspiration. What would JA do? Probably not wear this T-shirt.

6. Mask

Since the PM’s resignation, numerous articles have highlighted the vitriol and sexism that she endured. Even in discussing Jacinda’s departure, Fox News host Tucker Carlson referred to her as the “lady with the big teeth”. So what better way to show your solidarity with women leaders than by donning this relentlessly cheerful mask?

5. Stardust sticker

What do David Bowie and Jacinda Ardern have in common? Almost nothing, but her ‘stardust’ qualities catapulted our former PM to international, if not interstellar, fame. Stick this wherever you need a little Ziggy in your day.

4. The Scream, revisited

This “original” creation first got media attention in the run up to the 2017 election. It seems the buyer put it up for sale in light of recent developments. Weird that only six people have watchlisted so far.

3. Ardern air freshener

It’s been a tumultuous start to the year, but perhaps we need a fresh perspective. Give yourself and your passengers a dose of tough love, plus a hint of apple, with this Jacinda-branded air freshener.

2. Throw-back blanket 

Have you lost sleep worrying about the future of Labour since Thursday’s announcement? Comfort yourself and confound your lovers with this bewildering bedspread. Also available as a duvet cover, pillow case, tote bag, and tapestry. 

1. Leg spread shorts

Remember when our new Prime Minister told us all to spread our legs in lockdown? Now you can do so with Jacinda’s face spread across your lower limbs. Chris Hipkins has already enjoyed a flood of merch for that particular faux pas. Time will tell what else the internet has in store for him. 

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