26 Enero 2017 16:19
Two body language experts analysed the couple’s awkward interaction at the ceremony
If you watched the inauguration of Donald Trump, you might have noticed a certain tension between the new president and his wife, Melania. The couple’s gestures and facial expressions speak volumes about their relationship.
To get a better understanding of the meaning behind the couple’s interaction, Mic spoke to body-language experts Patti Wood and Susan Constantine, who analysed the most important moments of the event.
Greeting the Obamas separately
When the Trumps reached the White House, Donald left Melania in the car and ascended the stairs on his own. ‘Not only did he not wait, he went up the stairs and greeted the Obamas. He didn’t even look back to see if she was there,’ said Wood.
According to both experts, behaviour like this could be a sign of an unhappy relationship. ‘If you didn’t know that they were married, you wouldn’t know that they are married,’ said Constantine.
Trumps vs. Obamas
Gestures of affection and tender moments reveal a level of complicity between two people. And this is another area where the Trumps came up short. Wood pointed out that when Melania approached her husband, he didn’t touch, embrace, or show her any affection. It didn’t look like they were together at all.
The Obamas, on the other hand, were very different. And this was made very clear at the swearing-in ceremony, when Barack and Donald greeted their respective wives. The former president received Michelle warmly, taking her hand and kissing it. Trump gave his wife only a cursory nod, before looking away. Constantine believes the Obamas’ body language demonstrates a much stronger relationship.
I'm so glad this GIF exists. pic.twitter.com/a4BNmzfa5C
— summer. (@SummerNazif) 21 de enero de 2017
‘Melania is an object to Trump,’ Constantine said. ‘I don’t see any warmth or true love and compassion in that relationship whatsoever.’ Meanwhile, while the Obamas meet, ‘their bodies are parallel. There’s a lot of genuine warmth and love between the two.’
A loveless dance
When a couple dances, their movements can reflect the degree of affection each feels for the other. During the first dance at the inaugural ball, Melania leaned away from her husband as they danced. ‘That typically says, “I don’t want to merge with you as a partner,”’ said Wood. Meanwhile, Trump, instead of showing respect or affection, is ‘pulling her in sexually’, touching his pelvis to hers.
“Trump acts the same wherever he may be, in whatever situation he finds himself in”, says Wood. On this occasion, he didn’t care whether he behaved like the “playboy” that he has always been, in front of millions of people. And while many find this behaviour inappropriate, one could also see it "as him being true to himself,” Wood concludes.