A body language expert breaks it down.
Bennifer’s back, baby. And a couple of masks can’t get in the way of this love. (It’s been 17 years in the making, after all!) That said, not everyone is sure what to think of this iconic couple, especially when they decided to kiss at the Met Gala, masks very much intact. It was... a moment. But, according to Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s masked kiss was equally bizarre and meaningful.
The duo did not walk the carpet together, so their masked smooch happened backstage, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most talked-about parts of the 2021 Met Gala. And that level of attention only makes sense. I mean, this kiss might as well be a motif for this past year: a combination of early 2000s nostalgia and serious health and safety concerns. Met Gala turned ~Meta~ Gala.
Besides being a startlingly accurate sign of the times, the masked kiss also reveals plenty about what Ben and Jen’s relationship will look like moving forward. Wood explains that Lopez’s body language, in particular, is “a real tell in this photo.” Here’s what that means.
Lopez Is Putting More Effort In The Kiss
In most photos of J.Lo with a romantic partner (Affleck or anyone, for that matter), she appears to let the man put in more effort. Wood explains, “Usually, photos of her with a man, the guy is making more of an effort. He’s the one that’s focusing on her, while she just stands there or takes it.” But not in this instance. Here, “it’s her that is pushing her chest, her heart, her belly, and her pelvis onto him and putting the weight of her sexuality onto him.” Spicy.
The positioning of her dress — draped over Affleck’s feet — is also significant. “The overlap says, ‘I want you,’ from [Lopez’s] perspective,” Wood tells Elite Daily. But, in this photo, at least, Affleck doesn’t look like he’s on the same page; he might be feeling “a lot of tension” in this moment, compared to J.Lo.
Per Wood, he’s “more restrained” than her and carries himself with a more withholding posture. But his focus is still on her. (TBH, whose isn’t? )“He does have his feet, his body is all oriented towards her,” she explains. Still, “Lopez is the one that’s making the effort.” There you have it: a masked kiss is definitely more than meets the eye.
Fans Don’t Know What To Think
The kiss was interesting, to say the very least, so it’s no surprise that fans did not know how to react to it. (I’m right there with them.) Still, they took their myriad of thoughts to Twitter.
Despite some mixed feelings about their masked kiss, most fans were happy to see Lopez and Affleck together again — if a little disappointed in their outfit selections.
Although the duo might not have been decked out in Dunkin’ memorabilia (a missed opportunity), some were relieved that Bennifer seems to be taking COVID-19 precautions seriously — even if the overall effect was a little unusual.
No matter how you feel about Lopez and Affleck’s COVID-conscious PDA, one thing’s for sure: this couple knows how to thrive in the spotlight. It’s not every couple who can turn a backstage moment into the most important one of the night.