Melania Trump's Body Language, Explained
But body language expert Susan Constantine has made cutting observations about the First Lady and what her behavior -- including behind the notorious hand swat -- actually means.
Constantine says Trump appears generally uncomfortable with her role in the White House:
I don't think she's enjoyed being the First Lady. I don't think she's enjoyed having him as her husband.
To anyone not trained in examining physical cues, Trump can seem unreadable, aside from the popular assessment many have made that she sometimes seems unhappy. Constantine cuts through the facade, saying,
When she is giving interviews by herself, she's very poised. She has her hands in her lap, very little movement. I find that to be odd. Because most people when they're expressing -- their hand gestures will mimic their words -- will tend to move.
In multiple interviews, the First Lady does tend to maintain a motionless posture.
Constantine explains that when someone is displaying authenticity in their speech, their hand gestures, facial expressions, and words will usually match; not the case with Melania. While Constantine thinks she tends to give off a calmer energy around others, the overall theme is still one of discord. She says,
First of all, I think she does have the grace and the poise. Everything about her, though, is image. She does have the ability to connect with people though, and she has with diplomats. When she is with a diplomat and she's leaning forward and she is smiling genuinely, there's a sense that she still feels uncomfortable in that environment. She's more of an introvert than an extrovert when it comes to meeting people and socializing with them.
What's noteworthy is that Melania still seldom shows her cards, Constantine says,
That in itself is revealing, because it says that I don't want to show my true emotion. And you're making the conscious effort not to show or give any emotion. But it does leak out.
Melania, a model in what may seem like another life, is used to posing for the cameras and maintaining an image. But Constantine says,
She's really great at posing, she's a model, she's great at capturing that pose. But in reading facial expressions of emotions, you can only maintain that false smile for so long.
The minute the camera goes off, down goes the smile and that sad expression is seen. So that's really how she's really feeling, and she's only putting the smile on for the camera.
Even if Constantine is right and she really is unhappy, it's unclear what the First Lady's feelings might mean moving forward. For now, Constantine has at least one prediction, and it's not pretty.