Body language expert Susan Constantine has been watching the dynamics between the Trumps after years of doing the same with the Obamas. She has a lot to say on what the two POTUS/FLOTUS duos look like -- and what it might mean for the future.
Constantine describes overwhelming evidence that the Obamas have what she calls a deep "soul connection." This is evident in the way Barack's eyes close slightly when he embraces Michelle, and how he waits for her when they're walking.
Another telltale sign that Barack and Michelle respect each other is how they listen: When either of them is speaking, the other turns towards them with an attentiveness that signals "genuine likability," she says, and when they smile, the corners of their eyes wrinkle, which shows authenticity.
Constantine assesses their relationship in glowing terms, saying,
They're very much connected as a couple, as a unit as one. ... There was always from day one, even though you liked them or didn't like them -- I didn't vote for them – but I have to say with the relationship, the two are very grounded, respectful, loving, playful, attentive. They are a couple. They will be a couple forever.
How Barack treats Michelle specifically draws a stark comparison to the current president. Whereas Barack doesn't walk in front of his wife, but instead holds her hand, Donald Trump hasn't exactly done the same.
Constantine cites example after example of meme-worthy awkwardness: When the newly inaugurated president was dancing with his wife, when he left her in the dust on the tarmac (on multiple occasions), when he has repeatedly tried to hold her hand and she has had none of it. She says,
Overall, Donald Trump does not make her feel present when she's there. It's all about him, she's left in the breeze, she's unimportant to him in that respect. It's all about him. You can see it in their body language.
A particularly telling moment was, when exiting Air Force One in Rome, Melania used her left to brush the hair out of her face at the precise moment Donald went in to hold her hand.
[Melania] is right-handed. ... She used the convenience that her hair got in her face, and she crossed over, she used her left hand over her right face and then pushed her hair up off of her face when she was right-handed.
The most important thing that stood out to me was the complete opposite of connectedness in their relationship. ... It doesn't appear to be heartfelt. ... If you didn't know the two were a couple, you'd never know they're a couple. There's no embrace – it's a very odd relationship the two of them have, and I think it's one not of deep connectedness, I think it's one of, both of them has something the other needs. This artificial, superficial relationship is what they really have, and that's the foundation. He has money, she has the looks, and that's about as deep as it goes. And I voted for Trump, so it's kind of sad to say this because I'm actually talking about my candidate.
If you need to de-stress after looking at the tense photos of the First Family, here are some adorable Obama moments we can all fawn over: