Do politics make you uncomfortable? Well, apparently you aren't the only one. From Friday, June 28 to Saturday, June 29, President Donald Trump met with world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and others at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. However, he also brought his oldest daughter along for the ride. Meeting with important figures can be a daunting experience to say the least, but Ivanka Trump's body language at the G20 Summit said a lot about her experience in Japan.
On Sunday, June 30, Twitter went wild when a video surfaced of Ivanka Trump standing in a circle among French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde. As a White House senior adviser, this isn't the first time Trump has met with important political figures. However, the video (released as an Instagram story by French officials) showed Trump trying, unsuccessfully, to converse with the world leaders.
It's unclear what the various heads of state and officials were talking about in the extremely awkward video, but whatever it was it appears that Trump's contributions were not appreciated. In the video, Macron began with a comment on "social justice," to which May added, "As soon as you start from that economic aspect of it, people start listening who wouldn't otherwise listen." In the background, Trump put her hands behind her back and chimed in with a few "yeah"s. When May finished, Trump jumped in to say, "And the same with the defense line, in terms of the whole, sort of." When no one else commented, she added, "It's been very male-dominated, so." To her right, Lagarde visibly draws in a breath, but says nothing.
In a statement emailed to Elite Daily on July 1, White House Deputy Communications Director Jessica Ditto said, “It is sad but not shocking that the haters choose to attack Ivanka Trump, a senior advisor to the President, when she is promoting U.S. efforts to empower women through strategic partnerships with world leaders."
On the one hand, props to Trump for even attempting to chime into the conversation. Nevertheless, the senior adviser was clearly uncomfortable during the whole exchange. Patti Wood, a body language expert and public speaker, thinks that Trump's body language shows that she felt uncomfortable and out of her element during the exchange.
"She stood slightly outside the circle by about 10 inches, in a way that shows she felt unwelcomed and the group didn’t turn towards her to open up and allow her in fully," Wood tells Elite Daily by email. "She at first stood with her arms and hands down and behind her bashfully, then more uncomfortable [when] she put her hands behind her back [and] she said, 'Its awful.'"
Watch the whole video and see for yourself.
Wood also thinks that as Trump attempted to contribute to the conversation, her confidence began to fall. "Her 'yeah' after, as well as her head nod, [were] quick and then she withdrew her head [and] her mouth drew tight and went down slightly, indicating she didn’t feel good about what she said and did," Wood says.
Despite being snubbed by the politicians, Trump continued to try to join the discussion by adding in a few nods and repeating phrases from the leaders. However, Wood says that Trump's body gestures such as picking the tips of her fingers and twirling her hands is a clear example of how she felt out of her element.
"We see her picking the tips of her fingers in what is called 'self-beating' punishing herself for not doing well," Wood explains. "So its clear she wanted to look good, and she tried to say something which, considering the power level of the other members of the group was very brave, but she felt she didn’t do well and she feels bad about it."
Even though Trump has experience assisting her father in the White House, the senior adviser's political resume is pretty sparse compared to the world leaders she was meeting with. Lagarde, for example, for the past eight years has led the IMF, a global financial oversight organization of 189 countries which works to keep the international economic system stable. Macron served as deputy secretary-general of France under former President François Hollande, and later as France's minister of economy, industry and digital data before being elected president in 2017. May, meanwhile, was the home secretary of the UK for six years before moving to the role of prime minister. Trump, however, has only served as a political adviser since 2017, when her father took over the presidency. Previously, she ran development and acquisitions at her family's company, the Trump Organization.
While Trump might have felt uncomfortable during the whole experience, some Twitter users claimed that the senior adviser shouldn't have been there in the first place. Many felt she was unqualified to be taking part in such an important summit.
Despite how awkward the summit might have been for Trump, this isn't her first time appearing at the G20 summit. In July 2017, Trump drew heat for sitting in place of her father at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany while appearing alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and others. Trump's presence at the 2017 summit stirred controversy among the public, with many opining that it was "improper" that the Trump was standing in for the president, and that she lacked the qualifications to speak alongside world leaders. However, Trump administration officials dismissed claims that it was unusual, according to CNN.
Just like that, the two-day G20 Summit has come to a close. While the summit might have resulted in some awkward exchanges (and the hilarious tweets about them) this event marks a very important time for world leaders to come together and discuss key issues. Let's hope something came out of it.