Congratulations, world, because a new Kardashian-West has joined us. Earlier today, Kim Kardashian revealed on her app that she and Kanye’s third child — and second daughter — was born via surrogate on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at 12:47 a.m., weighing in at 7 pounds and 6 ounces. Obviously, we're all curious about what's happening behind closed doors during this exciting time, but the couple who somehow remain both seemingly omnipresent and mysterious will likely make us wait for more details. In the meantime, there are some things we can consider about the new parents based on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's body language.
Curious how one of our favorite couples are fairing, even before adding to the family, I reached out to body language Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, to see what she could tell us about their relationship dynamic. Kim and Kanye are a particularly challenging couple to read because they go out of their way to carefully craft an image that is in line with their brand, and of course, no one knows the ins and outs of Kimye's relationship and intentions but them. But for Wood, who holds a bachelor's and master's degree in body language and nonverbal communication, there are still subconscious cues that prove to be very revealing.
1. They Seem Disconnected In Front Of A Bunch Of Cameras
If, when you look at the above picture, you get a sense of coldness and disconnection, you are not alone. Wood is immediately drawn to Kanye's expression and body positioning. The coldness in the eyes, his body facing forward, and they way his hand doesn't actually wrap around Kim’s back all contribute to what Wood refers to as a "gesture cluster." "Its all the cues together in a sentence that says, 'I don’t really want to be seen connected to her. I’m forward to her. I’m closed. I’m not touching her. [My] fingers are curled upward rather than touching,'" says Wood. "It's very awkward. It's very unusual."
According to Wood, despite being turned in toward Kanye, Kim's body language also communicates a sense of detachment. "She’s got [the] front of her body up and just barely touching him," says Wood. “But she's not giving him weight ... and what [that] shows is a lack of connection on her part.”
Wood also points to Kim's arm placement as further evidence of a less than magnetic connection. “If you look at her left arm that's toward the camera, it could so easily be touching his body or surrounding his body, [and the placement shows] a subconscious choice not to do that,” she says.
2. They’re Going Through The Motions For The Camera
While the initial impression this photo gives is one where the two are connected, because of they way Kanye is leaning in, Wood sees something a bit different in the image. "You see his head lean, but if you look at the expression on his face, the facial expression is a sadness combined with that dead-eyed stare forward," she says. "Usually, you draw comfort leaning in and resting on your mate’s head. I typically see serenity and happiness. I don’t see that here."
Wood also points to the stiffness of the pose as evidence of its artifice. "Her hand is very stiffly placed around his shoulder with a strange wrist bend. It’s not relaxed ... and the fingers are not curled around him," she says. So essentially, despite the fact that the two seem deeply connected at first glance, because they are overlapping, Wood concludes that the lack of agreement in their gestures could indicate otherwise.
3. They Are Both Very Image-Conscious
Sometimes, a still image can be very misleading. After all, it's a mere moment captured out of a much longer period of time. Maybe Kanye did reach around and hold Kim after the first photo was taken, or maybe Kim's hand relaxed on Kanye's shoulder just after the photograph was taken. That's why video can be so helpful in interpreting body language. However, in the case of the video above, the footage seems to confirm what Wood saw in the previous images.
The thing that stands out the most to Wood is that Kanye has to walk toward Kim, while she stands there waiting for him to do so. "He has to do the work to come to her, and then, it’s not a tender kiss,” explains Wood. Apparently, this signals to Wood that what happened in the video (for Kim's Snapchat followers) seemed more like "a performance."
Wood also notes there is a lack of tenderness in the video. "They're not facing toward each other to show support and alignment,” she concludes. "There’s no joy, there’s no jubilance, I don’t see any of those things. I don’t know if those are there somewhere, I just don’t see them."
Of course, for a couple in the public eye, it's absolutely impossible to truly know the depth of their feelings for each other and what their relationship is like behind closed doors. For one of the biggest families in pop culture, it's like their public moves have to be a bit calculated. While we'll likely never know how the couple truly interacts behind closed doors, it's likely the two are celebrating behind those doors over the birth of their new baby. Congrats, Kimye!
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