The beautiful photograph, which was taken on Dec. 15 by the First Lady’s photographer Andrea Hanks, has InStyle magazine very concerned.
“There’s more to an image than meets the eye,” writes InStyle, so the magazine consulted with body language expert Patti Wood to get to the bottom of things.
Wood told the magazine, “If you look at that photo and don’t move in on it tightly at all, you can feel the tension in it. There’s so many things that show affection, care, a desire to merge — that aren’t present.”
Merry Christmas from President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. @POTUS & @FLOTUS are seen Saturday, December 15, in their official 2018 Christmas portrait, in the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks) pic.twitter.com/nIuplZSDBe
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 18, 2018
Woods also analyzed their smiles, and concluded that a staged photograph may involve a “forced” smile–go figure.
“Here you actually do see that they’re both smiling, but they’re tight, the lips are pulled back in a tight grin — a tight, forced grin,” she tells the publication.
But, what about their handhold? Surely that must be genuine.
Not to Woods: “It’s a loose handhold,” she says. “If you look at her hand, it is bent around his and slightly lifting his up. But you can see where he’s not fully joining in by the way that his thumb is awkwardly out. It’s very odd. If you look at it closely, you see that the thumb is straight and pointing at him as opposed to resting or curling around her, and doing what would be normal to show a return of affection.”
Their great posture is also a problem, according to the body language expert.
“One thing quite striking is how straight up and down each of them are,” she tells InStyle. “They’re not leaning towards each other, or curled or curved toward each other, which would be standard in a couple photo to show relationship and attachment or endearment. That’s not there.”