A body language expert who analyzed President Donald Trump said that the president won’t hold his wife’s hand because he wants to be seen as an “alpha” and as independent (video below).
Patti Wood, an expert who studies body language, said that a recent video clip of Donald refusing to hold First Lady Melania Trump’s hand in public could have a deeper motivation than simply being uncomfortable with public displays of affection, The Independent reports.
Donald and Melania were filmed leaving Palm Beach International Airport in Florida on Feb. 3, where the presidential couple had an awkward exchange after Melania attempted to hold Donald’s hand. Donald quickly broke free of the hand-hold, moving his hands to clap along with supporters who had come to see him.
When Melania tried to hold Donald’s hand a second time, he patted her hand before slipping away once again.
Wood, who has written a book on body language and first impressions, said that there may be more to read into the interaction than Donald not wanting to be affectionate in public.
“Typically a hand-hold shows a couple as a unit,” Wood said. “But to me, I think he’s been saying, ‘I want to be seen as the president on my own,’ which is very much alpha. ‘I want to be just the powerful me.'”
“It’s clear that that’s his choice,” Wood mused. “Holding hands can communicate so much about an individual and a couple, depending on the position of the hands, who reaches in first, who breaks it first.”
Wood noted that Melania and Donald were more publicly affectionate before Donald’s inauguration.
Wood said that Donald’s pat on Melania’s hand was not a gesture that came off as affectionate. “It could have been affection if he’d cupped his hand, if he’d done it with sweetness, or if he had kissed her and done it,” said Wood, but the president patted her hand with a flat palm, his fingers separated.
“He pulls it up towards him, it has some admonishing to it, some power, and then he has that flat hand to say, ‘No no.’ He’s smiling as he does it. He’s not mad. He’s fully in control of what’s happening,” said the body language expert.
For the appearance — Melania’s first in public since the inauguration — the first lady wore a $2,000 red cape dress by Givenchy, Daily Mail reports.
The hand-holding video is not the first time that a body language expert has analyzed the Trumps. Body language trainer India Ford previously said that Melania appeared “uncomfortable in her own skin,” and seemed to “walk on eggshells” around her husband, according to The Independent.
The presidential couple’s dance at the inaugural ball was also pointed out as “awkward,” by users on social media.
“Look how awkward Donald Trump and Melania Trump dance,” tweeted out one user. “Does that look like a couple who really like each other?”
Sources: The Independent (2), Daily Mail, CNN TV/YouTube / Photo credit: The Independent