EXCLUSIVE: US President Donald Trump’s wife was seen in a frosty looking exchange with her stepdaughter Ivanka at the Republican National Convention, but what does it really mean?
First Lady Melania Trump may have exposed her true feelings about stepdaughter Ivanka to the world.
US President Donald Trump’s wife was caught on camera in a frosty looking exchange with Ivanka, a businesswoman who serves as an advisor to her father at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
As Ivanka, 38, walked across the stage, Melania was seen meeting her gaze to flash her a huge smile.
Her face quickly dropped as soon as her stepdaughter was out of her line of sight.
The awkward interaction came just hours after details of their so-called fraught relationship were released in an excerpt of an upcoming book.
But what does it all mean?
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Body language expert and author Judi James exclusively tells Mirror Online: “As First Lady Melania acknowledges her step-daughter Ivanka on stage here she performs a classic example of what is called a ‘Lightning Smile’: a smile that flashes across the face and then vanishes again without trace, like a streak of lightning.
“It’s a bit of a signature gesture of Melania’s and has led to speculation in the past about her true feelings for her husband and now Ivanka.
“A genuine smile prompted by happiness or pleasure takes time to perform and erase, often starting with a softened eye expression before moving to the cheeks and then the mouth, and it tends to die in reverse order.
“We actually feel guilty performing a Lightning Smile, even when no-one is looking. Smile at a neighbour in the street and you will find you’re still wearing that smile a few paces later, even if you dislike them and were being fake. Dropping a fake smile quickly can make us feel like we’re unmasking too obviously by showing the smile to be a lie.
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“Melania puts so much effort into this wide smile at Ivanka that the fall-off in expression to something that looks unhappy and almost alarmed will naturally create a dramatic response in her audience.
“Her super-warm beaming grin lasts until she is out of Ivanka’s eye-line and the ‘dropped’ expression begins as soon as she turns to face the audience. The left hand corner of her mouth crashes down first, followed by the rest of her mouth, and her eye expression loses warmth.”
Judi added: ” Interestingly Melania does seem to make an effort to re-boot her smile here, trying to lift the corners of her mouth again as though she realises she erased her happy face too quickly. If she reads social media she must have been aware of the comments over the Lightning Smile she threw at her husband on his inauguration.
“These types of smiles can easily suggest an inner dislike of the person they are being aimed at, but there can be other reasons for them. Gordon Brown threw them a lot and they were said to have been caused by problems with his facial muscles.
“Melania was seen performing longer-held smiles during her re
cent speech at the White House but it could be that she doesn’t find smiling easy for some reason. They can also be prompted by nervousness, which could fit with the rather anxious facial expression that replaces it here.
“Or they can be caused by the response to the smile. If someone ignores our smile of friendship or returns a cold stare it can be easy for our own expression to change quickly.”
SOURCE: MIRROR, UK