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A Body Language Expert* Analyzes the Queen’s Meeting With Donald Trump
Hi. My name is Justin, and I have no scientific or psychological background in body language, but while watching Queen Elizabeth II meet Donald Trump today, I thought, “There’s a lot to unpack here.” What would make me qualified to discuss the body language of Her Majesty though? Well, I’m glad you asked.
I have, on several occasions, thrown light shade in a room full of people I’m supposed to show affection toward.I date someone from England.I took an Introduction to Psychology course in 2008. I got an A-.I’ve dabbled in dentistry.
So, that should cover it. While Robert Mueller is rebooting 12 Angry (Indicted) Men, with an all-Russian cast back in Washington, the Donald and Melania met Her Majesty for tea at Windsor Castle. The whole excursion looks pretty docile, but let’s look closer, because if British people could physically shout (they can’t—remember, I’m an expert), this body language would be saying, “WHY ARE YOU RUINING EARL GREY FOR ME?”
The Build Up
Getty ImagesBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
You know that scene in The Help, when Aibileen cuts to the chase and asks, “Ain’t you tired, Miss Hilly?” Yeah. That. This posture is giving me “I have four absences left, and it’s the last week of school, but my mom’s making me go because it’s the rules” vibes. You can just see in her eyes that she’d rather eat every pebble on the ground than go through with this nonsense, but the world is watching, and if there is a God in heaven, this will go quickly.
Ah, right out of the gate there’s tension! The smiling face might fool you, because as we all know from that Facebook meme your mom shares all the time, “A smile is the same in every language.” But what you can’t see from this picture is that Donald’s team kept Her Majesty waiting for more than ten minutes. The woman is 92 for God’s sake. She doesn’t have the time. If you notice her eyes, her line of sight is not looking at Donald as much as it is the handshake. This says, “I swear on Paddington Bear, if you shake my hand like you did Macron’s, I’m going to whack you with this purse.” And you know she will. Look at how tightly she has it pulled against her—looks like a fucking Sky Dancer ready to launch at any moment.
The National Anthem
Deeply looking forward to this upcoming tweet that says, “British Lizzy didn’t cover her heart for the national anthem! Sad!” Ironically though, this might be the most relatable stance that Her Majesty offers us here. The pose. The steely glare. The clasped hands. It’s the culmination of repeating “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” while holding your breath in hopes that you just pass out. Mind you, yes, it’s been 242 years, but the National Anthem still burns a bit. It’s like going to your ex’s house and playing your wedding song. Tacky!
A Brief Walk
I know this exact expression. He’s talking about CrossFit, which he’s never done.
Get Out: The Royal’s Flushed
Dropped your poker face, didn’t ya, girl? You know when Mary Kay people show up at your house, and you’re trying to be really nice, and then they invite themselves in, and then you’re like, “Shit. They’re in my house.” That’s exactly what’s happening here, but in a grander, more political way. She’s shaken those gloves off, and while maintaining her royal grace, her stance seems to suggest that she doesn’t give a single shit about tea anymore. Is she looking at the camera? Is she not? Exactly. Her gaze says everything we need to know: I’m not here right now.
Now, is that to say that all of my analysis is spot on? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve been wrong before. Either way, the Queen is a tougher gal than most of us. She’s met with 10 of the past 11 sitting presidents (sorry, Lyndon B. Johnson), so she’s sticking with tradition, even if the President looks like a vertical manifestation of a bell curve.