A Body Language Expert Says Donald Trump Is "Pulled Back in Retreat" in That Viral Nancy Pelosi Photo
On Wednesday, a photo of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi staring down President Donald Trump went viral after the president tweeted it, calling Pelosi "Nervous Nancy," alluding to an unhinged meltdown. In response, the speaker trolled him by making it her cover photo.
The photo, released by the White House, shows Pelosi standing with her finger pointed at a seated Trump during a meeting, in which the speaker said the president had a "meltdown." By Thursday, however, #PelosiOwnsTrump began trending on Twitter.
Body language expert Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma, says several things stood out to her in the photo — starting with Pelosi's raised eyebrows.
"Combined with her wide opened eyes, the raised eyebrows are a bid for attention and to show emphasis that what she’s saying is clear and important," Wood tells InStyle. "Notice the way she is standing up straight and tall, with only the barest hint of an upper body lean-in. This shows those seated that she is in charge and has power and dominance. She is standing up straight, showing she feels confident in what she says."
Another thing that stood out to Wood was Trump's stature in the photo, which she says was notable to her because he is positioned further back than all the other men on his side of the table.
"Trump is pulled back in retreat," she notes. "You can see his upper torso turned away from her to his left as if he wants to leave. His brows are furrowed together and mouth open in puzzlement."
Also of note? Pelosi's pointed finger, which Wood sees as an action of accusation.
She also observed that the men to Trump's right seemed to be "bent over, bowed down; heads down in shame."
Though reporters were not allowed in the meeting, Pelosi spoke after the photo came out, telling reporters on Thursday she had questioned Trump on foreign policy, leading to what she described as his "meltdown."
"It just didn't add up," Pelosi said of his foreign policy decisions. "But what it did do was cause a meltdown on the part of the President because he was unhappy with those questions."