Has losing the presidency saved Donald and Melania Trump's marriage? Experts believe something has changed
In the period following President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election, Melania Trump seemed to be "happier" than she was when she had to campaign for her husband and carry out her first lady duties. So we had some post-election pictures of the first couple analyzed by a body language expert to see if the FLOTUS' mood really lifted since President-elect Joe Biden was declared the 46th president of the United States.
Relationship and body language expert Nicole Moore analyzed three photos for MEAWW. The first was Trump and Melania giving the National Thanksgiving turkey "Corn" a presidential pardon during the traditional event in the Rose Garden of the White House on November 24. The second was the first couple attending a rally in support of Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on December 5, in Valdosta, Georgia. And the third was them walking on the south lawn of the White House on December 23 in Washington, DC as they left for the holidays to Mar-a-Lago.
The thanksgiving photo was closer to the day the election results were announced and the fact that Trump had lost might not have sunk in yet. According to Moore, Melania was displaying some of the similar behavioral patterns that she had displayed before the elections took place.
"Melania's demeanor may be softening since her husband was not re-elected President. In the photo, Melania's shoulders and body appear stiff and rigid. She looks as if she's sucking in air and holding on to her composure. These body language cues indicating her discomfort are typical and have been displayed by Melania since Donald became President," Moore said, adding that there was, however, some degree of contrast that started to happen in her body language.
"What's different is that in this photo, her smile appears more genuine than it has before. It's as if she's still stuck in the tense, holding on tightly mode but she's beginning to thaw out and become happier. Her eyes are crinkled in the corners indicating a genuine smile that is less forced than her smile in previous appearances. In the picture, she's still standing with quite a bit of distance between herself and her husband, indicating that the frostiness toward Donald that Melania has notoriously displayed during his Presidency may still have been lingering in the end of November of 2020," the expert added.
As for the photo at the rally, Trump had still not conceded to Biden (just like he hasn't now either) and continued to claim that the election was 'rigged' and 'stolen' from him to anyone who still supported him. However, the reality had started sinking in for most people, including his wife, who secretly started packing up her belongings from the White House and made preparations to move to the couple's Palm Beach resort in Florida.
Melania's demeanor also took a turn for the better as the "once infamous scowl" was beginning to turn upside down. "It's clear that she's becoming happier and happier since Donald was not re-elected," Moore said. "She stands with impeccable posture in this picture however there's less tension and rigidity in her body than was on display in the aforementioned November 25th picture. Melania is still standing with a large amount of space between herself and President Trump but her smile is wide and genuine. When we are faking and forcing a smile, we tend to pull our cheeks back horizontally toward our ears however when the smile is genuine our cheeks go up diagonally toward our eyes. In this picture, Melania's cheeks move toward her eyes, indicating genuine happiness."
The expert drew a contrast between the time Melania refused to hold her husband's hands during multiple foreign trips to the picture clicked days before Christmas on the south lawn of the White House, as they headed to Mar-a-Lago to spend the holidays, and where she was seen firmly clasping his hands.
"This body language indicates that she's likely happier to come closer to Donald now that he's not going to be President for much longer," Moore deduced. "You can see in the picture that all of her teeth are exposed when she's smiling and her head is tilted back. This body language indicates that her smile is genuine. When we force a smile, we often don't reveal all of our teeth but when the smile is genuine, we typically reveal more. The fact that her head is tilted back also indicates that her smile is genuine. Tilting our heads back is something the body involuntarily does when we're pleased with something, like we do when we are genuinely laughing."