President Donald Trump has been heavily criticized by both the members of the online community as well as numerous body language experts, calling him out on his treatment towards first lady Melania Trump. Apparently, there are several photos and videos depicting Donald Trump’s awkward treatment of the first lady, and the recent photos of the first couple boarding Air Force One on April 16 further drive the point.
Since Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, onlookers, observers, and body language experts have placed their focus on the body language between the president and Melania Trump. The first, among many, awkward instances and treatment towards Melania Trump was witnessed during the president’s inauguration, whereas he left Melania Trump behind as he approached then-President Barack Obama and his first lady Michelle Obama.
Observers were quick to notice the difference between Donald Trump’s treatment towards Melania, to that of Barack Obama’s during his inauguration two terms prior. According to The Huffington Post,President Donald Trump was criticized for not waiting for Melania Trump to get out of the car and instead proceeded to meet and greet Barack and Michelle as Melania made her way over alone.
Following the awkward inauguration day scene between the first couple, photos of Melania’s unhappy face plagued the internet, leading many to believe that she is unhappy with Donald Trump. Despite these photos and the opinion of several body language experts who claim that Melania is uncomfortable with Donald Trump and that he could be closer to his wife, their marriage seems to be doing just fine.
However, the recent photos of Donald Trump and Melania Trump as they boarded Air Force One on April 16 adds fuel to the already hot issue that is Donald’s treatment towards Melania. Apparently, observers have noticed that Donald and Melania have too much space between them as they descended the steps of Air Force One.
Although there have been other presidents who descended the stairs of Air Force One without their first lady, the behavior displayed by Donald Trump during his and Melania’s descent seems to be part of a larger pattern. In light of the said pattern, the body language and etiquette Donald Trump has towards his wife are found questionable by experts. The Huffington Post took liberty in reaching out to two body language experts, Jacqueline Whitmore and Elaine Swann in order to grasp their opinion on the photos.
Jacqueline Whitmore is an international etiquette expert who has appeared in various shows and publications and her take on the matter between Donald Trump and Melania Trump lies in the traditional rule of etiquette between men and women. According to Whitmore, it is a norm for men to go down the stairs before a lady does in order for them to be in the position to catch her if she trips.
Despite Donald Trump’s position ahead of Melania Trump on the stairs of Air Force One, the distance was just far too much according to The Washington Examiner. Apparently, the president wasn’t just a few steps ahead of Melania, but several feet. As for the noticeable distance between Donald and Melania, Whitmore believes that it “could be perceived as a sign of disrespect.”
“In the photographs, what we’re clearly seeing is that Donald Trump is walking not just one stair ahead, not two stairs ahead, but a few feet ahead. She’s not being accompanied by him,” Whitmore stated. “If you look at some of the old photos of Ronald and Nancy Reagan or the Obamas, they are very close together. In other words, they’re a unit, they’re a couple, they’re engaging in this activity together.”
Whitmore later added, “Whereas, in this particular photo, she is clearly standing all by herself. Now it could also be a sign of self-absorption or he’s in a hurry. He’s a role model for the country, having said that –- he should be modeling, I believe, a different kind of behavior.”
Meanwhile, Elaine Swann has a similar take on the distance between Melania and Donald Trump, stating that what Donald Trump did was far from proper. “The husband at the bottom of the stairs, saluting and greeting the people there, and the wife is still at the top of the stairs – this is incorrect,” Swann began. “The proper thing for him to do is to wait for his spouse at the bottom of the stairs and then take her hand and assist her down the last few steps as she comes down. This was not done.”
Swann topped matters off with a witty comment about being a president and a husband, apparently, you can do both simultaneously well. “He still is a husband first before a president.” Swann insisted. “Because he’s in the presence of a woman, and this woman is his spouse, he still has to make sure that he’s nurturing his relationship. And part of nurturing your relationship is the small gestures and niceties that are necessary in terms of chivalry.”
[Featured Image By by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]