Monday, April 30, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1770:
White House Correspondents' Dinner
Lindsay Lohan's Body Language


Over the weekend, at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, comedian Jimmy Kimmel put on a fantastic show. Before the festivities began though (and Jimmy picked on Ms. Lohan and Kim Kardashian, among numerous others), many of the celebrities were interviewed. In this brief video, I want to contrast the body language of Lindsay Lohan (whom we don't hear, and is visible in another interview in the background) with Wolf Blitzer, the longtime CNN News anchor. 

Ms. Lohan appears at the 1:32 - 1:34 mark in a low-confidence, low-comfort fig leaf (aka genital guarding) configuration. While there are a few times this body language should be displayed e.g. in respect/deference & religious type settings, this is not one of them. It's not the way to attract quality leading lady scripts.

See also:
During the 1:35 - 1:36 segment, Lindsay displays a "Hair Adjust Behind Ear" nonverbal. This is a classic MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) indicating anxiety - and this specifically with the HABE, the psyche is calling upon inner reserves to "dial-up" her alpha qualities. She's trying to be more assertive and more confident in the midst of, what for her is, an anxiety moment. 

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During the 1:37 - 1:45 segment, the actress rubs her left arm with her right hand. This is another MAP and is a clear indicator of anxiety. Ms. Lohan is trying to comfort herself.

During the remainder of her time in this video, 1:45 - 2:03, the former child-star once again reverts back to the low confidence fig-leaf.

Blitzer, the long-time CNN anchor, uses the political-point (loose okay sign) to indicate confidence and rapport-building authority very well. His palm opens up to a relaxed-hand vertical and 45 degree-palms up configuration, indicating openness and confidence - another great illustrator of confidence and rapport. Note also that Wolf uses his "Thumbs-up" to point at Brooke Baldwin and Brianna Keilar (she displays a sincere smile at the 1:32 mark) - and thus exhibits both the very positive universal emblem of optimism (thumbs-up) while avoiding the forefinger (index finger) point which is highly offensive and rapport destroying the World over.

See also:

Secret # 1995: Barack Obama, Social Darwinism and the Political Point

Secret # 441: The Political Point - How Not to Use it