Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2088:
McKayla Maroney's Expression - Everyone Got it Wrong
2012 Olympic Vault Silver Medalist

McKayla Maroney is shown here during the medal ceremony for the gymnastics Vault. The World-Class gymnast silvered in the London Olympics in this event which contrasts somewhat to her peak 2011 achievement when she was World Champion in the vault (Ms. Maroney, of course, also contributed to her team's Gold medal performance). Most everyone, including the press has completely misinterpreted her facial expression. Examples of these MISTAKES include disgust, pouty and scowl. There are multiple memes of her all over the internet further demonstrating this absolute lack of understanding - including the tumblr site: "McKayla is not impressed". However, none of these interpretations of this 16 year-old's body language are even remotely close.

McKayla's asymmetrical lip purse expression is a classic nonverbal indicative of openly (non-secretively) deciding on a course of action. There is no disgust, contempt, sadness, scowl, pout, anger or any other negative emotion being displayed here.

This is yet another example of how body language, emotions and motives are completely and routinely misinterpreted.

See also:

Analysis # 551: Openly Weighing a Decision