Friday, December 28, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2244:
Taylor Swift's Body Language, Botox &
Anger on 60 Minutes

Taylor Swift shows many body language signs in this 60 Minutes interview. What follows are a few of these tells. At the 4:36 - 4:39 and again during 4:56 - 5:00 mark, Lesley Stahl presses Taylor Swift regarding the Kayne West incident in 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards. Stall recounts this moment to her audience and says Swift "she threw a little vulnerability at me" and even mentioned that "...look at her, she's biting her - lips..." Here she certainly misread Taylor's emotion. Stahl was closer but still missed the mark when she described Taylor's response as a "gentle steeliness". In nonverbal terminology this display was an Inward Lip Roll (ILR). It is an anxiety-related body language-facial expression - which more specifically is a signal that the psyche is calling on inward strength to avoid the display of a negative emotion - most commonly anger (which is what Taylor Swift was feeling). Less often it is seen with significant sadness and is often exhibited as a person fights back tears or just prior to crying (ergo, it was very frequent in the post-Sandy Hook School Shooting interviews). It is also a body language which is seen when there is mental focus during a physical act

The drink taken by Swift at the 4:30 - 4:33 mark is an anxiety-related stalling nonverbal which gives the singer time for emotional composure and to formulate her specific response.

During 1:44 -1:46, after Stahl recounts Swift's multiple verbal reminders of her own lack of a boyfriend, Swift laughs, then covers her mouth. This is a clear nonverbal signal of embarrassment - either from the laughter itself, or, here - from Stahl's attention to Swift's preoccupation of her relationship status. 

Note also during the 2:08 - 2:10 segment as she says, " ...I'm good though, I'm good being alone, like I have a routine ...." and raises her forehead to give emphasis to her statement. This is known as an Illustrator. Although most mentions of illustrators in the nonverbal communication literature are hand & arm related, this forehead emphasis signal is an extremely common example. However note that the bottom half of her forehead does not contract with the top half. And upon closer inspection the top half, while it contracts, is hypo-reactive. Short of a very specific bilateral trauma (surgical or otherwise), the only explanation for this is Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA). Here Botox renders the forehead under or non-expressive - and significantly less communicative. Botox's benefits should be weighed against this rarely mentioned "side effect". The few who consider it often dismiss this effect as minimal - however they run the risk of ending up like a character in Swift's songs - misunderstood,  apathetic and wooden.

"Rationalization is the great human sport" (King).

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1171:  Not So Fast Swift .... Taylor's False Surprise

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238: Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's  Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2229: President Obama and a Body Language Signal of  Holding Back Grief, Tears & other Negative Emotions

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2232: Vicki Soto, a Hero, Body Language  and a Mother's Love & Affection -  Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1859: The Prince is Angry at the Queen's Jubilee 

Negotiation Secret # 146: Anthony Weiner's Inward Lip Roll

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 377: Big Ben's Body Language - Rothlisberger's Inward Lip Roll with a Bitter Smile