Ludacris hosted the 2014 Billboard Music Awards today in Las Vegas. By most accounts he did a great job. However from a body language perspective in this posed photo we can see several conflicting nonverbal displays.
Ludacris has a mild contempt expression. This is evidenced by a tightening and vertical contraction of his right "mustache area" along with a mild nostril flare. The backward tilt of his head/neck along with a bilateral partial closure of his eyelids up-regulates his degree of arrogance. Many would falsely his face as displaying a mild smile - yet it is most definitely not.
Looking at his feet, we can see that they are planted about a shoulder's width apart and splayed mild-moderately outward. This nonverbal configuration is consistent with high confidence and an alpha emotional tone - however it is not specific to either arrogant confidence or humble confidence.
The position of Ludacris's hands is incongruent with confidence. Known as the fig-leaf or genital guarding - this protective stance indicates a lower level of emotional comfort and projects a Beta persona (A subset of this body language behavior and exception to this tell exists in some law-enforcement organizations as many are taught to assume the "parade rest" or similar pose in some scenarios as it is felt that it allows greater access to one's weapons and diminishes vulnerability in a hand-to-hand attack scenarios).
Thus in this one deliberate and posed image we see arrogance-contempt, low confidence/beta persona as well as high confidence/alpha projection. Whichever of these emotions Ludacris should want to project is an important consideration - however regardless of his intent (can you tell what his primary underlying emotion is?) - deliberate but considerably contradictory body language exists in this moment.
What key nonverbals are seen in the featuring Ludacris below?
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