Bruce Jenner made his long-awaited appearance on 20/20 last night - discussing his gender-transitioning as well as many other related subjects about which some have been curious. There were numerous nonverbal signals throughout the two hour interview. Request for analyses of this particular interview have been voluminous. These will be broken into several key segments over the next few days.
Jenner begins in this video, "Shouldn't I take my pony tail out? Yeah, why not, huh? We're talking about all this stuff [deep inhalation] Yeah, let's take the damn pony tail out."
As Diane Sawyer notes - it's removal is indeed a symbol - a metaphor for an openness and change. Yet from a nonverbal perspective this goes significantly deeper.
His elbows are vectored out laterally (NOT pointed strait ahead) - thus exposing his open armpits in a significantly-sexual moment. Bruce Jenner is about to announce to the World he is "For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman", and he's projecting his sexuality for all to see. It may sound odd to some, but although he is feeling anxiety - and even fear (see below), in this moment he is for the first time openly a trans-woman and wants to be perceived not only as female in gender - but also sexually. Bluntly stated - Bruce Jenner the (trans-)woman is feeling sexy.
When Jenner fluffs his hair, this preening behavior projects a component of femininity as his more overt sexuality display diminishes.
For fraction of a second, with Bruce blurred in the background, we can see on the monitor Jenner's "Mouth of Fear" (mild-moderate) - with additional jaw clenching and neck muscle tightening ("Neck of Fear"). He is experiencing emotional dissonance - which is very understandable. The former Olympic Gold Medal Decathlete and World record holder is happy this moment has arrived - yet he's fearful too. Who wouldn't be?
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