Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3534: Taylor Swift's (Vogue's) Rapid-fire 73 Q & A Session - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Vogue just released a video of Taylor Swift giving an interview as she also takes her guest on a mini-tour of her Beverly Hills home. Ms. Swift is also featured on the cover of Vogue Magazine's May issue.

From a nonverbal perspective, Taylor Swift transmitted a preponderance of beta (and even hyper-beta) body language signals during this video interview. What follows are three different nonverbal displays which demonstrate a range from hyper-beta, alpha-beta hybrid - and alpha.


Early in the video, as she was answering questions regarding song writing and similar subjects, Taylor sat with her knees together - with her lower legs & feet spayed out - while her hands were positioned between her distal thighs, just superior to her knees. Not only is this a beta body language configuration - it's indeed Hyper-Beta, projecting particularly low emotional comfort. No professional, public figure, leader of any kind, etc., should ever sit in this manner in public or while on camera - unless it's in the context of acting.


While she was in her kitchen, Ms. Swift puts her right hand in her back pocket - thumb forward, with her elbow pointed out and backward.

Her other hand is pointing toward her MTV Award.


This thumbs-forward with one or both hand(s) in back pocket(s) configuration is a good example of an "Alpha-Beta Hybrid" nonverbal signal (of which there are many). Alpha-Beta Hybrids are excellent ways of not transmitting emotional tones which are either too strong (alpha or hyper alpha) or too weak (beta or hyper-beta).


Near the end of the video, as she ushers her guest out, Taylor displays a similar alpha-beta hybrid - however it's a bit more alpha with her thumb hooked in her back pocket.


When asked, "What's your favorite fashion trend of all time?" - Taylor answers, "High-waisted stuff" - as she grabs the waist of her garment with her thumbs and forefingers, with her elbows high and out laterally, she lets her waist snap back. This gesture projects alpha thought-emotions.


Swift then proceeds to lift her hands and arms high - a further alpha nonverbal display segueing immediately from the second before.

There are certainly times when one should use beta body language - e.g., when there's an ego you want to/should feed, or with many bosses, etc. There are other times when you want to definitely want to send out alpha signals - though be very careful not to do so too often or too extremely, lest it backfire, project arrogance and destroy rapport. Most people aren't good at recognizing these moments in real-time and extremely few know how to tweak these moments. Alpha-beta hybrids have benefits of both worlds and a good nonverbal repertoire allows one to leverage all of these - and nuance the moment rather than stumbling through blindfolded.

Taylor Swift would be surprised to know she is projecting significantly lower emotional comfort than she intended. Taylor Swift is of course human. We all are human. Not surprisingly, while many extremely talented musicians, actors and athletes - when they are on camera while performing the skill for which they are famous, they do very well - when being interviewed, appearing on talk shows, receiving awards, etc., - they're very much out of their element. Although their fans will label these social faux pas as "cute" or idiosyncrasies, others certainly will not. This emotional discomfort shows and it has ramifications.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3533: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard - Australian Biosecurity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3530: Justin Trudeau, Quantum Computing and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3519: Vladimir Putin, The Panama Papers and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3516: Hillary Clinton, Finger Pointing, Fossil Fuels, Bernie Sanders and Lying

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3473: Adele's Tongue, Ellen DeGeneres and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3125: Vladimir Putin, Suppressed Smiling & Blushing

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3152: Hillary Clinton First Campaign Ad - "Getting Started"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3504: Raúl Castro Lifts Barack Obama's Arm at Press Conference