Stephen Miller, a senior advisor to President Trump, has just made the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows.
Some have commented that they find Mr. Miller "creepy". Why does he elicit these feelings? One reason for this, is that his voice is rather monotone (a property engendered by his reading from a teleprompter). Such lack of vocal variety feels very mechanical and is off-putting.
Another reason for this "creepiness factor" is that Stephen Miller's face is relatively hypo-expressive. Said another way - his face does not move very much when compared with how most other people would express themselves in a similar emotional context.
The most dramatic reason for Mr. Miller's threatening facial expression is his droopy eyelids. The medical term for this is ptosis. And although the cause of his ptosis is unclear, there's a high likelihood it's congenital.
Bilateral ptosis, such as Miller exhibits here, will act as an amplifier for the emotions of contempt, disgust and anger (Disgust is being expressed in the image below). Indeed, even without the presence of other nonverbal signals - bilateral droopy eyelids will project motives of secrecy and elicit distrust in others. It's not surprising that actors with bilateral ptosis will be typecast as antagonists with nefarious motives.
Congenital ptosis is amenable to surgical correction.
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