Ivanka Trump Is Acting. AOC Is Not. That's A Key Difference In Their Body Language.
Now that the House Oversight Committee is looking to interview Ivanka Trump, a real showdown between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the first daughter might be in store.
The first daughter and White House advisor's schedule isn't public, but we'll keep you posted on her goings-on every week.
Earlier this week, sentient skim vanilla latte with no whip Ivanka Trump and straight-talking socialist/right-wing obsession Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clashed on whether Americans have the right to jobs that pay a living wage. The millionaire who used to hang out with Paris Hilton in St. Tropez said absolutely not; the former bartender from the Bronx who lost her father to cancer and whose family went into debt, their house on the verge of foreclosure, said absolutely yes.
"I don't think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something," she said. "I’ve spent a lot of time travelling around this country over the last four years. People want to work for what they get. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job. They want the ability to live in a country where's there's the potential for upward mobility."
AOC fired back at Ivanka, tweeting: "As a person who actually worked for tips and hourly wages in my life, instead of having to learn about it second-hand, I can tell you that most people want to be paid enough to live. A living wage isn’t a gift, it’s a right. Workers are often paid far less than the value they create."
Ivanka's widely slammed statement was also widely shared, which was part of the intent to drum up the base for her father's reelection campaign and distract the media from the Michael Cohen hearing, where Trump's former lawyer and "fixer" said quite a few damning things about the fam.
Now that the House Oversight Committee is looking to interview Ivanka and Don Jr., a real showdown between AOC and the first daughter and White House advisor might be in store. Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, analysed the body language of both women and told us what we can expect.
"Here's the problem with her: So much of what she does is a performance, I don't see very much real there. It's pretty difficult to see what's real for her and what's not," Wood told Refinery29 when asked whether she thinks Ivanka's statement seemed authentic.
It's no surprise that Ivanka's words rang hollow to everyone but the most diehard Trump loyalists: Even if we, for one minute, allowed that she had a point, does anyone really think she believes what she's saying? And not just believes it, but actually cares about it?
For a bunch of transparent talking points, the statement was well-written, said Wood. But it wasn't the spontaneous delivery of a person who knows what they're talking about — which is what Ivanka is ostensibly supposed to be — it was a crafted-to-death GOP message delivered through the most attractive vessel they have.
Ivanka appeared unusually uncomfortable and "very frozen" as she anticipated Hilton's question, said Wood. "It was very odd. It's on Fox News! She should be fairly relaxed." She also adjusted her hair, which is an "anxiety cue." When she talked about traveling the country, Wood said it seemed particularly inauthentic. "Personally, I found it bizarre, the fact that she was drawing these conclusions about the American people. She's isolated with security guards when she travels."
As someone who coaches politicians on public speaking, Wood said she is confident that Ivanka has been extensively tutored to change her voice in order to sound "more authoritative, knowledgeable, and intelligent." While she used to sound more "flirty" with interviewers, she has made a lot of effort to lower her pitch, articulate more, and slow down her delivery. Over time, she's also developed an affect to her voice. This type of vocal change can work wonders on the right audience — and clearly it already does.
As Ivanka finished her answer, Wood noted that she looked flustered and her eyes closed. "I think it's because she's finished acting — she kind of stretches out and shuts her eyes, like she's done performing."
Contrast Ivanka's body language with that of AOC, who recently tweeted that bartending and waitressing in NYC, where she's had to talk to thousands of customers, has prepared her for her skilled, deliberate questioning of Michael Cohen in Wednesday's hearing.
AOC's delivery is stronger, faster, and there's an energy underneath it, said Wood. "Her gestures show that she's trustworthy and honest. When identifying integrity or deception in a statement, you look for when the gesture occurs. When someone is being authentic, they gesture just before or at the moment of their statement," Wood told us in December, pointing out how AOC gestures to emphasise key points. "She does that, over and over again. What happens in your primitive brain is that you trust, you believe, because it's in sync. It almost musical, it makes you feel good to watch her."
When analysing someone's body language for authenticity, Wood said, she also looks for emotion. "There's a chutzpah when AOC speaks. So you know she's feeling what she's talking about, it's what she believes in and there's an authenticity there." She recommended watching both women speak with the sound off and taking note of who makes you feel more comfortable. For her, that's AOC.
While that's a subjective question, this is for sure: If it indeed happens, we'll be tuning in to see Oversight Committee superstar AOC grill Ivanka on her family's business dealings. Either way, we'd watch these two debate any day — not on Twitter or through proxies, but in real time. CNN, you know this town hall would get much higher ratings than the Howard Schultz one. Make it happen.