Ivanka Trump has spent more time in front of the camera than some of the most selfie-obsessed Instagram stars. Her privileged upbringing has afforded her all sorts of opportunities that have thrust her into the spotlight, including modelling gigs in the ’90s as a teen, hosting a Miss America pageant, various television appearances (including her father’s own The Apprentice) and, currently, acting as senior advisor to her pa, Donald Trump, in the White House.
The 36-year-old has been perfecting her poses for decades, and it seems in recent years that she’s landed on a stance that she feels most comfortable in. Like, so comfortable that every single photo on Ivanka’s Insta account featured her standing this very particular way: arms loosely at her sides, hips turned slightly away from the camera, left foot in front of the right.
It’s a pose that Patti Wood, a body language expert and author on the subject, thinks Ivanka picked up back in her modelling days. The stance is known to make someone look more slender in photos, but Wood suggests there are some slight nuances that shouldn’t be overlooked.
First, take her feet:
“Her forward foot and leg are generally slightly further out toward the camera than usual, and her feet are further apart than normal,” Wood told Refinery29. She goes on to explain that this is a strategy to look more powerful as well as competent, though Ivanka doesn’t totally pull it off.
“There’s a part of her that wants to be strong and powerful, but another part that wants to be very ladylike,” Wood says, still speaking of her feet.
Her upper body reveals some information, too.
“Her arms are typically at her side, close to her body. Not quite as tense as Melania’s,” says Wood. “This reads as subdued, lacking power, more ladylike.”
Overall, Wood says that Ivanka wants to look like the epitome of perfection, and that her entire media presence is posed and controlled. There’s not much room for spontaneity in the life of Ivanka Trump.
“Everything has to be perfect, like those porcelain dolls people display in their dining room. She’s making that decision, and it does create that image, which matches the branding of her clothing.”
At first glance, Ivanka’s go-to pose may seem nothing more than a woman standing with her foot forward, but Wood’s interpretation suggests there’s a lot going on inside the head of the mom of three. Next time there’s a camera pointed in your general direction, take a minute to think about how you’re positioning your body — it may reveal more about your mood than your actual smile.