Talk Description to Me

Episode 14 - Harris, Biden, Pence and Trump

September 25, 2020 Christine Malec and JJ Hunt Season 1 Episode 14
Talk Description to Me
Episode 14 - Harris, Biden, Pence and Trump
Chapters
00:01:59
Kamala Harris
00:08:41
Mike Pence
00:12:29
Joe Biden
00:21:02
Donald Trump
Talk Description to Me
Episode 14 - Harris, Biden, Pence and Trump
Sep 25, 2020 Season 1 Episode 14
Christine Malec and JJ Hunt

“In politics, appearance matters more than truth,” writes American author Robin Hobb. In advance of the upcoming debates, Christine and JJ consider each of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates in the 2020 U.S. election, and discuss their looks, expressions, styles, and mannerisms. It's all about the visuals of political personas in this extended episode of Talk Description to Me.

For links to articles and videos discussed in this episode, check out our latest blog post



Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TalkDescriptionToMe)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

“In politics, appearance matters more than truth,” writes American author Robin Hobb. In advance of the upcoming debates, Christine and JJ consider each of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates in the 2020 U.S. election, and discuss their looks, expressions, styles, and mannerisms. It's all about the visuals of political personas in this extended episode of Talk Description to Me.

For links to articles and videos discussed in this episode, check out our latest blog post



Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TalkDescriptionToMe)

JJ Hunt :

Talk description to me with Christine Malec and JJ Hunt.

Christine Malec :

Hi, I'm Christine Malec.

JJ Hunt :

And I'm JJ Hunt. This is talk description to Me where the visuals of current events and the world around us get hashtag in description rich conversations.

Christine Malec :

Something that's very much in the news these days is the upcoming election in the United States. And the first presidential debate will be on September 29. And we've had many requests from listeners to do some description of the candidates, their their appearance, their effect. And I really like this idea partly because as blind people also just speak for myself as a blind person. When I hear a politician, I listen to them. And I think, okay, you're a politician, you have an agenda, I'll sort of pay attention to what you're saying. And I'll filter it through knowing you have an agenda. But there's a visual component of that as well. And there are people whose job it is to curate the appearance of politicians and their demeanor and how they present themselves visually. And so, as a blind person, I don't often think about the fact that politics is theater. And so I hear the spoken part of that, but I don't get the visuals. And so today we're going to talk about the two presidential and two vice presidential candidates in the upcoming US election and talk about their their appearance and their demeanor and how that aspect of political theater plays out. So I think we're going to start with Kamala Harris just personally, because I'm really interested in the fact that there is a female candidate on the ballot. I think that is fantastic. And, JJ, maybe we can start with some descriptions of Kamala Harris.

JJ Hunt :

You we had several requests for this online, on Facebook, on Twitter in our emails. I know Sarah on Facebook was requesting this BJ requested this by email. This has been a topic that has been really interesting to people, so I'm glad we're finally able to cover it. So Kamala Harris is 55 year old woman. She's fairly short, about five foot two, and she appears to be quite trim quite fit. She's a person of color. I believe she identifies as black. She's born in California. Her mother's from India, her father's a black man from Jamaica. Kamala Harris is one of those people whose race or ethnicity is kind of impossible to guess just from looking at her if I was describing a movie and Kamala Harris was a was an actor in that film, and I didn't have any background information on her, I might, I might guess that she was a Latina, I might say she was a light skinned black woman. I might say she's a brown woman. She has brown eyes, long, thick, dark brown hair, no bangs. So she's got a bit of a like a part that's just off to the side. And her long hair falls down and often covers just part of the right side of her face. Her hair has some kind of gentle curled like waves to it near the near the ends and the curls land on her shoulders. She has quite sculpted eyebrows, kind of thicker in the middle and then thinner as they arched down toward the outside edges, corners of her eyes. A very big smile when she's smiling. It's a big, big smile. big white toothy grin. And when she smiles, she has a high round cheeks, you know, that are really pronounced when she smiles. She's objectively quite attractive. She often wears pant suits, very professional looking pant suits with pearl necklaces or things that are like pearl necklaces, with different beads and such, pretty high on the neck.

Christine Malec :

Another part of this of someone's physical appearance is their effect. So how they conduct themselves what mannerisms they use. And I wonder about the tension between how those are curated how someone is hired to say, okay, you should comport yourself in this way versus which ones are just natural to the person and so what can you say about the way she appears in public spaces?

JJ Hunt :

Yes, that's a good question. And so the way she when she's speaking more informally, so of course of late, she's had all kinds of different interviews. And so we're starting to see her being interviewed but in more informal settings and When she's having those kinds of interviews when she's giving those interviews, she's, she's kind of shuffling or bouncing a little bit when she speaks informally. So she's there's a little bit of energy to her movement, not a manic energy by any stretch, but she has a bit of an energetic presence she gestures quite a bit when she speaks. And again, she regularly in these informal settings flashes this great big smile. But when she's at a podium, for example, when she was accepting the nomination standing at the podium, her demeanor is is a bit different. Right her demeanor is frankly more stately and this is a I say that not as a judgment of whether or not I feel she's stately it is being projected. She writes, there is something about her, she's standing straighter, her her gestures are more deliberate. She's got a little bit of a point. You know, if she's making a point with her voice, she will stab her finger and make that point in that way. And then then there's an even a more aggressive demeanor that she puts forward. So there was a there's a very notable exchange between Judge Kavanaugh and Kamala Harris during Kavanagh's supreme Supreme Court confirmation hearings. And she did some of the questioning in those hearings, and very different demeanor in that case. So in that case, she was seated at a very long, shared bench that is shared by all the members of the committee and she was leaning forward now leaning forward either on her elbows or on her forearms. And but with her hands up in between her hands, she was gripping a pen and holding that pen with two hands holding it level. So parallel to the bench or the you know, the the long table that she's at, and leaning far forward such that her shoulders are up, and she had really only two postures during that hearing, either leaning forward or leaning further forward. She was not at all back, and she was glaring. The glare that she was shooting at Kavanaugh was very stern, tight lipped. Her tie her tight lips kind of pulled to one side with her brows mitt and some wrinkling on her forehead. And the only smiles she allowed during that confirmation hearing. Were slight. And I would say they were either condescending or disdainful smiles. So when she flashed them, it was very intentional. I would suggest perhaps with a politicians who are women, they they are called upon to actively express a broad range of emotions. And Kamala Harris certainly does. She can she can put on that smile that beam. She's a beautiful woman, and she puts on this very warm, friendly smile. But then the prosecutor comes out. And and and she can be absolutely stern and cutting in her demeanor and her glare. She's very, very good at that.

Christine Malec :

There's a concept called gravitas. And it refers to the intensity or the authority with which a person speaks and I raise it now, just because it's something I might want to come back to later on. It's it's something that you'd sort of know it when you see it. And so I just want to plant that seed now as something that maybe after we've described all four of them that we can we can come back to. So let's talk about Mike Pence, what can you say about him?

JJ Hunt :

So Mike Pence is 61 years old about 5 foot 10. He's got an average physique for a man of his age, so he's a bit thick, but not overly so not a heavyset man or anything. He's a white man has white hair, Hazel brown eyes, a little bit of a ruddy complexion sometimes, but truly nothing really notable. He's a 61 year old man, he's got a pretty average complexion for a white man of 61 years. His eyes are close set, and they're deep set. So he's got narrow, close set deep set eyes with a fair bit of wrinkling at the corners. Again, it's part of the narrow eyes, you tend to get wrinkles around the corners. He has fairly dark eyebrows for someone with such stark white hair. And his hair is uh, his very short. It's worn with a side part. So there was a an old Simpsons episode where grandpa Simpson is watching TV. I think there's an old football player and grandpa Simpson let's loose with a line that is he that's a haircut. You can set your watch to. I don't really know what it means, but I know that it is This is what he's talking about. Mike Pence has a haircut, and frankly a demeanor that you can set your watch to. He is a stoic man, he is not a big smiler. When he does smile, it's usually close lipped and very tight, very small. I guess ironically, he does actually have significant smile lines. These are the lines that go down from the corners of your, of your nose and down around the sides of your mouth. But his smile lines tend to kind of pull the corners of his mouth down. So he often has a slight frown, and a slightly knit brow that that's kind of his resting face. He's not an overly animated person. When he speaks, he sometimes nods his head. You know, that's kind of his his gesturing. He nods his head as he speaks. And he does occasionally point a finger for emphasis when he's speaking. If he's at a podium, he grips the sides of the podium, that's that's his default hand position is gripping the sides of the podium. So he will turn and engage with the audience. But largely he is, you know, straight shoulders straight back, gripping the side of the podium. He's quite tight, quite controlled, but not with a militant like not a military tightness, like not a not a standing straight, chest puffed kind of. He's there's a tight and small controlled vibe that he's got. He's because he's a vice president, and he's got Donald Trump as his president, he is quite often in the background, he's on the stage to the side, he's not the one at the podium regularly. And when he is in those positions, he he'll hold his hands in front of him. So kind of like his hands are clasped in front of his belt. And he just stands and he's got this very neutral expression with maybe a slight grin closed mouth, grin. And he is a fairly unemotional person. That's that's his his persona is, is tight, he's in control. He is someone you can set your watch to.

Christine Malec :

I'm forming questions that compare and contrast. But let's, let's talk about Joe Biden,

JJ Hunt :

Joe Biden. So Biden is 77 years old, about six feet tall, quite thin. He's a white man with thinning silver white hair. His hair is he's got a very high forehead, his hairs quite high, his hairline is quite high on his head, and it's brushed back. So the silver thin hair that's brushed back, but it can't quite cover the very large bald spot on the back of his head. There's actually a fair bit of information and imagery online about his hair, some people talking about whether it's a transplant and taking a look at photos from his long political career, you can look back at photos from you know, whatever, 20 years ago. And, you know, as a casual observer, I can say that there's nothing extraordinary about his thinning hair. But for what it's worth, there is some close up photographic evidence over time that does suggest perhaps he has a hair transplant. But again, this isn't something like you would look at him and say, Wow, check out that hair transplant. It's not notable. He's got a long face. That's in keeping with his tall, he's tall and thin, so is a long face. His skin is quite uneven in tone. So he has some age spots, and he often has like little nicks, small little nicks or blemishes on his skin that kind of that just come with being 77 years old. He has again, quite small, narrow eyes. He does often smile, and he's someone who does smile with his eyes, you know, there's a bit of a twinkle in the eyes and the upturned at the corners of his eyes. And in his lips are very thin kind of turning in a little bit. When he gestures, he often gestures with both hands, often symmetrically, so he'll have like two hands out in front of them. And sometimes they're in fist and he'll pump both fists at the same time or, you know, he'll point with with two fingers or just he often has both hands out. When he's gesturing. He's he wears suits, of course a lot of suits. His suits are quite slim cut. So they're fashionable suits, slim cut. Nothing. He's not a Natty dresser. But he looks quite comfortable in a nice suit. And he's also you know, he'll regularly wear a blazer with no tie, or he'll wear just a, you know, just a collared shirt, just a button down shirt. You know, he's not married to uniform. The way some some political candidates are married to a specific suit. He likes to jog when he moves from place to place, whether it's toward a podium or toward an interview, or a lot of the times in his promotional videos, he likes to jog. He likes to run from place to place to place, I guess it you know, 77 years old, he wants to make sure everyone sees him as being young and fit, and cool. And I think that's where his aviator sunglasses come in. So have you heard Do you know of the like Biden's aviator sunglasses and

Christine Malec :

I don't even know what aviator sunglasses are.

JJ Hunt :

Okay, well, let's start there. So aviator sunglasses. This is a particular kind of sunglasses been around for a long time actually were developed for pilots. They've got large dark lenses that are kind of more or less straight across the top of their tears teardrop shaped lenses with kind of rounded corners, and they have wireframes I believe in Biden's case he has glasses with gold wireframes they became very popular in the 1980s. This was like the Tom Cruise and Top Gun sunglasses. And so that's when they really established themselves as like, you know, a high fashion sunglasses, and Biden loves his his sunglasses, he claims he's had the same pair of aviator sunglasses for 58 years, and Vanity Fair actually wrote an article about his sunglasses, where they go into these glasses and the meaning behind them in great detail. And if, if you'll pardon the pun, the article examines his entire character, his persona, his relationship with voters through the lenses of his aviator sunglasses. And it's become like a symbol for Joe Biden. Stephen Colbert uses these aviator sunglasses as his impression of Biden. And Biden himself kind of makes jokes about them, he uses them as a prop. And when he started his Instagram account in 2019, the very first photo that he put out on his account was a picture of his aviator sunglasses on his white house desk, and The Aviator glasses are right in the foreground. And in the background is Joe Biden out of focus, seated reading a document and he's flanked by these two glowing formal desk lamps, and a flag. He's got an American flag on one side, and then a white flag adorned with the vice presidential coat of arms and the other, but front and center right in focus. His aviator sunglasses, they are a big part of his persona that he is putting forward.

Christine Malec :

What do what do they convey? I mean, if you haven't read the vanity fair article, and you just see aviator sunglasses, what what's the what's the adjective that comes to mind?

JJ Hunt :

Yeah, so they're slightly different to different people, but the aviator sunglasses, maybe either are cool, or were cool. So depending on your point of view, they were cool in the 80s. And he kind of you know, one of the things that is that they speak about in this article and I've read elsewhere is is kind of has a locked him into this, that he's a boomer and he is locked into this cool in the 80s. Right, and he has continued to get older, but he is still at heart, that cool guy from the 1980s even if he's now 77 years old, they're definitely part of a youthful vibe that he wants to give off. You know, he wears him when he drives in a convertible and a few of his, you know, promo videos and you know, late night sketches, and he puts them on with a flare at at rallies to you know, he gets a laugh out of it. There's definitely there's a youthful quality. But if you want to go deeper on the meaning of these things, you certainly can.

Christine Malec :

I'm sure it's fair to say that every single nuance and aspect of politicians appearance at this caliber is calculated. And I'm interested to hear that some of the politicians are show their age in different ways which which you would expect on one hand, but on another hand there celebrities have such high caliber. Is there ever any examples where they're photoshopped? To look younger, or they wear makeup to to look younger, or to look more in line with a celebrity vibe.

JJ Hunt :

Absolutely, I mean lots of images where they're photoshopped in these days, a lot of that editing is done by internet users to either make candidate look better or worse. And but all of these people, all of them, Mike Pence, Kamala Harris, Biden, Donald Trump, they're all wearing makeup to some degree or another. They're all doings, you know, they are presenting themselves in such a way that they you have to have stylists and hair stylists and, you know, shoppers and all sorts of people as part of your team. And which makes the Donald Trump phenomenon all the more curious because his choices are, they're different. They're, they're different.

Christine Malec :

And let's jump off let's let's let's hear about Trump.

JJ Hunt :

Yeah, he's. So I should start by saying like, when you describe Donald Trump, he, there's so much about Donald Trump, that is extreme, right? And his choices - we've just been talking about his choices and clothing, his choices in style, expressions, demeanor, he's like every other politician in that he is he's created a character that he is presenting to the public. And the fact is that the the character that john that Donald Trump is presenting is a fairly extreme character. And, you know, like I've done with the other candidates, I'm going to do my best to describe him and the character that he's the persona that he's presenting, I'm going to try my best to describe it neutrally. But in the same way that when you quote Donald Trump, it can sound kind of like a parody. Sometimes describing his appearance accurately, and describing his demeanor accurately, can kind of sound like I'm poking fun. And I'm not trying to he is just, it's just that honestly, his character is extreme. His choices are extreme. So Donald Trump is a 74 year old white man. He's fairly heavy set. He's a bigger guy. Some would go so far as to say he's heavy. When he's photographed golfing, which he's photographed, you know, golfing quite regularly from a distance. You can see when he's wearing like a, you know, a color shirt, tucked into golfing pants or slacks. You can see that he's got a pretty round belly. He's a bigger man. He's about six feet tall. Reports vary, but he's about six feet tall. And he has a fairly boxy shaped head that's, you know, exaggerated by his hair, which we'll talk about in a minute. He has heavy bags under his eyes, and yellow blond eyebrows that match his hair color. And when he smiles, he has quite round cheeks. And you know, in a mouth full of very white teeth. He has a quite a lot of excess skin on his neck that hangs loose and the skin is kind of tucked into his shirt color. And that the way it tucks in often creates a vertical fold line in of skin above the knot in his tie. And he Donald Trump does have an orange complexion. So this is of course, something that there's been lots of jokes about this, lots of memes about this. But it's it's noticeable. He has a darker orange coloring that I would suggest is kind of in the neighborhood of like a burnt orange color. It's really it's not a natural skin tone that I'm aware of. His skin tone appears to be from a tanning machine or a makeup or maybe it's both and I say that because the skin around his eyes is noticeably it's paler it's it's pinkish, and if there's a if there's a strong wind that blows the hair away from his face, there is a notable line of pale skin at his hairline where it looks like you know the the tanning machine or the makeup didn't quite reach the edges of the hairline. And it's you know, I should mention that it's it's it can be a little bit difficult when you're looking at photos and and videos of some of these politicians because they are touched up by people on the internet. You do have to be kind of careful because sometimes the images that are put forward have been doctored. You know, you don't have to tweak a photo much to kind of amp up some of the colors. I did my best to find photos that were from reputable. reputable news sources not just like, you know, photos of people bouncing around on the internet saying, hey, look, go bold, you know, whatever. I tried my best not to do that because they were everywhere. Oh my god, they're everywhere.

Christine Malec :

Oh.

JJ Hunt :

So speaking of Donald Trump's hair, it is a yellowish blond color. It's he has a part on the left, and then his hair swoops over the top and across the front of his head. And then that that same scoop of hair is then brushed back over the top and down the back of his head to his color. So again, that's a swoop over the front, over the top, all the way back down to his color. And I was trying to figure out how to describe because it's iconic, and it's been made fun of and it's been the butt of jokes and whatever. So how do I accurately describe Donald Trump's hair and it made me think of, actually my grandmother, my grandmother had a, she would die and set her hair regularly. And we always joked with her, that she was a bashful blonde, and the color of the bashful blonde on her white hair, and her thin hair that had been set to kind of create a shape around her head. This is very much what Donald Trump's hair looks like. It's a set hair shape, it's a bit sculpted, and it really is quite thin. And there's something about this, the dyed blonde on white hair, there's a yellowish kind of quality to it. And the way it is structured on his head, you can see that it's quite thin. But again, then there are photos when he's in the wind, and his hair is blowing all over the place. And that's when you get to see just how long and just how thin his hair actually is. You can see it's, you know, if his hair was just hanging straight down, it would probably be well past his shoulders in some spots. But it's not it's kind of it's pushed up and across and back. And so it's sculpted into place. In terms of his his dress, so Donald Trump generally wears dark blue suits, often with a red tie. The suit city wears our oversized suits. So you know, I talked about Joe Biden suits being quite trim. And Mike Pence, the suits, he tends to wear just pretty straightforward, dark suits, and they are, you know, well cut, but they're not particularly fashionable. And Donald Trump's suits are, they're big, you can see, again, I'm not a fashion guy, but you can just by glancing at the suit jeans that are oversized. Some people would say it's he wears oversized suits, because it covers some of his weight. Or I've heard some people say that perhaps there's a there's like an every man quality about a guy who suit isn't perfectly tailored. So maybe that's part of the part of the persona, right, the suit that's just a little bit ill fitting. And similarly, he wears his ties again, often read, but not exclusively. But he usually wears his ties quite long. The convention is that men try to get their ties to fall, such that the tip is at the belt buckle. And if you have your tie shorter than that, so that the point of your tie is significantly above your belt buckle. The way the tie sits, it kind of exaggerates your belly, and makes it looks kind of silly. It's got a silly look. If you let that tie go really long below the belt. It looks sloppy. And this is again, in no small part. This is just convention. But there is actually a there's a silliness to the short tie. And there's a sloppiness to the long tie that's a little bit hard to describe. Trump generally wears his ties several inches longer than this convention and this, I mean, this is obviously a conscious choice. So why he does it. I don't know. But, but he absolutely does. And then there's his posture. Donald Trump has very interesting posture, he tends to be pitched forward at the waist. So if you wanted to, you know, imitate Donald Trump's posture, you know, I would suggest you stand straight up, straight back, straight legs, and then bend forward at the waist, not pushing your bum out, just bending forward at the waist. And if you start with your arms kind of dangling loose at your sides, as they naturally would be And then you start pitching forward at the waist, you'll find that your arms start hanging down in front of you. Not at your sides, but in front. And that's how Donald Trump stands. Pitched forward with his arms kind of hanging down in front of him it's very distinctive.

Christine Malec :

Could it be a biomechanical? Like, he's got a bad low back or something? Does it look like? Just he's an older guy with you know?

JJ Hunt :

It could be, it could be. I mean, I've heard, honestly online there's everything from theories about neurological conditions, to lifts in his shoes, right?

Christine Malec :

What does it look like? When you just see that? Do you go? That's an old guy who's got a little low back trouble or does this all guy who's eccentric? And he's doing it on purpose for some other reason?

JJ Hunt :

Yeah, I would say it's definitely not a low back - I'm an old guy who's got a bad back.

Christine Malec :

And that's not the way you look!

JJ Hunt :

It's difficult. Like if you do try this, it's, it's difficult to maintain this. It's a little bit like he's wearing ski boots. So weighted boots, and so you're allowed, like, gravity lets you get, the weight lets you defy gravity a little bit and pitch forward. It certainly isn't proud. Standing tall, chest out. It's right like and you can feel this. If you do this yourself. You can feel how you feel you don't do this and think wow, this feels really strong. It feels kind of... dopey, right.

Christine Malec :

You also have to crank your neck back In order to see?

JJ Hunt :

Well, and that that might be it. Apparently he hates his neck. He hates the skin under his chin. And so possibly there's a there's a bit of that because it does forces his head forward.

Christine Malec :

It would straighten, it would stretch the front of your neck.

JJ Hunt :

It could be that it certainly could be.

Christine Malec :

Posture is fascinating. I, we could have a whole episode on posture.

JJ Hunt :

Absolutely!

Christine Malec :

I would love that.

JJ Hunt :

Totally. And similarly, his gestures! Donald Trump's gestures are, again, as extreme as any other part of him, right? He loves holding his two hands out in front of him in a so like, you know, just put your two hands out in front with your palms facing each other fingers kind of relaxed. It's kind of like you're saying I caught a fish this big, right? Like it's kind of and he does this. But then he moves his hands in and out. So palms closer together, palms further apart. Oh, over and over and over, in and out, in and out. And someone, God bless the internet, someone took us the series of these videos. And I'll post a link to them in our media. They took a series of videos of Trump giving speeches, and they put an accordion a squeeze box in his hands. And then they put the sound effect of the instrument being played synced to his actions. It's called Life accordion to Trump. Oh my goodness. And it's first of all hilarious. But unwittingly, what they've done is they've created a brilliant sonification of the gesture, right? Like, if you listen to this, you can hear how often his hands go in, out in out.

Christine Malec :

That is so blind friendly. I'm so intruiged!

Unknown Speaker :

So we'll definitely put the link up to that. Because, honestly, if I tried got all of my accessibility nerd friends together and said, Let's come up with a sonification of this gesture.

Christine Malec :

You couldn't have done better.

JJ Hunt :

We couldn't do better than the guy who's making fun of Trump on the internet. They really did a great job.

Christine Malec :

Wow.

JJ Hunt :

And then Donald Trump has these animated expressions, right? He has a very rubber face like the kind of rubber face like a Jim Carrey or something has well uses his expressions constantly. He's got like these rubber lips that are all over the place. Sometimes they're puckered. Sometimes they're open wide with the corners pulled back, and you can actually hear it. Sometimes the pronunciations that he he comes out with that are more unusual. Our you can see it in in the shape that he's making with his mouth. And one of the things he really likes to do especially at a at big rallies, when he's having his supporter rallies, his heel flip through a series of static expressions very quickly, to convey a series of thoughts.

Christine Malec :

Oh!

JJ Hunt :

Yeah, it's really, kind of like the way a person uses emojis. Right? So if you wanted a tweet, and you want to convey at the end of that tweet that something is kind of weird. Something is kind of gross, and you're embarrassed by it. You might throw three emojis up one after the other are weird. Yeah, gross, embarrassed and so that would convey those three thoughts. And Trump does the same thing in his speeches, he'll make a statement. And while the crowd is responding, right, either they're cheering or they're booing whatever it is. He then will flash a series of exaggerated expressions to kind of help Further his statement non verbally, right?

Christine Malec :

Oh, oh!

JJ Hunt :

It's really interesting. The Guardian newspaper wrote an article in 2017, called the seven faces of Donald Trump. Again, we'll post the link to it because they do an excellent job of breaking down some of like his greatest hit faces, like the angry face, or the big smile, or the one that they call the chin jut. So the Donald Trump chin jut is when he he's he has downturned lips, he kind of crinkles his nose a little bit, raises his chin, and he tilts his head back. And it's very cocky. It's very proud. It's like, yeah, I've got this, I've got this, you know. And then he's got a face that is the zipped smile. That's what the The Guardian has dubbed it. And this is when he pulls his chin way back. And he pulls the corners of his closed mouth way back and he admits his eyebrows. And so you can imagine you pull your chin way back and you got this closed mouth and your eyebrows. And it's like, what are you crazy, when you seriously It was really exaggerated. And then there's one that they call the exaggerated mouth, which is this extreme puckered lips. Donald Trump loves this, like puckered lips expression, any and he throws it in all over the place. It's, I mean, we all pucker our lips, if you pretending to blow a kiss to someone, you know, you would just make this puckered lips, but he can pull his lips forward and pucker them to the point of it looking a little bit lewd. And he does this when he kisses or when he air kisses again, he does that a lot. But he does it also when he's intentionally speaking very slowly for emphasis, kind of like the way people talk to babies. And I'm not trying to do a Donald Trump impression, but just so that you can hear it in the way your lips come together

Christine Malec :

Yeah, yeah, totally.

JJ Hunt :

So he does that sometimes to make a face. Like again, he'll put that in his, you know, series of expressions while his audience is responding to whatever he said. But he also does that, when he's like trying to drink a bottle of water. You know, he's this a lot has been smoking and made fun of wood, he holds a little plastic water bottle with two hands. And he makes this kind of extreme puckered lip face and he pulls a bottle up to his lips, it's um, and when he does this, it's such an extreme pucker, that the red inside of his lips is very red. And it's in sharp contrast to the pancake makeup. On the outside of his lips. Like you can see the line on the inside of his lips were like the makeup ends and the inside of his mouth takes over. Like I said that he is a man of extreme choices. And Donald Trump is big and he's out there and his gestures are huge. And his his facial expressions are wild. And there they are all over the place. And for some they would seem nonsensical, but I don't think they are I think they they are well chosen, maybe not necessarily laid out in the moment. But the you know, the, I think the suite of of expressions is a well chosen and a well understood suite of expressions from which he can choose when he's giving these big speeches, big gestures, but he's just big, everything about him has to be big in order in order for this to sell.

Christine Malec :

I'm thinking about a comment I made earlier about the concept of gravitas, which is a big word that sort of refers to the gravity of a person or the personal power that they seem to convey. And when I think about politics, even 30, 40 years ago, and more gravitas, quality was an essential component for a successful politician. And I'm getting the sense now that the the range of what is appealing politically is changed because when you describe Donald Trump and his gestures and appearances, they're much more about the the showman or the the visuals of the expressiveness. And so in some of the descriptions you gave of candidates, the word gravitas did come to mind. And I think it's something a lot of politicians still still strive for. And some people just naturally have it because they have a sense of personal power that you you feel and other other politicians clearly are going for a different different vibe.

JJ Hunt :

Yeah, absolutely. There would be moments of gravitas with each one of these four candidates. And and you know, there would be different segments of the population who would probably attach that word to the demeanor of these different politicians. Some might say that Mike Pence and his stoic strength, there's some gravitas there. That might not be a word that I would use. But some people might feel that. And some might say a similar thing about Donald Trump. If I personally was going to attach the word gravitas to any of these candidates, that would be Kamala Harris.

Christine Malec :

If that's what I first started thinking about, it was the way you describe her. That's, that's where when the word first popped into my head.

JJ Hunt :

For sure, yeah. She does have that when she was accepting the nomination when she's speaking to a roomful of people. When she is in that speech mode, there is gravitas to not only her voice, but to her demeanor, the way she stands, and the way she gestures. It is neither wild. And, you know, and showy, nor small and tight it but then again, how much of it is, is as a show how much of it just is natural? I think you're right, you probably have to have some of it just inherent, you can't fake charm entirely. You've got to have some of that, you know, inherent in who you are. And I think gravitas is similar in that way. But yeah, it's a it's an interesting observation, Chris, that it isn't something that is as necessary, you probably would have had a hard time. I don't know, pulling dates out of the air here. But you know, in different generations of politicians, I think you would have had to have some gravitas. And now, maybe that's not going to be the you know, one of the top five features of your style.

Christine Malec :

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Kamala Harris
Mike Pence
Joe Biden
Donald Trump