A Body Language Expert Helps Us Decode Ivanka & Jared’s Relationship

If you compare Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner to President Trump and first lady Melania, you may be able to point out a huge difference in how the couples interact with one another. Unlike Melania, Ivanka doesn’t do whatever it takes to avoid holding her husband’s hand. In fact, Jarvanka is practically always holding hands.

The power couple — made up of two thoroughly competent White House advisors — display more affection than the average pair of image-conscious millionaires turned politicos. We had to get to the bottom of the meaning behind their constant attachment: Is it a subconscious yearning for reassurance that they’re not screwing up the world? Is it affection, pure and sweet?

Body language expert Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, told Refinery29 that it actually probably stems from Ivanka’s relationship with her dad, a super-close bond that’s been the subject of a lot of coverage.

Not only is Ivanka on the record as her dad’s favorite (sorry, Tiff), but, as you may be aware, there are so many photos of her sitting on his lap. “You see pictures of her as a child where she had an affectionate, ‘high-touch’ relationship with her dad, so she sees this type of attention from men as normal,” Wood told us.

Ivanka is also likely modeling her behavior on that of Donald and Melania, said Wood. Although these days, Melania and Donald act about as awkward as a couple of 13-year-olds at their first Homecoming dance around each other, there was a time when they were super-touchy in public. “They used to hold hands all the time,” she said. Their behavior became normal to Ivanka.

What’s really interesting about the Jarvanka dynamic, Wood said, is that in many of the photos where they are holding hands, she is the one leading, and in many others, they are side-by-side or “on the same power plane.” From having analyzed thousands of celebrity-couple photos, she said this isn’t the norm for heterosexual celebrity couples. She’s only observed it in a few, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (he and Jen Aniston were generally on the same power plane) and J.Lo and pretty much everyone she’s dated. When they do hold hands, Donald always walks ahead of Melania.

This suggests Ivanka has the upper hand in the relationship, something we already knew from the Fire and Fury anecdote where they make a pact that she gets to run for president before Jared.

While you consider that prospect, click ahead to see our visual history of Ivanka and Jared holding hands. And then holding hands some more.

Blowing kisses to the crowd at the Inaugural Ball, after Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president, Ivanka is clearly the leader here.

Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

Holding hands like a bunch of newlyweds.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Here, Ivanka’s reaching out a hand to him is a sign of support.

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images.

The pair even holds hands as they head off to work at the White House.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The rare photo in which she lags behind, shaking hands with a fan at her dad’s Inauguration.

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.

All smiles and, surprise, holding hands at the state dinner for France’s Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron.

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

Holding hands while out in NYC.

Photo: Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/Getty Images.

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29

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