Ivanka Trump body language: First Daughter given ‘cold-shoulder’ by world leaders at G20


Fans rushed to social media this weekend, after a video went viral of Ivanka Trump  engaging in a conversation with a host of world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May. The so-called First Daughter of the United States was criticised for her attempt to involve herself in the conversation, which was about social justice.In the video clip Ivanka didn’t appear to be getting much air time, as Theresa cut in and speak over her, while French lawyer Christine Lagarde turned away to focus her attention on May. Some Twitter users argued that Ivanka looked out of place, with one writing: “Absurdity at its best.”

Meanwhile, Democrat congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: “It may be shocking to some, but being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification.”

Others took to the social media site, agreeing the 37-year-old – who works as as an advisor to her father, US President Donald Trump – had been given the “cold shoulder” by the world leaders.

So was Ivanka being ignored?

Body language expert Judi James analysed the interaction, and believes Ivanka may well have been given the “cold shoulder.”

She shared her analysis with Express.co.uk, saying: “Moments like this can be misleading but it does very much look as though Ivanka might have received the cold-shoulder treatment as she tries to get chatty with the big hitters at the G20 summit.

“Standing in a group that includes May, Lagarde, Macron and Trudeau, Ivanka constantly tries to have a voice and participate.”

In one part of the clip, Ivanka turns to the French president. Eager to engage in the conversation, she nods, and makes a lot of movement, as if to grab his attention.

However, her body language isn’t mirrored by the French leader, 41, who seems to be directing his point at Theresa, with his eye contact focused on the British Prime Minister.

Judi continued: “Ivanka appears to attempt to talk over Macron, gesticulating and apparently adding to his point while he is speaking, even though his eye contact does seem to imply he’s addressing May and even Trudeau seems to signal his attention at that end of the group.

“It seems Ivanka gets the message though as she then clasps her hands in front of her torso and uses eye contact on Macron to signal silent attention to the one speaking. She even puts her hands behind her back next in a more passive display.”

In another part of the clip, Theresa appears to cut Ivanka off, resulting in Christine shifting her body and almost turning her back to Ivanka as she focuses on May.

Judi believes this is a key sign of Ivanka’s difference to the others, as she isn’t given the same attention when voicing her opinion.

She continued: “The key contrast in attention signals comes strongest from Christine Lagarde though. While May is making her point using emphatic gesticulation Lagarde turns her head to use eye contact that shows full active attention. She nods as May speaks and turns her eye to the front to show reflection and serious evaluation of her points.

“When Ivanka speaks Lagarde continues to stare ahead as though still immersed in May’s points. There is a little shake of her head as she looks down then very glances quickly at Ivanka before turning back to face forward again.”

So why is Ivanka being “left out”?

According to Judi, the outcome of this conversation could have a lot to do with Ivanka’s tone – which she points out is very different to the others – not forgetting the fact she is the president’s daughter and not a world leader in her own right, which could add to the awkwardness.

She added: “Part of the problem for Ivanka could be that she is out of kilter with the rest in terms of her non-verbal ingratiation techniques.

“Networking groups tend to form their own mimicry in terms of vocal tone, pace and body language. Being accepted by a group often entails mirroring them before and during speaking. Ivanka’s higher tone and staccato, non-emphatic gesticulation that lurches from assertive to passive defines her as the outsider here and that could be making life tougher for her at events like these.”

Donald Trump appeared to suffer from a similar issue during his meeting with Kim Jong-Un yesterday.

It looked like Donald, 73, was doing all the work as he chatted with the Supreme Leader of North Korea.

Ivanka Trump: Five facts about Donald Trump’s daughter

Real name

Ivanka is not, in fact, her real name. She actually shares her mother’s name Ivana.

Explaining why she is known as Ivanka in a 2010 tweet, she said: “In Czech, Ivanka is the baby name for Ivana, like Bobby is to Robert.”

TV appearances

Ivanka was well known to the American public before her father became President thanks to appearances on TV.

She made short cameos on Project Runway and Gossip Girl, as well as becoming a primary boardroom member on The Apprentice with Donald.


Ivanka married Jared Kushner on 25 October 2009 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, after a three month engagement.

Barron Trump served as ring bearer, as Ivanka wore a custom Vera Wang gown accessorised with diamonds from her fine jewellery collection.


Ivanka was raised as a Presbyterian Christian, but converted to Judaism to allow her to marry Jared Kushner.

Ivanka studied with Elie Weinstock from the Modern Orthodox Ramaz School, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City.

She now keeps kosher and observes the Jewish Sabbath. Ivanka said in the February 2015 edition of Vogue: “We’re pretty observant… It’s been such a great life decision for me… I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity.

“From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another. We don’t make phone calls.”


Ivanka ran a fashion line for 11 years, only recently closing it down. She also had a fine jewellery store which closed in March 2017.

Ivanka now focuses on her role as an advisor to the President, Donald Trump.

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