Trump Scowls in Photos and Portraits Because He Thinks it Makes Him Look Tough … Like Winston Churchill

I was perusing some old news stories today, doing some research for a story I am working on.

And I came across an older New York Times story that detailed why Trump always scowls in his photos, and it’s reportedly to look “tough.”

Trump told staffers working on his campaign that he wanted to look “like Winston Churchill” in photographs and images, believing that he would appear tougher.

That is why Donnie, like Winnie, reportedly prefers to scowl, squint and maintain a general sourpuss on his face whenever he is in front of a camera.

It also explains why Trump may have returned the bust of the prime minister to the Oval Office, with the proximity to his own desk allowing him to practice the downcast frown and furrowed brow favored by the former leader of the United Kingdom.

There is little else Trump has in common with Churchill however, who was a wartime hero, a lifelong politician, a writer, a painter, a loyal husband and a celebrated orator whose most famous speech was a passionate denouncement of the policies and politics of Russia at the start of the Cold War.

Churchill managed to amass a remarkable resume of impressive accomplishments over the course of his lifetime, achieving an unprecedented number of feats in his 90 years.

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By the age of 25, Churchill had fought in four wars, written three books about his experiences on the battlefield and laid the groundwork for his political career with his one, and only, unsuccessful run for Parliament.

It was at that age that Churchill, while acting as a wartime correspondent during the Second Boer War, was captured and placed in a South African POW camp.

He was able to eventually escape, and his heroics at the time would have likely been awarded with a military medal many believed, but this was not possible due to the fact that he was a civilian.

Trump had just been handed his father’s company at the age of 25, with his first move being to change the name from Elizabeth Trump & Son to the Trump Organization.

The Vietnam War was still playing out overseas, but Trump managed to avoid the draft with four student deferments while in college and later a medical deferment because he claimed to have ‘heel spurs.’

It was at this age that Trump and his father began to draw the attention of the Justice Department, who had received multiple complaints that the organization was systematically discriminating against African Americans looking to rent apartments in their buildings.

But Trump, like Churchill, does press his face into a squinty-eye scowl while being photographed.

The two men were also both Americans, with Churchill becoming the very first of just eight people to be granted an honorary citizenship.

Does this look tough to you?

LOL, this is the portrait of Trump hanging in the Colorado Capitol:

And Trump’s frown actually has a name, “alpha face.”

This expression is the antithesis of submissiveness. Psychologists have discovered that smiling men are widely perceived as less dominant and that powerful men show reduced levels of smiling. Individuals who want to demonstrate that they are not a threat are more likely to raise their eyebrows, widen their eyes and flash a smile – the precise opposite of what Trump does in this effort to remind everyone that he is not the kind of guy you can push around.

Trump also tries to look tough with a “chin jut.”

The chin-jut relies on the fact that men with bigger chins have higher levels of testosterone and, partly for this reason, are more likely to reach positions of power. In a study at West Point, for example, it was discovered that male cadets who had larger chins were more likely to reach the rank of general than their small-chinned peers. By using the chin-jut, Trump is taking full advantage of this fact – tilting his head back, thrusting out his lower jaw and attempting to give the impression that he deserves to be in charge.

Here is Trump in Churchill’s chair…

What do you think, does Trump look “tough” to you?

meet the author

Nicole James is a lifelong Democrat and political activist who first cut her teeth as a teenager volunteering for Mike Dukakis’ presidential campaign. She has worked and volunteered for John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, HFA (Hillary For America) and Organizing For Action. She’s passionate about liberal and progressive causes, and considers President Obama her most favorite president ever. She holds her Bachelor’s from Boston College and her Master’s from Columbia University, both in Economics. When not working as a writer, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her three college-aged children.


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