Even with all the juicy things we learned from the Kardashian sisters' appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Monday night, I couldn’t get past their answers to the one question that’s been on everyone’s minds (well, after where Khloe and Tristan really stand now).
When a caller asked if they thought Kylie Jenner would get engaged to Travis Scott, their reactions were all very different, but equally telling... and equally meh. Let’s take a closer look. When asked…
Kourtney Kardashian slowly blinked and kept her face very neutral. It reminded me of Stassi’s reaction when Katie and Kristen were first speculating about Jax proposing to Brittany when she already knew it was happening — suddenly her phone was the most important thing in the entire room and she didn’t take her focus off it. It was the expression someone makes when they’re trying not to react while repeating BE COOL to themselves in their head (No, just me?)
Kim Kardashian was so quick to speak up and say “I… I think they will, yeah.” No smile, no warm reaction. It’s like someone asked her if she thought the Rams would make it to the Super Bowl. Her response was unemotional and without any visible reaction… but keep in mind she deals with Kanye’s tweets all day, so she’s clearly not easy to shock.
Khloe Kardashian …shrugged. Shrugged?! Her face was literally the same exact reaction I have to free cookies in the office. Are they my favorite cookies? No. Will I eat them? Eh, sure. Why not? (Shrug.) That was not the response I’d have if asked if my baby sister was going to get engaged to her boyfriend and the father of her absolutely adorable daughter. [Full disclaimer: The author is an only child and knows absolutely nothing about her possible reaction in this situation.]
Now Kim, Khloe and Kourtney had specific, animated answers to other sensitive questions, like how their relationship is with their (once) estranged father, Caitlyn Jenner, but they were so reserved here that there must be something to it.
But what does it all mean?
Luckily, I’ve learned quite a few useful things from body language expert Patti Wood in the past, and applied that knowledge here. See, and judge for yourself, in the clip above (around the 10-and-a-half-minute mark).
First, compare the sisters’ reactions to their baseline. Wood explained that everyone has a baseline behavior and that someone’s silence is not necessarily a “tell” of a lie; people who are very animated typically become more animated when lying and people who are very reserved become even more so. "In reality, you go to the extreme of what you are," Wood said.
Kourtney’s responses throughout their WWHL appearance were typically more measured and less animated than her sisters’, and this here was the extreme example of a minimal reaction… no reaction at all.
On the other hand, Kim hesitated and stuttered the word “I” before continuing “think they will.” She also looked up and to the right which is a brain processing cue that shows someone is recalling information. Looking up and to the left is often falsely thought to be a "tell" when someone’s lying when in actuality it means the person is looking to create knowledge (to the left) vs. recall knowledge (to the right).
It’s also important to again note the person’s baseline. When Kim is asked a question about her husband immediately after this one, she again looked up and to the right to recall that information.
Khloe was so dismissive with a shrug, it’s almost like she’s consciously trying to downplay the situation and act like it’s no big deal and not hype it up at all. In fact, seated next to Andy, it seems her gesture shut it down so clearly, that he moved right along to the next question.
There was no effusive — "it’d be so great if they got engaged "or even a "no, they’re both so young." I believe all three sisters were once again unanimously united beforehand in giving this non-answer answer, and not lying on national television about something they know already to be true. There's no need to answer a question that they can consider rhetorical ... I mean, or maybe not. (Shrug. Insert my own feigned nonchalance here.)
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