Posts tagged with "Deputy Editor Brie Schwartz"

Passion or performance art? Body language experts decipher sensual Oscars duet

February 24, 2019

Is it passion or just a performance? That’s what the worldwide audience wondered as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed a steamy duet of the song, “Shallow,” from their blockbuster movie, A Star Is Born, at the Oscars on February 21.

And, as Brie Schwartz, deputy editor of, commented, “Thanks to their clear, err, comfort levels with each other, everyone … has speculated that there’s been an off-screen relationship brewing as well—regardless of how unfair those rumors are to Cooper’s girlfriend, Irina Shayk.

So Schwartz asked two body language experts to weigh in on photos of their performance for an exclusive Oprah report.

What struck Atlanta-based body language expert Patti Wood  was their extended, atypical, unbroken eye contact.

Sure, it was a carefully choreographed performance, but Wood told, “This mutual gaze was a “longing to touch” or a “pre-coitus” stare. “That’s why everybody went crazy watching it!” Yep. Felt that.

Blanca Cobb, a body language expert based in Greensboro, North Carolina, agreed, telling Schwartz that the chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper was as palpable at the Oscars as it is in the film. “When they look at each other it’s as if they’re looking into each other’s souls,” she says.

The duet—which was recognized during the awards ceremony as best original song of the year— set the stage for their characters’ romance in the movie..

What makes their real life chemistry even hotter than their characters’, however, is Cooper and Gaga’s connection. Their interactions are tender, sweet,” Cobb explains.

She adds, “Their physical closeness and touches during their Oscars performance screams attraction.”

Also of note? The moment Gaga clutched her womb while Cooper was singing to her. “The stomach touch showed that Gaga felt a moment of vulnerability,” Cobb told, adding, “Almost as if to calm the proverbial ‘butterflies in your stomach.’”

But of course, if they could simulate passion for the film, they also were capable of appearing ready for some action on the Oscars stage.

“To determine if they’ll turn into a real life love story, you’re better off watching their interactions when they’re not on-camera,” Cobb shares.

Take, for example, the way Cooper grasped her hand as he walked her off stage following their epic song.

“In multiple photos and joint appearances, Cooper and Gaga are not only vocal about their friendship and fondness for each other, but also they tend to show this closeness through touch,” explains Cobb. “Here, their hands are clasped in a less-romantic way, as indicated by the fact their palms are touching without their fingers interlacing, like a parent would lead a child.”

But then, you can also see the way he “puts his arm around her and brings her close to him,” when he thinks no one is paying attention, which suggests they’re more than just “buds.”

Of course, Schwartz reports, “only time will tell if Cooper and Gaga collaborate again (and by collaborate, we mean start dating). But for now, we can say with certainty that while there might have been 3,400 people at the Dolby Theater … for Gaga and Cooper, it seemed there were only two.”

Research contact: @BrieSchwartz

Quiz: How do you ‘X-press’ yourself?

February 4, 2019

Oprah Magazine recently ran a story about the X factor—and we don’t mean the TV series. It’s all about how we write the 24th letter of the alphabet when we’re not on a computer or a smartphone.

Browsing Twitter one day, Brie Schwartz, Oprah’s deputy editor, saw a quiz picked up by the Philadelphia-based artist, @smasey. Displaying the same visual that appears with our story, on January 19, she asked her friends, “Which way do you draw an X (colored line being the first stroke)?

Originally posted by the designer @cyanpotato, the quiz has been shared to date by at least 71,000 Twitter users and retweeted 18,000 times—catching the attention of media outlets (like Oprah’s and ours) and going viral in the process.

When the magazine asked its own Instagram followers how they depict the letter, most shared that they write like #7.

But many Oprah readers followed up with a question: What does that mean? So Schwartz asked certified master handwriting analyst Kathi McKnight—who has analyzed the signatures of everyone from Oprah, herself, to President Barack Obama—to break down what your X-writing style says about your personality.

And, as it turns out, many of you out there have a distinctly rebellious streak. Except, that is, if you chose #7.

Indeed, if you took the quiz and were one of the many folks to share that you’re a #7—which means you draw your X’s by starting a stroke on the top left of the page, moving the pen to the bottom right—McKnight says you’re not only in the norm, but also writing your X’s the “right” way.

In the English language, she explains, this is considered the “balanced” way to move your pen. “Think about it,” she told Schwartz. “We move from left to right across the page when writing—left margin to right margin. We start a cursive letter from left, and proceed to the right. In printing, we start at the top and stroke down,” she says.

Anything else would be considered a “regressive stroke,” which, according to handwriting analysis, reveals “rebelliousness, going back into the past, and negative self-talk,” McKnight explained.

Of course, because the chart shows computer-generated fonts rather than “real” penmanship, it’s a bit of a stretch to call this “handwriting analysis” since pressure, slant, and size are the key factors in determining personality. Still, McKnight says, the same principles can be applied here when simply just considering how you would draw an X.

So without further ado, here’s what McKnight believes your X-choice says about you (with thanks to Oprah Magazine, @smasey, and @cyanpotato):


If you draw your X with two reverse strokes, starting from the lower right, it indicates that while you may want to move forward, you have both feet stuck in the past.


If you draw both lines moving forward, yet starting in reverse—from bottom left, then the bottom right—you are a renegade. You have a strong desire to slingshot yourself out of your past and move forward, yet the past still has its grips on you.


The reversed strokes—starting top right—demonstrate that you’re a rebel without a cause.


Because only your second stroke is drawn the “normal” way—top right to bottom left— it implies that while you’re trying to focus on the future, a part of you is still tempted to go backwards, as if you’re driving while looking only through the rearview mirror.


The first half of this X—drawn from top right to bottom left—is made “correctly,” but the 2nd—drawn from bottom left to top right—is written in reverse direction, revealing that you’re a maverick. It feels good to live by your own rules, doesn’t it?


Because you start your stroke from bottom left, and out of order, you’re a trendsetter—and you own it.


This is how you were likely taught in school to write your letters, going from left to right. That indicates that you don’t tend to stray from the norm—and you like order and balance.


Like most of these choices (besides #7), if you start from the top right, you prefer to think outside of the box.

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