Neurologist Analyzes Why Ted Cruz’s Face Creeps People Out


Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been allegedly described by former classmates as “a huge asshole” and the distaste he’s garnered from others has caught the attention of Dr. Richard E. Cytowic, a professor of neurology at George Washington University, who analyzed Cruz in an article for Psychology Today.

He reports:

It’s hard to look at Ted Cruz’s face. He’s a brilliant orator with a sharp legal mind. But his expression unsettles me. I know my reaction is visceral and automatic, but as a neurologist it is my business to notice things out of the ordinary and probe them. The Senator’s atypical expressions leave me uneasy.

Cytowic notes that colleagues and former associates “loathe” him and points to a Bush alumnus who told the New York Times, “Why do people take such an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? It just saves time.”

He adds that former Senate Majority leader Bob Dole said that, “nobody likes him,” while Rep. Peter King sees “malice.”

According to The Washington Post, screenwriter Craig Mazin, Cruz’s former Princeton roommate, has called him a “huge asshole,” and “creepy.” He’s Tweeted, “Getting emails blaming me for not smothering Ted Cruz in his sleep in 1988.” The distaste for Cruz even extends beyond the US: Germans say Backpfeifengesicht, meaning a face in need of a good punch.

Personally, I think Cruz’s whiny little voice doesn’t help at all but I’m not a doctor of anything.

Cytowic further notes that humans learn to read faces from the day they are born and Cruz’s mouth tightens into a straight line, whereas people’s mouths usually turn upward when they smile.

If it deviates from this, the corners of his mouth bend down, not upwards. The outside of his eyebrows bend down, too, when he emotes, something so atypical that it disturbs me. Typically a person’s eyebrows arch up, as does the corrugator muscle that furrow the forehead. What is such a downturned face signaling?

Downturned expressions usually signal disagreeableness or disgust. But I honestly don’t know because such an expression is rare in the context of public presentations that are meant to win people over. He may well be unaware that the message of his body language is incongruent with his words.

He goes on to point to the “O” of Cruz’s mouth that is repeatedly captured in photos. You know the ones. Usually, if anger is portrayed, the mouth is pushed  forward in a pout.

Cytowic adds that Cruz’s doesn’t and to ‘Google “Ted Cruz smiling,” and judge for ourselves. It’s almost as if Cruz is devoid of genuine emotion.

Addicting Info reports:

With this in mind, it explains a lot about why practically everyone hates Ted Cruz. It isn’t just his policy. There are oodles of idiot Republicans we could hate for that same reason. Ted brings out a more visceral and emotional reaction, unlike most others. Even among his fellow Republicans nobody likes him, and that says a lot.

“For the record I am not a Democrat. I’m at a loss to verbalize what unsettles me so when I watch the freshman senator. But it leaves me cold,” he concludes.

Ted Cruz has a problem expressing himself and that shows, and it tends to put people off. When he tries, he perhaps tries too hard. If he is even trying. Or perhaps he’s just repulsive and that’s the end of that.

But if you ever wanted to punch him in the throat, that’s a normal reaction considering his facial expressions. It’s probably not you. it’s him.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.