We’ve known for some time now that Donald Trump is obsessed with crowd sizes, poll numbers, his net worth, his anatomical attributes — and in the last few days, his scale of victory. To the narcissist, related measures are all determinants of self-worth. Trump’s tantrum last week in a meeting with TV news executives and anchors surfaced a related concern. Trump lashed out at NBC for publishing what he termed unflattering photos of himself. Apparently, he has issues with his double chin.
If that was the week’s most publicized example of Trump’s vanity, however, it was not the most significant one. The most striking demonstration of Trump’s obsession with himself and his own image came from an extended interview program with Trump conducted by TMZ reporter Harvey Levin for FOX News. The program is aptly titled: “‘OBJECTified: Donald Trump’: An Exclusive & Revealing Interview with the President-Elect.”
In it, Trump’s “Narcissus complex” is on full display. Although the video didn’t get a lot of attention, let alone scrutiny, the friendly and disarming Levin scored a good chunk of time with Trump, touring different parts of Trump’s inner sanctum while asking him all sorts of personal questions.
As a non-verbal illustration of vanity, The “Magazine Table” segment of the program proves so telling, it could be been mistaken for a behavioral experiment.
To summarize, Trump and his office staff have an entire office in his executive suite at Trump Tower dedicated to stacks and stacks of magazines featuring the CEO on the cover. Levin was so surprised and apparently taken aback by the display and the self-aggrandizement, one segment of the final program was dedicated to it.
Marveling at the collection, Levin moves in the logical direction, asking Trump about his ego. Trump’s answer is mostly generic. (He mostly says how he’s had enough winning, and now he wants to serve. …That after adding that what’s on the table is only a small sample.) What proves fascinating, though, as the two men talk, is how Trump seems incapable of concentrating on Levin or his questions without stealing constant glances at the piles, and himself.
The screenshots below are pulled from the segment in chronological order. (You can also watch the segment from the 34:50 minute mark through the end of the program.)
The myth of Narcissus staring at his own reflection might be allegory, but in Trump’s case, it’s literal. To appreciate how much Trump is consumed with his own image, of course — and how quick he is to lash out in response to perceived weakness, injury or slight — one need only follow his Twitter feed. What’s creepy to behold, though — in America’s president-elect and soon-to-be number one public servant — is the direct visual evidence of a man who literally can’t get enough of himself.