After President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden spent time visiting former President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter at their home in Plains, Georgia, the internet is freaking out about an odd photo commemorating the occasion. The Carter Center, the former president's human rights organization, shared a photo of the Carters and the Bidens smiling together from the Carters' living room — but the Bidens appear to completely dwarf the Carters in size.
Questions about the photo immediately flooded Twitter, with users wondering why everything in it — from the furniture to artwork to even the Carters themselves — appeared two times smaller than the Bidens, who knelt on the floor next to the Carters, who were sitting in armchairs. In fact, the Bidens tower so much over the Carters that it almost appears as if the photo was taken in a tiny dollhouse.
Thank you President and Mrs. Biden! pic.twitter.com/QcA33iUev4— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) May 4, 2021
Luckily, Jimmy Carter biographer Jonathan Alter provided somewhat of an explanation to The Washington Post, explaining that the optical illusion lies somewhere in between variations in presidential height and unusual photography methods. He told the Post that at 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-10, the Carters "aren't tiny people, but they are in the medium-to-smaller size among presidents and first ladies." Combined with "the fact that when you're very old, you shrink," that could be reason enough for Joe Biden, who is just under 6 feet tall, to appear much bigger on camera. However, the first lady is about half a foot shorter than her husband.
Marlena Sloss, a freelance photographer who contributes to the Post, said the image also appeared to have been taken with strong flash and a wide-angle lens. The flash reduces shadows, a key part of what allows objects to have depth, which means that despite President Biden kneeling much farther in front of Rosalynn Carter, they appear to be side-by-side on the same plane, Sloss explained. The illusion was magnified by the fact that a wide angle lens was most likely used, helping to capture everything in the frame from within a tight space.
Lens or no lens, height difference or no height difference, social media users had an absolute field day with the bizarre photo. Continue reading to see what Twitter had to say about the Biden-Carter meet-up.
Joe Biden with The Carters. pic.twitter.com/9m1Ka7t3pb— Tom Maxwell (@universalshow) May 4, 2021
"This may be an inappropriate observation, but it looks like the Bidens are ventriloquizing the Carters here," another said.prevnext
Loving this new photo of the Bidens and Carters! pic.twitter.com/uafHmtCn8I— Will 🦥 Menaker (@willmenaker) May 4, 2021
"i can’t stop laughing at big bidens and baby carters," someone said.
"Are we keeping the Carters in a dollhouse?" another wrote.prevnext
There. I fixed it. pic.twitter.com/dmjLiX3oXk— 🌊 Deonardo La Vinci 🌊 (@DeonardoLeVinci) May 4, 2021
"Honey, I Shrunk the Carters looks hilarious," someone wrote, riffing on the 1989 sci-fi comedy Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.prevnext
Adorable! But am I the only one who thinks this looks like a tiny doll museum, and Joe and Jill are giants?— The Real Beth (@BethyBeeez) May 4, 2021
"absolutely transfixed and perplexed by this photo. how are the carters so tiny. why does the room look like a doll house. how is this real," one Twitter user asked.prevnext
Dude what is with the size difference between these people what the hell is going on here— 😼 (@_shrimbegin) May 4, 2021
"This photo is legitimate surrealism. It looks like the Carters are extremely small, but it almost seems the more pressing issue is that the Bidens are literally giants. Everything is small other than the Joe and Jill. Table. Lamp. Chairs. All regular size. Bidens: HUGE AF," another person wrote.prevnext
Why do The Carter’s look like miniatures?! They are amazing wonderful people 👍🏼The proportions here are off somehow. Who else agrees?!— Penny Lane (@pennyLane4earth) May 4, 2021
"Have the Carters been miniature people this whole time and we never knew??" someone cracked.prevnext
Others made jokes about another famous Carter family, Beyonce and Jay-Z.
I can’t stop thinking of the pic w the Bidens and the Carters pic.twitter.com/33mQF7y5LL— Dujie Tahat (@DujieTahat) May 4, 2021
"Jill thought when Joe said the Carters he meant Beyonce & jay-z so she wore her lemonade dress," someone joked.prev