A Cure for bitchy resting face?
Commence with the name-calling! Oh wait. No, don’t. Because, in fact, that waitress, boss, or co-worker, who appears to be giving you the stink eye may simply be a genetic recipient of a pop-cultural affliction known as a “bitchy resting face.”
Journalist and comedian Taylor Orci created a short PSA-style parody bemoaning “bitchy resting face” and its male equivalent “a**hole resting face” to the tune of more than 2 million hits on YouTube and comedy site Funny or Die. So to say she was onto something would be an understatement. Since then, the Today Show, Slate Magazine, New York Magazine, and countless other news sources have examined the truth behind the humor of this viral phenomenon.
So, what is it? Bitchy resting face is any number of inherited or age-related facial traits that can make someone look unpleasant, unhappy, angry, and… well… bitchy. Primary culprits can include a downturned mouth, deep vertical lines between the eyebrows, and a set of droopy or overly arched eyebrows. (Guilty as charged on all accounts — thank you very much.)
Of course doctors have long been cued into the problem of bitchy resting face, and have a much more professional sounding answer called “expression surgeries,” which essentially are procedures meant to improve resting facial expressions. One example is a surgery to lift a patient’s permanent frown upside down. Doctors also use fillers to the same effect, and Botox to relax the vertical lines (sometimes called “11’s”) between the eyebrows.
And there’s always… you know smiling. By realizing the importance of how we’re projecting ourselves to other people, training ourselves to simply smile more often can counter the cultural implications of bitchy resting face.
So, if you, like me, have ever been accused of looking unhappy, angry, irritated, or homicidal — you’re not alone, and there are things that you can do about it. Or, you can take the opposite tact, like Jezebel’s Kristine Gutierrez, who not only embraces her chronically bitchy resting face, but celebrates it, proclaiming that, “it’s not [her] responsibility to be everyone’s sunshine.”