Here’s How I Proved I Have “Resting Bitch Face”

For many years (beginning around middle school), I have been told that I often have a miserable look on my face. Everyone from my family and closest friends to the homeless population of Boston took notice – and would say things like, “Are you okay?” “What’s wrong?” and, my personal favorite (from said friendly homeless men), “Giiiirrllll, you should smile more!” In 2013, when a hilarious video (which we, of course, covered on m.blog) circulated the web introducing the world to “resting bitch face” (RBF for short, and also can be referred to as “bitchy resting face”), I was relieved. I wasn’t the only one! Other people were faced with this disheartening disorder.

While the video was funny, and explained my frequent unintentionally grumpy facial expressions, it was meant to be a joke. No one thought of it as a serious condition. Fast forward to 2016 and scientists are now saying RBF is REAL! In a study conducted last October, a company called Noldus Information Technology used their FaceReader software to analyze photos of A-listers who have been known to suffer from RBF. I won’t get into the science of it, because, well, it’s my least favorite subject (you can read that thanks to the Washington Post), but basically the software found more signs of contempt in the faces of people accused of RBF (like Kanye West, Kristen Stewart and Queen Elizabeth), than in photos of other expressionless faces. Some people’s seemingly “neutral” faces just register more emotion than others, which can make them look more upset, sad, or angry than they intend.

So, what did I do when I found out I can actually test my face on their software for RBF? I took the most “neutral” selfie I could at my desk, and uploaded it to the site.

The result? Though mostly neutral (which will be the result of any expressionless face), I do have some lingering levels of contempt, scared/surprised-ness, and even a teensy bit of disgust (I created the “surprised” reaction to the fact that my eyes are abnormally large).This points to the fact that I very well could have RBF.

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There you have it, folks – RBF is a thing. So no more asking me if I’m okay, okay?!

If you’re interested in reading Noldus’ full study, click here.

 

Posted by Erin D.

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