There’s A Scientific Reason For Resting Bitch Face

RBF people unite.

There’s A Scientific Reason For Resting Bitch Face

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

If you have been bestowed with a 'Resting Bitch Face' (RBF) you're probably used to hearing it being compared to a 'slapped arse' or being told to 'cheer up, love' with excruciating regularity. I mean, it's just rude.

When it comes to celebs, there's a few that stick out: Kristen Stewart is told she has one on the reg, Anna Kendrick and Victoria Beckham, too. But what actually constitutes a RBF? What makes that person look like they're about to headbutt you?

Well, Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth, behavioural researchers at Noldus Information Technology, conducted a study to find out exactly that, the Washington Post has reported.

They did this using the Noldus FaceReader, software which can analyse facial expressions. When 'reading' a face, it maps 500 points on the face before attributing these expressions to eight human emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt and neutral.

To start with, the researchers had to establish a ‘neutral’ expression by which they could compare those with RBF. Using the FaceReader on actual expressionless faces, these registered 97% 'neutrality' with 3% being 'little blips of emotion', but nothing significant, according to Abbe.

Next, celebrities with RBF were put through the FaceReader and they found that the levels of emotion detected went up to 6% i.e. it doubled and it was one emotion in particular which increased: contempt. Jason said that contempt was identified by small things like, 'one side of the lip pulled back slightly, the eyes squinting a little' with Abbe adding that 'It’s kind of a tightening around the eyes, and a little bit of raising of the corners of the lips – but not into a smile.'

Interestingly, it detected RBF equally in male and females - putting paid to the idea that women are more likely to have it. Abbe put this down to societal expectations; 'we’re more attuned to notice it in women because women have more pressure on them to be happy and smiley and to get along with others.'

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Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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