Most people tend to have it, but few people know that it means an unusual syndrome and even fewer people know how to get rid of it. You often hear questions: “Are you all right?”, “Why are you sad?”, “Aren’t you tired?” Don’t you like your own facial expressions in photographs and the reflection in the mirror? This may be due to the Bitchy Resting Face syndrome.
Bitchy Face Syndrome: an Innate or Acquired Trait?
This syndrome became known to a wide range of people after the popular American video Bitchy Resting Face, which tells about how hard it is for people with a constantly disgruntled face.
In a YouTube video, a bitchy face is seen as a social problem: because of the mask of contempt, others perceive its owners as arrogant and even aggressive individuals, while in fact these people are very nice and friendly.
However, the video contains information that is not completely objective from a medical point of view. Indeed, there is a whole list of certain facial features that lead to the formation of a bitchy face. They include lowered corners of the lips (like Kate Winslet), thin lips (Marlene Dietrich), a large distance between the nose and upper lip (Victoria Beckham), deep-set eyes, insufficiently open gaze, low eyebrow position (Kristen Stewart), hooked nose, pronounced nasolabial folds, and muscular face type.
However, the presence of all of the above signs does not at all mean that a person has the bitchy face syndrome. The muscle tone plays the main role in its formation.
Natural factors that make the problem worse
The muscles of the face are divided into depressors – lowering tissues, and elevators – raising ones. There are also circular muscles: the eyes and mouth. All of them have very sensitive acetylcholine receptors that instantly react to any emotions and thoughts – which is why they are called mimics.
At a young age, the muscles are in balance, but they tend to enter into hypertonicity over the years – this can be due to both psychological factors and aging processes. Over time, a typical facial expression is fixed: after all, the excess tone is typical precisely of the most active muscles.
If a person frowns often, they will have a “wrinkle of sorrow” between the eyebrows with a greater degree of probability, and if they are constantly angry and purse their lips, then even at rest, the muscle will eventually begin to tuck them inward, visually reducing them. The same mechanism is observed in the case of poor eyesight when involuntary squinting pulls the circular muscle of the eye to the center and narrows the palpebral fissure.
The nasolabial folds play a special role: if the muscle running along the wings of the nose is excessively tense, it pulls the tissues up, forming ridges near the nose and deep nasolabial wrinkles, giving the face a predatory look. Such changes usually occur with the muscular type of aging.
Another factor aggravating the problem is gravity. Under its influence, facial tissues “slide” to the center and down, therefore, the bitchy look only gets worse with age. The activity of the depressor muscles increases, while the elevators, on the contrary, weaken. As a result, ptosis occurs, which means tissue prolapse and loss of facial contours.
How to get rid of the bitchy face syndrome?
First of all, you need to work with emotions. As already mentioned, the facial muscles are very sensitive to thoughts. Therefore, everything that you think about and everything that you experience is vividly reflected on your face. And since internal tension causes stiffness in the face and neck muscles, this creates an unpleasant facial expression and impairs blood circulation, which means worse nutrition of the facial tissues.
The lack of a smile and drooping corners of the lips (a dull face) are often the condition of the teeth. Not everyone can boast of having a correct bite and a good aesthetic appearance of the oral cavity – hence various complexes regarding the appearance. Fortunately, modern dentistry can help you get rid of this problem.
Massage helps to eliminate muscle spasms. Moreover, it is important to pay attention not only and not so much to the face but also to the whole body. It is advisable to attend general massage sessions regularly, in courses – at least twice a year. Self-massage of the face will be a good addition: it will help relieve tension.
It is important to do it very carefully, moving only along the massage lines. To improve gliding, you should use a special cream or oil. You can also purchase a vibrating massager as a home “helper”.
Unfortunately, in the modern world, a person experiences a high level of chronic stress, making it extremely difficult to control facial expressions. Therefore, the most effective remedy against hypertonicity of facial muscles that form wrinkles and other signs of a bitchy face is botulinum toxin. With its help, you can lift the corners of the lips, eliminate the effect of pursed lips and purse-string wrinkles; smooth out nasolabial folds; remove wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows; raise your eyebrows and open your eyes, making them wider.
By relaxing the depressor muscles with botulinum toxin, the elevator muscles are activated – this provides a lifting effect.
You can also resort to contour plastics – injections of a hyaluronic acid filler, which will help smooth out nasolabial wrinkles and turn the corners of the lips upward. To slow down the aging process and prevent age-related ptosis, which aggravates the bitchy face syndrome, cosmetologists suggest another effective procedure – thread lifting.
In turn, facial expression also affects our mood, so it is important to break the vicious circle: there are methods for treating depression now by injecting muscle relaxants into the facial muscles.
A bit of psychology
In the wake of interest in this syndrome, psychologists rushed to study the perception of different facial expressions in society. It is common knowledge that the northern peoples are less smiling than the inhabitants of the southern regions. This is due to climatic conditions: the cold makes us reflexively squeeze, while the heat makes us relax.
The mentality in different countries is different, and if in the United States a casual smile is considered the norm, in Japan and Korea restrained facial expressions are more credible.
That is why you should not think that the bitchy face syndrome is a social problem, especially now, when tolerance and body positivity are in fashion. The main thing is to be in harmony with yourself!