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Welcome to another edition of our series, “Is this really a thing?”

Previously we’ve examined Vampire Face Lifts (yes, it’s a thing, but of questionable efficacy), Microcurrent Facelifts (don’t waste your time, it’s not a thing), and Beauty Shots (perhaps delicious, but they won’t make you look better). Today we’re looking at the modern epidemic of Resting Bitch Face.

Do people think you’re angry when you’re not? Have you been called unapproachable, intimidating, or mean by people who have never actually interacted with you?  If so, you may have Resting Bitch Face (also known as Bitchy Resting Face).

To many of you, this probably seems like a silly blog topic.  And if this sounds a bit familiar but you don’t care or you like it that way, rock on with your bad self!  We’ll never tell you to smile if you don’t feel like it.  But to be fair, it seriously bothers some people and it IS a thing.

Our culture has a certain (and perhaps unfair) expectation that women will (among many other things) generally look happy and welcoming. Whether or not you buy into this societal norm, your neutral facial expression may give the impression that you’re in a bad mood when you’re really not! People may think you’re judgmental, stand-offish, or even rude before they even meet you.

Nobody wants to be thought of that way. Ladies with RBF, I can help!

One of my really sweet office assistants. Everybody agreed that she had RBF.

One of my kind, considerate, and competent office assistants. Everyone agreed that she had RBF.

There are certain anatomic characteristics that can predispose someone to RBF. The first is having deep set eye sockets. That is something that I can’t change. The second is having heavy brows with or without creasing between your eyes. If your brows are naturally heavy, and particularly if you also have deep-set eyes, it appears that you’re frowning or scowling when in fact you aren’t. The third is the action of the muscles around your mouth. Some people have a natural pout because of the relative strength of the muscles that pull your mouth up and down. These last two areas are key to the management of RBF.

Most cases of RBF can be managed with Botox® alone. Botox® will ease the lines between your eyes and, when done properly, can achieve the effect of a  subtle brow lift. A surgical brow lift may be necessary to raise the brow more definitively, but surgery alone will not relieve the creases between your eyes. Fillers can also occasionally be used to improve deep creases between the eyes.

Managing the downturn at the corners of your mouth involves finesse. We use Botox® to weaken the muscles that pull the corners of your mouth down. When these muscles get weaker, it allows the corners of your mouth to come up a little bit. The tricky part is making sure the effect isn’t exaggerated – too much and you may look like the Joker! Alternately, if you put it in the wrong spot, your lips could weaken and you might drool!

If you have RBF and it bothers you, we can help. But make sure you go to someone who is experienced with Botox® and has intimate knowledge of facial muscle anatomy. Remember- credentials matter!

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