A New Jersey woman had cosmetic surgery this month to correct what she called her “resting bitch face.”
Hope Davis, a 42-year-old Red Bank resident, told the New York Post in an article published Monday that she was tired of looking like “a sourpuss.” She said that she urgently sought medical intervention after friends uploaded unflattering photos of her to social media.
“I was like, ‘Oh great, I look mad in the middle of the party,’” said Davis, explaining that she could not continue doing her job with the off-putting condition.
So, she turned to Dr. David Shafer, the medical director of Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center in Manhattan, in search of a “pleasant resting look.”
Plastic surgeons told the Post that procedures to fix resting bitch face are a trend. Shafer estimated that requests have “more than doubled” in the past year alone.
“This is actually a common request from patients — I get several each week,” he said. “They may not always use the words ‘resting bitch face,’ but if I mention ‘RBF,’ they say, ‘exactly.’”
Shafer attributed to boom to a growing focus on the lower face “popularized by the Kardashians” and their love of lip injections. He also pointed to the proliferation of selfies, in which the angle “accentuates the resting bitch face.”
‘The worse the ‘bitch face,’ the more effective the Botox,” agreed Dr. Melissa Doft, another Manhattan plastic surgeon.
Women pay up to $5,000 to have fillers and sometimes Botox injected into the problematic area, under the lips and along the jawline. It takes 10 to 20 minutes.
Davis reported that she is satisfied with the results of her Sept. 4 operation, saying she has gotten compliments.
“People gravitate to women who they perceive as happy,” she said.
The science behind resting bitch face surgery
Resting bitch face took off as an internet meme in 2013. In 2016, Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth, behavioral researchers with international research and innovation firm Noldus Information Technology, used a software tool to identify that characteristics of resting bitch face.
“It’s in subtle signals, like “one side of the lip pulled back slightly, the eyes squinting a little,” Rogers told the Washington Post that year.
“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,” Macbeth said.
Shy of surgery, some commentators have proposed makeup or facial-expression training to ameliorate resting bitch face. However, some feminists have rejected the stigmatization of resting bitch face as sexist.
In 2017, HuffPost contributor Barbara DiGangi called for an end to resting bitch face “shaming,” saying that “even women feed the patriarchy unknowingly when they turn to a girlfriend sporting a RBF and ask, ‘are you mad at me?’ or, “’why are you so cold?'”