You're likely familiar with the phenomenon known as "resting b*tch face." The term is used when a person appears annoyed or displeased even when they're not, and to no one's surprise, a lot of the people touted as having the discontented facial expression are women. Of course, then there's the whole angry woman stereotype.
Turns out, women are growing so frustrated with the idea of RBF that they're opting for plastic surgery to make sure they appear more "approachable." The New York Post recently spoke with David Shafer, MD, a double board-certified plastic surgeon and medical director of Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center in Midtown, who has noticed an uptick in patients asking to reverse their resting b*tch face.
According to Dr. Shafer, requests for the anti-RBF-face procedure have more than doubled in the last year. “This is actually a common request from patients — I get several each week,” he said. “They may not always use the words ‘resting b*tch face,’ but if I mention ‘RBF,’ they say, ‘exactly.’”
The Post delves into one of Dr. Shafer's cases, a 42-year-old woman named Hope Davis who was shocked to see her RBF in some Facebook photos her friends uploaded. “I was like, ‘Oh great, I look mad in the middle of the party,’" Davis recalled. “I looked like a sourpuss.”
To give patients a more pleasant look they are going for, Dr. Shafer explained that doctors use Botox, or in some cases fillers, in the lower half of the face. Injecting a small amount under the outer corners of the mouth, where muscles work to create frown lines, helps the outer corner upturn slightly into a super-subtle smile. “The worse the ‘b*tch face,’ the more effective the Botox,” Dr. Shafer said. “If you always look dumpy, or unfriendly...people are going to react to you differently.”
The trend really started catching on about year ago, with Kim Carpluk, a writer for Elite Daily, claiming that the procedure made her features "softer and significantly less bitchy looking." Now, more and more women are looking for similar results.
It might seem ridiculous, but it makes sense why people would want to appear happier, added Park Avenue plastic surgeon Dr. Melissa Doft. “People gravitate to women who they perceive as happy,” she explained. Okay, obviously, it's worth mentioning here how this idea further fuels the societal expectation that women remain pleasant at all times.
Still, if a woman wants to alter her face and has the means to do so, more power to her. The procedure only takes about 10 to 20 minutes, and the results can last up to two years.