Recently, I came across an article from the Miami Herald entitled “Sad patient asks doctor to fix ‘resting b—h face’.” In the article written by Dr. Carlos Wolf, a woman laments that fillers could not fix her RBF (Resting Bitch Face). What is RBF? Here is the definition according to Google Dictionary:
resting bitch face
- (typically with reference to a woman) a sullen or scowling expression attributed to or unconsciously adopted by a person when in repose.“she has taken flack for what some have called her resting bitch face“
In the above article, Dr. Wolf says:
The reason you have an RBF is because you have a learned behavior of gestures that you saw while you were growing up. Look at family members, it’s just a gesture that they do.
And then Dr. Wolf goes on to recommend more advanced work with Botox® or Dysport® in order to correct it. But he also warns that she must see a professional, otherwise she’d be risking lopsidedness in her face.
Interestingly enough, an article from the Washington Post shows that Resting Bitch Face can be measured scientifically. However, it doesn’t go into why a person would have RBF or how to remedy it.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) does have an explanation for RBF and what you can do about it.
From the TCM perspective, each line and every expression on our face is set by the emotions we experience. When we consistently experience a certain emotion, the specific muscles related to that emotion consistently engage. This can be done consciously. Or, as with most of us, it’s also quite subconscious. Either way, it shows on our face.
RBF often tends to be on the subconscious level.
Many with RBF say, “I’m not mad. I’m not upset. My face just looks this way.” And that’s true. They may not be consciously or actively angry. However, the face doesn’t lie. These muscles do not engage without a specific stimulus. There is an underlying current of anger, disdain, or contempt, that’s being suppressed either consciously or subconsciously. This is very similar to Dr. Paul Ekman’s theory on micro-expressions.
So, what can be done to change Resting Bitch Face? In TCM, it boils down to treating both the root and the branch.
Treating the root means getting to know and care for yourself on a deeper level. And, that requires taking specific and massive action:
- Delve into the messy places of your heart.
- Break down your walls and allow yourself the space to process your emotions.
- Have the bravery to step into wholly feeling those emotions in and throughout your body.
- Forgive yourself and others.
- Question the stories you tell yourself. Determine if they are a reality or a falsehood.
- These actions are difficult and scary to do on your own, so get support. Get professional counseling, coaching, or mentorship.
This is the hard work of self-care. It takes dedication and discipline. However, when you begin to see yourself this deeply and start releasing the negative emotions hanging out in the basement of your heart, the RBF muscles will begin to disengage. As your emotional barriers soften, so will your face. This is the treating the root.
Treating the branch means treating the symptoms. This is much more simple.
Right now the popular option is to get fillers, Botox®, and/or plastic surgery. But these definitely come with risks. You could be left looking unnatural. Also there are efforts by Allergan, the maker of Botox®, to make their products more appealing to younger patients. This, to me, is reminiscent of the tobacco companies in the 70’s and 80’s marketing to young adults. They want you hooked on their toxic product for a lifetime.
Luckily, there is a better and safer alternative. Depending upon the style, it’s called Aesthetic, Cosmetic, or Facial Acupuncture. And Aesthetic Acupuncture is now the go to treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, and of course, Resting Bitch Face.With no toxins and no scalpels, Aesthetic Acupuncture is becoming much more popular with high profile celebrities. It allows them to look youthful while still being able to look natural. They’re able to emote in front of a camera without looking fake or frozen.
It’s also important to take time to regularly engage in other methods of self care. Massage Therapy, Chiropractic, eating whole and organic foods, therapeutic movement like Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong, and spiritual practices, like worship and prayer, can make a big impact on Resting Bitch Face.
As you delve deeply into your relationship with self and others, and regularly receive the benefits from self-care treatments, RBF naturally becomes less.
No longer will you be stuck in a place of subconscious contempt for those around you. Instead, you’ll have an attitude of gratitude. And others will genuinely gravitate toward your radiant and joyful glow. No more RBF.
Hello Resting Angel Face!