Most people are affected by it, but few people know that he is the owner of this unusual syndrome, and even less about how to get rid of it.
You often hear questions: “Are you all right?”, “Why are you sad?”, “Are you tired?”? You don't like your own facial expression in photographs and reflection in the mirror? The reason for this may be a bitchy face syndrome. Anna Borteychuk, head of the Esthetic Alliance Clinic of Aesthetic Medicine, an expert in cosmetology, a blogger and writer, told us more about this problem and methods for its elimination.
Bitchy Face Syndrome: Congenital Feature or Acquired Trait?
This syndrome became known to a wide circle of people after the popular American video Bitchy Resting Face, which tells how hard it is for people with an ever-displeased face.
In the YouTube video, a bitchy face is seen as a social problem: because of the mask of contempt, people around him perceive its owners as arrogant and even aggressive personalities, while in reality these people are very nice and friendly.
However, the video contains information that is not quite objective from a medical point of view. Indeed, there is a whole list of certain facial features that favor the formation of a bitchy face: lowered corners of the lips (like Kate Winslet), thin lips (Marlene Dietrich), a large distance between the nose and upper lip (like Victoria Beckham), deep-set eyes , insufficiently open look, low position of the eyebrows (like Kristen Stewart), hook-shaped nose, pronounced nasolabial folds and muscle type of face.
Kate WinsletVictoria Beckham
However, the presence of all of the above signs does not mean that a person is prone to bitchy face syndrome. The main role in its formation is still muscle tone.
Natural factors that exacerbate the problem
The facial muscles are divided into depressors – lowering tissues, and elevators – lifting them. There are also circular muscles: the eye and mouth. All of them have very sensitive acetylcholine receptors that instantly respond to any emotions and thoughts – which is why they are called mimic.
At a young age, the muscles are in balance, but over the years they tend to enter hypertonicity – this can be due to both psychological factors and the aging process. Over time, a typical facial expression is fixed: after all, excessive tone is characteristic of those muscles that are most active. If a person often frowns, then with a greater degree of probability he will have a “wrinkle of grief” between the eyebrows, and if he is constantly angry and purses his lips, then even at rest the muscle will eventually begin to tuck them inward, decreasing visually. Here the same mechanism is observed as with poor eyesight, when involuntary squinting pulls the circular muscle of the eye to the center and narrows the palpebral fissure.
A special role is played by nasolabial folds: if the muscle that runs along the wings of the nose is excessively strained, it pulls the tissues up, forming ridges near the nose and forming deep nasolabial wrinkles, giving the face a predatory appearance. Typically, such changes occur with muscle type of aging.
Another factor exacerbating the problem is gravity. Under its influence, facial tissues “slide” to the center and down, therefore, the bitchy look only worsens with age. The activity of depressive muscles is enhanced, while elevators, on the contrary, are weakening. As a result, ptosis occurs, that is, tissue prolapse and loss of face contour.
How to get rid of bitchy face syndrome?
First of all, you need to work with emotions. As already mentioned, facial muscles are very sensitive to thoughts. Therefore, everything that you think about, and everything that you worry about, is clearly reflected on your face. And since internal tension causes stiffness in the muscles of the face and neck, this not only creates an unpleasant facial expression, but also worsens blood circulation, which means nutrition of facial tissues.
The reason for the lack of a smile and the lowered corners of the lips (a sad face) is often the condition of the teeth. Not everyone can boast of a proper bite and a satisfactory aesthetic appearance of the oral cavity – this is where the various complexes concerning appearance are taken from. Fortunately, this problem can be eliminated thanks to modern dentistry.
Massage helps to eliminate muscle cramps. Moreover, it is important to pay attention not only and not so much to the face as to the whole body. It is advisable to attend general massage sessions regularly, with 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 perform it very carefully, moving only along the massage lines. To improve the glide it is worth using a special cream or oil. You can also buy a vibro massager as a home “assistant”.
Unfortunately, in the modern world, a person experiences a high level of chronic stress, which is why it is extremely difficult to control facial expressions. Therefore, botulinum toxin is the most effective remedy against the hypertonicity of facial muscles that form wrinkles and other signs of a bitchy face. With it you can: raise the corners of the lips, eliminate the effect of pursed lips and purse-string wrinkles; smooth nasolabial folds; remove wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyebrows; raise eyebrows; open your eyes, making your gaze wider.
Due to the relaxation of depressor muscles with botulinum toxin, 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 up (see also: “Beauty Examination: Is Hyaluronic Acid Safe”). To slow down the aging process and prevent age-related ptosis, which enhances the syndrome of the bitchy face, cosmetologists offer another effective procedure – thread lifting. In turn, facial expression also affects mood, so it’s important to break the vicious circle: even methods for treating depression by introducing muscle relaxants into the facial muscles have now been developed.
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 well known that northern peoples are less smiling than residents of southern regions. This is due to climatic conditions: from the cold we are reflexively clamped, while the heat makes us relax.
The mentality in different countries is different, and if in the USA a smile on duty is considered the norm, in Japan and Korea restrained facial expressions are more credible. In Russia, they like to joke and have fun, but it’s not customary to smile at strangers on the street — such causeless behavior can cause concern.
That is why to think that bitchy face syndrome is a social problem, especially now, when tolerance and body positive are in fashion, should not be. The main thing is to be in harmony with yourself! (read also: “From stress and chaos to harmony and efficiency: what is mindfullness”)
About the author:
Anna Borteychuk – Head of the Esthetic Alliance Clinic for Aesthetic Medicine, an expert in cosmetology, a blogger and writer.