If you suffer from resting bitch face, you understand how truly awful it is to look like you’re ready to kill someone at any given moment, when really, you’re just thinking about burritos or something. Your face gives off a look of annoyance and boredom, but on this inside you feel completely chill. RBF is a serious condition that effects millions, but most notably celebrities like Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick, and Victoria Beckham.
Behavioral researchers Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth decided to decode the mystery of RBF. They wanted to find out why some people’s face are seen as expressionless and others as having RBF? What makes RBF different from just a normal, blank stare?
They used fancy facial recognition software that has the ability to map 500 points on the human face and analyzes and assigns an expression to that face based on eight basic human emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt, and “neutral.”
Their first step was establishing a baseline for neutral, so they collected whole bunch of faces that registered a 97 percent neutral facial expression. Then they compared those faces with faces of celebrities who are known sufferers of RBF. People like Kanye West, Kristen Stewart and Queen Elizabeth.
They found that the only difference in that bunch of neutral faces and the faces of celebrities with RBF was that the celebrities’ faces had hints of contempt in their face, in addition to being mostly neutral.
Contempt is measured by subtle signals, like a squinting of the eyes or raising the corners of the lips — but not into a smile.
The facial recognition software was able to pick up these subtle facial expressions the same way we do. “Something in the neutral expression of the face is relaying contempt, both to the software and to us,” said Macbeth.
So the next time someone calls you out for having a serious case of RBF, you can just tell that it’s literally just your face. .
[via Washington Post]
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