Men Are Getting Botox to Cure Resting Bitch Face

resting bitch face nph mobile
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Have you ever looked across the office at a coworker’s face and felt like they were actively angry at you? Or been in a meeting with your boss and felt your confidence dwindle as their glare bore a deep, black hole into your soul? That seemingly aggravated human might very well be an angry son of a gun, or they might be certifiably diagnosed with a very 2019 affliction: resting bitch face, or RBF. RBF is a facial expression categorized by contempt. When someone doesn’t mean to exhibit emotional signs of contempt or anger but their face at rest looks angry, they probably have RBF.

On the E! red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes, Neil Patrick Harris was interviewed by Ryan Seacrest about his New Year’s resolutions. “My resolution this year is to not scowl so much,” Harris said. “I realize that even just pondering that, I’m scowling. I’m not mad. Apparently, I do this while I’m thinking,” he joked. It turns out, Harris is far from alone.

My resolution this year is to not scowl so much. I realize that even just pondering that, I’m scowling. I’m not mad. Apparently, I do this while I’m thinking.

- Neil Patrick Harris

We’re not sure if NPH has gotten Botox, but he has publicly expressed his disdain toward his own RBF. Also, he’s one of the best actors of our decade and we have nothing but love for him and his expressive forehead. 

We met with Dr. Melissa Doft, a board-certified plastic surgeon on the Upper East Side in New York City, to discuss. Upon entering her Park Avenue office, ONE37pm’s culture editor (and resident grooming guinea pig) Brian Anthony Hernandez was tasked with filling out eight pages of intake forms. “We are a doctor’s office, after all,” the perky receptionist said.

Once behind closed doors, Dr. Doft opened up about the true severity of the resting bitch face epidemic. On that Thursday alone, she had treated three men of varying ages for their angry appearance. One, a 30-year-old, was concerned with premature aging, while another, a man around 45, wanted to appear less severe in the boardroom. Needless to say, the modern man—though he may not express it outside a doctor’s office or this particularly enlightening Reddit thread—is concerned with appearing too stern.

The primary indicator of resting bitch face (aka resting angry face) lies in the area between the brows, nicknamed by plastic surgeons as “the elevens,” as they’re often furrowed deep into the skin in two parallel lines. “For most people, anger comes from the eleven lines,” Dr. Doft said. “There are surrounding expression lines that give people their sparkle, but the lines between the brows make most people appear aggravated.”

The cure can be as simple as three tiny pricks of Botox, a wrinkle reducer that paralyzes the muscles beneath the skin.

Hernandez, 32, was brave enough to put Botox to the test.

To begin, Dr. Doft had a brief consultation with Hernandez, covering his primary concerns (genealogical RBF passed down from his gene pool) and his medical history. She said the procedure would feel like a two-out-of-ten on the pain scale and that the full results would appear in one week and last up to three or four months. The cost of the procedure ranges from $500 to $800, depending on the clients’ needs and the doctor’s fees.

The three injections took approximately one minute, and Hernandez reported that only the middle prick hurt. The visible bumps at the injection sites subsided within ten minutes, making this a lunch break–friendly procedure. “I’m not too fond of needles, but these Botox needles were fairly painless,” Hernandez said. “Getting my eyebrows threaded hurt more than getting Botox, to be honest.”

A week later, when the full effect of the procedure kicked in, we took similar images of Hernandez’s forehead to track the results.

Post-procedure, Hernandez is glowing. His transformation is incredibly subtle; most people probably wouldn’t notice that he had anything done. He does, however, appear youthful and vibrant. “Botox in between the brows makes patients’ eyes appear brighter, wider and more doe-like, countering any resting angry face concerns,” Dr. Doft confirmed.

It turns out that resting bitch face is undoubtedly real. Your coworkers aren’t always angry at work—they’re probably just hyper-focused individuals suffering from RBF. With his “elevens” resolved, Hernandez can now resume his duties as ONE37pm’s culture editor with the ease of knowing that his teammates won’t mistake his furrowed brow for being annoyed by our Slack group messages.

Cut your angry-looking colleagues some slack. Or encourage them to get Botox.

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