Resting B*tch Face Is a Universal Language, Researchers Say

One thing the world can unite over.

Resting Bitch Face―that look of boredom or strong disapproval that is many a person's neutral face―was only certified A Real Thing by scientists in October 2015. Now, new research says the facial expression transcends barriers between different cultures. 

In a study conducted by Ohio State University, native speakers of English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and American Sign Language all interpreted negative feelings with what researchers dubbed the "Not Face." The study, published in the May issue of Cognition, was inspired by a theory from Charles Darwin, who believed conveying aggression and danger were assets for the propagation of the human race. 

Researchers tagged images of students speaking frame by frame to see which facial muscles moved when they disagreed. Then, computer algorithms found commonalities in three distinct muscle movements: furrowed brows, raised chin, and pressed-together lips (a combo of "anger," "disgust," and "contempt"). Kinda like this:

The scientists found the Not Face was often used in lieu of words across the different languages. "To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that the facial expressions we use to communicate negative moral judgment have been compounded into a unique, universal part of language," said Aleix Martinez, an Ohio State University professor of electrical and computer engineering and the researcher behind the study.

In other words, Bitch Face is a uniting force across the globe.

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Kristina Rodulfo is the Beauty Director of Women's Health—she oversees beauty coverage across print and digital and is an expert in product testing, identifying trends, and exploring the intersections of beauty, wellness, and culture. Prior to Women's Health, the Filipino-American, NYC native and NYU alumna was at for four years. As Senior Beauty Editor, she reported and co-produced the Webby Award-nominated documentary Beat: How Drag Queens Shaped the Beauty Industry and hosted the millions-viewed video series "Beauty Haul." She can never decide whether or not to get bangs, feels naked without winged eyeliner, and will never shut up about running the NYC Marathon.