“Resting Bitch ________” is just a fact of life for a lot of betches. #222 Resting Bitch Voice is such a crucial component of being a betch that whenever the Head Betches and I talk on the phone to discuss our upcoming book, I can’t tell whether they just lost a family pet, got dumped, intend to fire me or all three. But “Resting Bitch Face” is the grandaddy of all Resting Bitch features, so it’s only fitting that a bunch of sciencey nerds figured out a way to quantify it.
A company called Noldus uses facial recognition software that works against a library of some 10,000 faces. The software analyzes the emotions displayed by all humans, regardless of race, culture or gender: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt, and “neutral.” After using genuinely neutral faces as a baseline, it turns out that the secret recipe for Resting Bitch Face is mostly neutrality mixed with a little bit of contempt. Whereas a “normal” face is mostly neutral with about 3% contempt, RBF nearly doubles that, with almost 6% contempt. Here’s a neutral face, followed by the cute girl from the AT&T commercials’ saucy RBF. Note the change in the pink “contempt” graph at the bottom:
The really fun part? You can email the researchers, and they are more than happy to tell you if you have an acute case of RBF. Seriously, if you send a picture to email@example.com, they’ll run your face through the software to see if your default expression is the one I have when my neighbor’s cooking Indian food.
What a time to be alive.