PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Resting B**tch Face — or RBF for the sake of this article — is a real thing according to recent scientific research. The phenomenon impacts a number of people that we encounter in everyday life and is essentially defined as a look on someone’s face which expresses negative emotions when that person may not even realize it.
Behavioral researchers Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth of Noldus Information Technology decided to tackle the occurrence of RBF using their FaceReader program. The program analyzes points on the face to link expressions to certain emotions.
According to the research, the emotion most present in faces displaying RBF is contempt.
“While contempt can be displayed for a variety of reasons, it’s easily recognized due to its curious facial phenotype: lips and brow not quite angry or sad, the lip tightened and raised more strongly on one side than the other,” the publish research reads.
According to the study, faces that suffered from RBF came up with varying levels of anger, sadness and fear. However, contempt was consistent throughout.
One celebrity that suffers from RBF (according to her) is actress Anna Kendrick. She spoke with CBS’ The Late Late Show host James Corden about how it impacts her.
Celebrities widely regarded as suffering from RBF were used for the analysis including Kristen Stewart, Queen Elizabeth and Kanye West. The study also analyzed “normal faces,” and found that contempt made up about 3.2 percent of the overall emotion in a normal face and made up around 5.76 percent of the overall emotion in a face with RBF.
Neutrality was the overwhelming emotion in both faces making up over 94 percent of the total emotion for each. Contempt was the second highest emotion in faces with RBF.
The study also notes that the program is not indicating “true contempt,” because in most scenarios the subject is not actually expressing it. It is the perceived contempt that is given off by the face that defines RBF.
The study also noted that RBF occurs in men just as often as it does in women.
So, next time someone asks you what’s wrong and you know you’re perfectly content, they may just be sensing a little bit of contempt. You might suffer from RBF.