Yep, scientists study everything. To find out why some people always look like they’re throwing shade, researchers used fancy software to analyze resting bitch face. When they added photos of celebrities notorious for RBF (like Kanye West and Kristen Stewart), the computer program registered higher levels of contempt.
Even though these faces are basically neutral (part of the reason we call it “resting” in the first place), our brains can recognize the contempt from a tiny curl of the lips or a slight squint of the eyes. Once we register it, we associate that face with feelings of uneasiness—our hardwired reaction to negative emotions.
Another interesting finding: The software measured equal amounts of RBF in photos of men and women, so the idea that it’s mainly a female phenomenon probably comes from commonly held stereotypes, not science.
(h/t The Washington Post)