Long considered a voluntary expression of sassy drunkenness, researchers discovered the first documented case of resting duck face, where a subject has experienced an involuntary, or passive, manifestation of the lip-baring facial contortion.
Friends of Maddie Widdoes first noted the condition after spending two long hours trying to capture a “normal” candid group photo. Exhausted by the constant pleading and Widdoes nearly in tears, they realized her pursed lips and sucked in cheeks were “just her normal face.”
“It was cray-cray,” says friend Marissa Stonoha. “We thought she had perfected duck face and was killing it on the reg, but I guess she was really sick.”
The condition is not life-threatening, but is indeed very hard to look at.
Widdoes’ birdlike resting face went virtually unnoticed until 2012. That’s when she started attending conferences through her post-grad physics lab. “I’d be lost, deep in thought, or listening to a talk on particle theory, and someone would make kissing noises at me,” explains Widdoes. “I thought it was just part of being a woman in science, but really, I was the one making people feel harassed.”
Widdoes has also had a lot of trouble meeting a smart, sensitive man, but never thought much of it because all her friends have the same problem. “I kept getting approached by the worst guys at bars, guys who would take pictures of their abs in bathroom mirrors and send them to me.”
After the recently discovery, everything started to come together for Widdoes. “Now I understand why I can only drink out of straws,” she muses thoughtfully with her lips pursed as though she were about to kiss a big fat puppy. “It’s good to finally have an answer.”