On the internet, everyone’s a doctor, or so they like to think. There have been some absurd internet wellness fads over the years, many of which have had no positive results, and others that have reportedly improved people’s lives dramatically. Whether or not cuddling cows or putting jade eggs where the sun don’t shine actually has a positive impact on your well-being is yet to be determined, but there are certainly people out there that swear by these practices.
The latest wellness craze to blow up on the internet is called mewing, and it supposedly has the power to completely restructure your face, most notably your jawline. However, there has been very limited legitimate medical research on the subject, and real doctors are still unsure as to whether or not it has any positive effects.
If you search the term ‘mewing’ on YouTube, you’re sure to find countless videos of people trying mewing for extended periods of time, with some of them claiming astounding results and others claiming there was no change whatsoever.
With the recent rise in the popularity of this technique, it’s worth looking at what exactly mewing is, how it started, and whether or not it will actually transform your face.
What Is Mewing?
Mewing is a do-it-yourself technique of resting your mouth in a certain position that has become increasingly popular across the internet in recent years. The technique has mostly to do with tongue posture, and involves resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, rather than keeping your tongue on the bottom of your mouth with your jaw open.
Proponents of mewing have claimed that it can correct a wide range of issues. More superficial motivations for mewing include its alleged ability to make your face look thinner and your jawline more defined. However, some suggest that mewing many be able to correct serious health issues such as:
- Irregular bites
- Crooked teeth
- Pain due to jaw misalignment
- Breathing and swallowing problems
- Sleep apnea
Some have even claimed that mewing can correct speech impediments if practiced by young children.
While people on the internet and even some medical professionals have heralded the transformative powers of mewing, others suggest that the lack of mewing may transform your jawline and mouth structure for the worse. And while the average person probably doesn’t think much about maintaining good tongue and mouth posture, recent studies in the field suggest it could have wide-ranging effects on your health.
The Origins of Mewing
Although mewing has come into recent prominence on the internet, the practice has been around for quite a while. It all started with Dr. John Mew and his son, who were both orthodontists in the United Kingdom. Dr. Mew is currently 93 years old, and is credited with creating the field of “orthotropics”, an unproven method of transforming the face using palate expanders, diet adjustments, and tongue posture adjustments.
While Dr. Mew was once licensed as an orthodontist, he was stripped of his license mostly because of the controversy surrounding mewing. Mike Mew, John’s son, was also expelled by the British Orthodontic Society. Both Dr. Mew and his son are associated with the London School of Facial Orthotropics, which was founded by John Mew, and Mike Mew is still currently practicing orthodontics in London.
The uproar over mewing in the orthodontic community doesn’t have much to do with whether or not the practice actually works, but more to do with the fact that patients might see it as a substitute for proven treatments. If someone needs surgery on their mouth and instead turns to mewing, the problem may never be corrected or even worsen.
How to Mew
To be clear, if you’re in need of serious orthodontic care, do not try to use mewing as a substitute. Go see a medical professional. However, if you’re not suffering from any health conditions and just want to see if mewing can strengthen your jawline, here’s how to do it.
Mewing involves flattening your tongue against the roof of your mouth. It’s important that you relax your tongue so that the entire thing is resting against the roof of your mouth, even the back.
Since most people naturally rest their tongue against the bottom of their mouth, getting used to this will take a while. However, it’s recommended by advocates of mewing that you keep your tongue in that position at all times, even when drinking liquids.
While mewing may feel unnatural at first, over time your facial muscles will begin to grow accustomed to keeping your tongue in that position, and it will become second nature. A few weeks of mewing isn’t going to change your face in any noticeable way. Many suggest that it takes years of mewing to see the results.
Does Mewing Work?
If you search for mewing on the internet, you’re sure to see some success stories, some before and after photos, and a whole lot of people who are obsessed with how their jawlines look. However, you shouldn’t really believe everything you see on the internet. When it comes to unverified popular wellness techniques, it’s better to listen to doctors than YouTubers.
That being said, there are pictures out there on the internet that show some incredible facial transformations apparently caused by mewing. A YouTuber by the name of AstroSky has become somewhat of a celebrity in the mewing world, claiming that he started mewing when he was 16 years old and it has strengthened his jawline immensely.
From the before and after photos in AstroSky’s YouTube videos, there is definitely a remarkable change in his jawline. However, being that he started the practice when he was 16, it’s hard to tell whether his facial changes were caused by mewing or just a result of a young man growing up.
AstroSky isn’t the only person on YouTube talking about mewing, however. Mike Mew himself has a YouTube channel called Orthotropics where he speaks on the correct way to mew and even on why he was expelled from the British Orthodontic Society.
As to whether or not mewing actually has the ability to transform the appearance of your face or even correct certain mouth issues, the jury is still out. Again, if you want to experiment with it yourself, go for it. If you have a serious and painful problem with your mouth or jaw, seek professional medical attention.
A great deal of the internet discussions around mewing have popped up on incel forums in which men criticize the appearances of other men’s faces. This is far from an emotionally healthy way to derive your own self-image, and why anyone would spend their time criticizing other people’s appearances on the internet is baffling to say the least.
AstroSky, the YouTube mewing celebrity, began mewing because he had a problem with his nasal breathing, and he thought he had nothing to lose from giving it a try. The strong jawline came as a side effect. If you’re thinking about getting into mewing because you’re deeply dissatisfied with the appearance of your face, it’s probably time to take a step back and assess your own self-esteem before diving into every internet wellness craze under the sun.
Every face is beautiful in its own way, square jaw or no square jaw. Don’t mew because you think you need to look a certain way, mew for you.