No, I don’t mean mewing or meowing like a cat—although please do try that anyway for your own entertainment—but I mean mewing, as in the technique of flattening your tongue to the roof of your mouth for beauty benefits, if there are any. Would you like to know? Because we looked into it for you.
Basically, the act of mewing is said to, over time, help realign your teeth and define your jawline. You supposedly can achieve this by first of all relaxing your whole tongue (tip to back) and making sure it is up against the roof of your mouth. Usually though, our tongues will reflexively relax away from the roof of our mouths, but apparently, reflexes aren’t always right.
Mewing is also not that new of a trend—it’s actually been around for quite some time and especially gained traction back in 2019. Like many beauty trends, this is one that is made popular by a mass of insecurities and a promised ‘quick fix’ by the internet. That being said, here’s everything we know about mewing, and then more on what all of it actually means.
There are five simple steps to mewing: keep your mouth closed and your teeth gently touching, move your tongue to the roof of your mouth and lightly press it, you should feel a little pressure throughout your jaw, be sure to not block your airway as you breathe and maintain this whenever you possibly can. But, does it work?
According to Cam Jones from YouTube’s Goal Guys, who spoke to Men’s Health and spent 30 days mewing, “The main technique for mewing is to have your lips closed with your front bottom teeth just behind the back of your front upper teeth, without them touching,” Jones explains. “Next, use your tongue to cover the entire upper palate of your mouth. Place the tip of the tongue right behind, but not touching, your front upper teeth. A good exercise is to try and make the ‘ng’ sound while thinking about covering the roof of your mouth with your tongue.”
Jones also added that to make sure that the hind end of your tongue is engaged and pushing up onto the back palate, you should tuck your chin in, which will push your neck back into an alignment with your spine. What Jones found he did in the 30 day experiment was add ‘harder’ foods into his diet and also started to chew gum more regularly (gum contains something called sorbitol, which it is a sugar alcohol that is poorly absorbed by the small intestine and effectively, acts like a laxative).
So, does harder foods also mean extra fibre? By pooping probably more than he should have been naturally due to his newly found love of gum, Jones presented higher chances of weight loss, and therefore a stronger jawline.
On the other hand, all of the above new habits created a subconscious awareness of what his body was doing, and therefore a habit, which has the potential to be a good thing in the long term. Still though, at the end of Jones’ experiment, his day one photographs actually outperformed his day 30 progress photos with an average of 75 per cent saying he looked better in the first photos. Essentially, Jones debunked mewing through his failed attempt.
However, there is much more to this, because Jones admitted to seeing other types of improvements. “My nasal breathing, for one, has improved drastically… I’m also more aware of my posture, and I’m working to keep my neck more in line with my spine.” Subconscious awareness, remember? More on this later.
What I do want to mention here is that according to Medical News Today, “The majority of mewing advocates are adolescents, whose faces and jawlines are likely to change during the course of puberty.” There is absolutely no scientific evidence that this mewing technique works, and by that I mean none whatsoever. That being said, the act of creating a conscious habit may positively affect your health in turn.
Kari from @faceyogabykari is a TikToker who undeniably has great bone structure—that would be an underlying truth no matter what she physically looked like from the surface—but now that fact is out the way, her videos consist of different techniques to exercise your face that result (or maybe not) in a benefit of some kind. What I would like to argue here is that, whether her tips and tricks do actually show some changes in those who follow them, it’s probably what surrounds those newly picked up habits that fundamentally make the difference noticeable.
What I personally get from the video above is ‘take smaller bites, be mindful of how you are eating, and eat happy’, not how to improve my cheekbones, although it probably will through those three actions. At the end of the day, there are 42 individual facial muscles in the face, and yes, we control them, but you will still look like you even after 10 years of eye twitching and tongue tensing.
What you’re actually doing though is turning your attention to smaller things in your body, and therefore it becomes like a meditation practice in a sense, but to take it further—if you are expressing the dedication to ‘improve’ what you are setting out to, this simple act is more likely than not creating a domino effect in other areas of your life, such as making a conscious effort to eat healthier, or do other exercises.
What Kari teaches in essence is awareness of one’s body, and habit training. Giving your brow line a massage will undoubtedly be a good thing for you to do, it’s relaxing, and it is fundamentally an act of self care. This is what we need to remember, the reasons why you do things. The real challenge through all of this is to not become even more self obsessed than we already are by taking part in all or any of these routines or internet trends.