Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Face-pulling as a therapy
  [vote for,

Gurning [face-pulling] contests were once part of every fairground programme.

And here's where I have a confession to make.

No. Not that I regularly won these contests, but that being an only child with a stern father, I was scared of the bogeymen in the dark ... and I kept them at bay by ... gurning at them.

Here's the kicker. I still gurn, having discovered something fundamental about it.

For me anyway, it's instant therapy. Give me two minutes alone and I can absorb any shock, any disappointment, any insult or embarrassment and come back smiling.

I know why it works too - because the facial muscles are rooted so deep in the Old Brain they operate without thought like a broom to clear the trash out of the frontal lobes.

Try it and see for yourself with or without a mirror. The faster you pull your faces the sooner the therapy works - for me.

The idea : a graduate student might see this and do some research into "gurning as therapy" and a web-page might be started.

rayfo, Jul 16 2001

The domain name says it all. http://www.facialworkout.com/
'The appearance of the face is affected by many factors that it experiences daily.' [angel, Jul 16 2001, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Egremont's World Gurning Contest http://www.whitehaven.org.uk/gurn.html
The Crab Fair's Gurners [oneoffdave, Oct 06 2004]


       The stress-relief [for me] comes only after creating a rapid series of faces and hand gestures [they help].   

       One is capable without any thought at all, of making up a dozen differing faces in as many seconds. I daresay the use of the word gurn in gurn therapy is misleading. Hm.   

       Videotaping multiple-production of faces would assist research.
rayfo, Jul 16 2001

       I recently looked up "gurning" in the Oxford English dictionary, having developed a burning curiousity about "gurning lackwits". I found only a referral to "girn", defined as "To show the teeth in rage, pain, disappointment, etc.; to snarl as a dog; to complain persistently; to be fretful or peevish. Also to girn at."   

       I was pleased to stumble upon this much unappreciated contribution to the HB. Girn is supposedly derived from grin - wandering far from the meaning laid out here. Is it the same word? Maybe it is Cornish?
bungston, Jan 12 2003

       Egremont in Cumbria has a fair every year where gurning is a major event [see link].
oneoffdave, Jan 13 2003


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