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TikTokers are ‘mewing ‘ Experts weigh in on this controversial beauty hack

Influencer claims that ‘Mewing’ is the secret to taking good side photos – is it?


TikTok influencers say “mewing” is the latest quick-fix beauty trend that may significantly improve one’s look. Medical professionals don’t buy it.

“You see these dramatic posts on social media where somebody looks like they have a frog neck and then all of a sudden they have this perfectly defined jawline,” says Dr. David Shafer, a board-certified plastic surgeon. “Whether that’s also involving some selective editing, it’s hard to tell.”

Here’s why people online can’t stop talking about it, and what you should know.

What is the definition of mewing?

It is “the process of placing the tongue at the roof of the mouth and applying pressure to cause bony changes in the jawline,” according to Dr. Catherine Chang, a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon and founder of NakedBeauty MD.

Why do people do this? In short, they want their jawlines to appear more defined.


“Basically, it’s a way of repositioning anatomy in your neck and lower face,” she explains. “When you look in the mirror, practice pushing your tongue up in the roof of your mouth and pulling underneath your chin up to make it appear thinner. You can see the difference. People take pictures knowingly or unconsciously.”

The video below shows how it is done. Though some social media users claim to have achieved spectacular outcomes, experts warn against believing everything you see on the internet.

@wiilliamli Reply to @itsjeremiah.w 3 STEP MEWING TUTORIAL #mewing #jawline #tutorial ♬ original sound – William Li

Why is mewing controversial?

The term “mewing” was created by British dentist John Mew and his son, Mike Mew. They promoted the idea of changing face shapes and jawlines through facial workouts, but most dentists reject their claims; one told The New York Times that Mew was “a total idiot.”

The elder Mew, who founded the London School of Orthotropics, resigned in 2017 after losing his license from the General Dental Council in the United Kingdom “on grounds of misconduct for publicly denigrating the traditional practices of orthodontic tooth movement,” according to the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

The younger Mew is presently awaiting the outcomes of a General Dental Council hearing held earlier this month, after procedures for 2- and 6-year-old patients were judged “inappropriate and/or misleading,” according to hearing papers.

@catchangmd Mewing is great when posing for photos but it does not alter the jawline ☹️ I wish it were true! #fyp #plasticsurgeon #mewing #plasticsurgery #jawline ♬ original sound – 𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙛𝙛_ – user25798841931

Does mewing really work?

Experts believe it makes obvious that everyone is thinking more about their lower face right now. “For the last three years, we’ve all been on Zoom,” Shafer says, noting that his office has seen a significant increase in appointments for neck liposuction and chin or jaw augmentations.

Mewing is seen online as a free alternative to plastic surgery or orthodontics, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, industry insiders claim that the outcomes aren’t as impressive as they appear. Even the Mews meant for the treatment to focus on children rather than fully developed adults.


Fortunately, scientists agree there aren’t any obvious drawbacks to mewing – “except being disappointed,” Chang explains. “If it’s too good to be true, it generally is.”

If you want to seem different while taking a single photo, mewing is an easy solution. However, those who believe it will produce the same level of long-term change as surgery are erroneous.

“If it’s not something you’re going to be disciplined and keep up with, then you’re not going to see sustained or long-term results and it’s definitely a result that will go away once you stop doing the motion,” Shafer said. “It is not hazardous. It is not something that will hurt you. (But) I believe people should have guarded expectations.”

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