Mewing memes explained.

What Does 'Mewing' Mean? The 'Looksmaxxing' Slang Term And Its Memes Explained

2023 saw an aspect of niche internet Incel culture bleed into the mainstream via TikTok, with teens everywhere discussing the logistics of Looksmaxxing with each other online. The process of improving one's looks in order to establish social dominance or woo women may have once been a part of the pseudoscientific incel handbook, but it is now a thriving internet meme.

When my dad comes home drunk but I'm mewing:

One quick fix often recommended to correct someone's unseemly looks is the act of Mewing, a way of positioning your tongue and mouth such that it accentuates your jawline and the hollows in your cheeks. Interestingly, mewing wasn't necessarily born out of specifically Incel cultures, rather, it was first pushed by a British scientist in the early 2010s.

Here's a recap of the pseudoscientific trend called "Mewing," and its promise to grant you a jawline genetics never could.

What Does 'Mewing' Mean?

Mewing is a slang term popular in "Looksmaxxing" circles, and it refers to a tongue exercise of sorts that claims to improve the appearance of one's jawline. Mewing consists of pressing one's tongue against the roof of one's mouth while simultaneously sucking in one's cheeks, giving the appearance of hollowed cheekbones and a sharper jawline.

Who First Coined The Term 'Mewing'?

The term "mewing" was first coined by British orthodontist Mike Mew, who advocated for mewing as a way to permanently alter one's bone structure. Mew created his YouTube channel "Orthotropics" in October 2011, with a video titled, "What Is Orthotropics" delving into Mew's recommended treatments for unwanted facial profiles.

A video posted by 21 Studios in March 2014 shows a presentation by Mew where he explains the theory behind "correct" tongue posture to improve one's jawline in depth.

How Did Mewing Become A Part Of 'Looksmaxxing' Lingo?

In June 2014, Mew's videos were discussed on RedPillTalk, a forum for Incels. Later that month, Mew responded to the video himself.

In October of that year, more posts on RedPillTalk began to discuss the efficacies of messing, and by 2018, YouTubers were making videos titled, "Why mewing is important to all" and sharing tutorials on perfecting one's mewing technique.

How Did Mewing Become A Meme?

The TikTok Looksmaxxing craze of 2023 propelled mewing from fringe pseudoscience into a semi-ironic lifestyle trend, with teens sharing memes and edits of them and even their cats mewing.

@sheldonsv mewing #sheldonsv #gatoviral #cat #catsoftiktok #mewing #mewingtransformation #gatomewing #catmeowing #tiktok #elsalvador #gato #fypシ #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp #viralvideo #funnycat #funny #blanco #yellow #tendenciatiktok #popular #gato ♬ sonido original – Sheldon

@hq.contents 🗿 #mewing #cat ♬ original sound – Hq Contents

For the full history of Mewing, be sure to check out Know Your Meme's encyclopedia entry for more information.

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