“I’m sick of seeing my face,” Kombucha connoisseur says on the Internet


Brittany Tomlinson broke a record on his iPhone and opened a box of kombucha for the first time.

She hated it. Then she loved it. So she didn’t know what she was feeling. She is still not sure.

“Weak is pretty good, but it’s nasty,” Ms Tomlinson said in an interview, continuing to buckle.

As undecided as Ms Tomlinson could be about the fermented drink, her facial expressions in a video of her reaction were decidedly sharp. First, disgust. Then, a questioning. A nod of the head seems to confirm her first reaction: she hates the drink. Wait, maybe not. “Well…” she said, tilting her head. She laughs to herself, smiles and the video ends.

“It’s an amazing streak,” said Dr Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at the University of California at Berkeley who studies facial expression and watched the New York Times on-demand video. He was delighted.

“Her expressions are exceptional – easy to see and rich,” he said.

The clarity of this rapid fire of emotional expression may be the reason the video ricocheted across the internet, racking up more than 40 million views on Twitter just after its publication. share from their TikTok account. It seemed to resonate with anyone who ever hesitated between pajamas and club clothes on a Friday night.

Online people have used the video to describe every scenario imaginable, from the emotional roller coaster of trying alcohol for the first time to the decision to ignore the groceries you just bought and eat Taco. Bell for dinner (again). Ms Tomlinson can’t even scroll Twitter without seeing herself.

“Have you ever looked at your face for too long?” It’s like that, ”she said of her moment. “I’m sick of seeing my face. “

Ms. Tomlinson, 22, is a recent graduate of Texas A&M and works at a bank near Dallas, where she grew up.

She saw two YouTube stars talking about kombucha and decided she had to try it for herself. She went to the nearest Walmart and picked up a box of Cherry Cola Kombucha. (Probably not the best choice, she admitted.)

Then she recorded her reaction to the drink, which she said was completely genuine.

Dr Keltner said Ms Tomlinson displayed between five and seven different identifiable emotions and her expressions can be so pleasing to the eye because they are erased.

“Let’s give him some credit. She’s laughing at herself, ”said Dr Keltner. “And then that silly face at the end speaks playfully to his character.”

Humans can change their facial expressions several times per second; it is less common for the evolution to be so convincing and captured on camera.

“In reality, this stuff happens all the time, but you watch a person’s mental process in real time, which is really cool,” said Dr. David Matsumoto, professor of psychology at the University of State of San Francisco which also studies facial expressions. .

Now that we’ve heard from the experts, how would Ms. Tomlinson describe the dramatic structure of her TikTok video?

“The Six Stages of Mourning,” she said, impassive, before her infectious laughter escaped.

The drink “was not satisfying at all,” she said, although she will try it again.

“This is the essence of it all,” she said. “Why do we hate something and keep doing it?” Like working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., drinking alcohol, or dating people you don’t like. It’s the same thing.

It was a big deal for Ms Tomlinson when singer Billie Eilish liked her video, or when Demetrius Harmon, the online video star, tweeted it. But that wasn’t when Mrs Tomlinson knew she had succeeded.

“Someone had shown it to Nana,” she said, referring to her grandmother. “And I knew it was over. Instantly, it wasn’t funny anymore.

“I showed it to my boss before anyone else could,” she added. “I said, ‘Look, I want you to see this before somebody else shows it to you. Please don’t fire me. ‘ (Her boss thought it was funny.)

Ms Tomlinson said several kombucha companies have offered to send her drinks, all saying she would like their version more than the one she tried. She agreed and plans to create a YouTube video to rate each brand.

“If they send it to me, I’ll be honest,” she said. “They don’t pay me. Still.”

She paused, then said, “Wink, wink.” His specialty is facial expressions; a phone interview was probably not ideal.

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