Retro Post: The Chin Affliction

Posted May 15, 2017 by Holly in Discussions | 10 Comments

This month I had to share with you Holly’s Chin Affliction. If anything, I think the Chin Affliction is even more prevalent today.

This was originally posted on November 17, 2009.

Have you noticed how active chins are?

“She thrust her chin out”

“Her chin came up”

“She lifted her chin”

You notice all the quotes I used above reference females. The Chin Affliction is most often used to showcase a stubborn and/or independent (though IMO many times these traits are interchangeable) heroine. The hero insults her and her chin comes up to show she isn’t intimidated. She faces an unfamiliar situation and her chin comes up to show she’s unafraid. She becomes angry and her chin thrusts out in challenge.

This is something that’s bothering me more and more lately. I like to call it The Chin Affliction. It bothers me because I feel like the moving chin is often an easy way for authors to show emotion. Her chin coming up symbolizes something, which takes some pressure off the author. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever raised my chin in my life – not when I was angry or scared or being stubborn. It strikes me as a somewhat childish gesture, and frankly it annoys me.

Have you ever even noticed The Chin Affliction? Does it bother you? Is there something else that keeps cropping up that annoys you?

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10 responses to “Retro Post: The Chin Affliction

  1. Ohhh yes i know how you feel. I’ve never understood this chin affliction. I never do that, even when i’m angry.
    Casee’s comment made me laugh a lot because that might be the only time when i do lift my chin 😉
    Come on authors, stop with the crazy chin action!

  2. M.

    I’ve never really noticed before, but you’re right! Now I’m going to notice every time that happens.

    Astute analysis1

  3. OMG Casee! That is so funny!!
    I have to agree, I really don’t like the reference.

    The other I really don’t like is the hands on hips while she stomps her foot…. are we talking about wild bulls or 4 year old little girls..I think it makes the woman sound like an spoiled idiot. Was that too harsh? lol


  4. LOL very true. they never reference a guys chin, they just focus on the whole jaw, a strong jawline or he clenched his jaw or something like that, but never his chin.

  5. Kiera

    Lately I’ve been annoyed by:

    The jaw-muscle twitch
    Looking through the eyelashes (huh?)
    Inclining or inclined heads

  6. LOL! I just recently re-read The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt and there was a scene just like that. The heroine was unsure of her decision and lifted her chin to show her confidence. The exact words were, “She lifted her chin”. The scene stuck out in my mind, but it didn’t bother me. Honestly, I never really noticed the chin thing, much, until you pointed it out. I’ll probably notice it more now, though. lol.

  7. I lied – I do raise my chin when checking for stray chin hairs. (Don’t judge me, it’s a fact of life)

    That foot stomping thing drives me crazy, too. I always picture my kids as toddlers, demanding my attention that way.

    Oh, that jaw-muscle twitch thing..that just sounds painful.

    Sorry about that. 😛

  8. Kareni

    What a fun post! Oddly enough, I first noticed chins in Kristen Ashley’s books. Many of her men are fairly non-verbal and do a lot of chin tipping/jerking.

  9. LOL, I still think of this post every time I read about heroines thrusting their chins in the air for whatever reason. And like Casee, I raise my chin to get rid of my double chin….hahahaha.

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