Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Does ‘Seeking Sister Wife’ Star Dannielle Merrifield Have Bell’s Palsy?

HomeEntertainmentDoes 'Seeking Sister Wife' Star Dannielle Merrifield Have Bell's Palsy?

Fans of the TLC reality show “Seeking Sister Wife” have been speculating for years about Dannielle Merrifield’s slightly drooping mouth. Is the polygamous wife suffering from Bell’s Palsy or another medical condition affecting the muscles on one side of her face?

For those unfamiliar with the show, “Seeking Sister Wife” follows plural families who practice polygyny – one husband with multiple wives. Dannielle and her husband Garrick have been a central storyline as they search to add a new sister wife after a previous potential wife backed out.

But viewers have been just as captivated by Dannielle’s appearance as her polygamous lifestyle. When she speaks, her mouth appears to slant, with the corner of her lips drooping down on one side in an asymmetrical facial expression.

This distinct look has spurred rampant speculation online about the potential causes. Some of the leading theories floated on Reddit and other fan forums include:

Bell’s Palsy

The condition name frequently mentioned is Bell’s Palsy, a type of temporary facial paralysis or weakness caused by damage or trauma to the facial nerves. With Bell’s Palsy, one side of the face appears to droop or become stiff, often occurring suddenly.

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“I’m not trying to be disrespectful but I don’t remember Dannielle only moving one side of her mouth when she spoke last season,” one Redditor commented about Merrifield’s appearance on the latest season of the show. “It seems very obvious to me this season. Is it maybe Bell’s Palsy?”

While Bell’s Palsy typically is temporary, lasting weeks or months, some individuals are left with permanent partial facial paralysis or weakness after experiencing it.

Injury from Being Struck in the Face

Another popular theory is that Dannielle suffered some kind of facial injury or trauma when younger that caused permanent nerve or muscle damage.

One of Dannielle’s friends allegedly once shared that she had been accidentally hit in the face with a baseball bat as a child or young adult. This could potentially explain her asymmetrical facial movements and expressions.

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Born With a Facial Paralysis Condition

However, Dannielle herself has claimed she was simply born with her unique look, comparing it to the asymmetrical facial appearance of the actor Milo Ventimiglia.

There are various congenital conditions that can cause facial paralysis or asymmetry from birth, such as Moebius syndrome, an extremely rare neurological disorder affecting the sixth and seventh cranial nerves. With Moebius syndrome, individuals are born with total or partial facial paralysis.

Cosmetic Treatment Side Effects

Some viewers have wondered if Dannielle’s situation could be related to having undergone cosmetic treatments like Botox or facial fillers. Poor injection technique or product placement can potentially cause temporary or permanent facial asymmetries.

One Redditor speculated: “I have a feeling she had some lip filler and am wondering if that’s why it’s more noticeable this season?”

Dannielle had shared on social media that she was undergoing orthodontic treatment, which some wondered could be an attempt to address or improve her situation.

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A Stigmatized Appearance?

Whichever the reason, many fans have rallied behind Dannielle, condemning comments that mock her appearance as insensitive or ableist. As one supporter commented, “She’s a beautiful woman so not throwing any shade.”

The prejudice and discrimination faced by those with visible physical differences or disabilities is well-documented. Advocates argue more media representation and awareness is needed to normalize stigmatized appearances.

In Dannielle’s case, the lingering mystery around the cause of her asymmetrical smile has only amplified curiosity. Perhaps shining a light on her experience could help educate audiences about conditions like Bell’s Palsy, facial paralysis and respect for physical differences.

For now, the “Seeking Sister Wife” star seems to embrace her unconventional look with poise. Fans express they just want her to be healthy and hope she’ll eventually feel comfortable providing a direct explanation, if she so chooses.

Until then, her unique appearance will likely continue fueling speculation – but also a long-overdue dialogue about facial differences and inclusivity on television.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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