Resting Bitch Face Is Real & Telling Us To Smile Won’t Change That

We live in a society obsessed with image. From our weight and our clothes, hair and makeup to how we carry ourselves, we’re constantly judged on our appearance. It gets worse than that for some of us, though; it gets to the point where we’re being judged for being true to our natural demeanor and facial expression. The phenomenon I’m referring to, of course, is Resting Bitch Face. Those of us who are afflicted by it honestly don’t give a damn what you think about our faces, but we do think it’s messed up that you feel the need to order us to smile, as if you think you deserve to control the movement of our facial features (entitled much?). Please stop! Here are a few things those of us with RBF want you to know, so that maybe you can become more comfortable with us just being ourselves.

  1. We’re not unhappy or angry, we just express ourselves differently than you do. We know that the Smile Brigade means well with their cheerful message, but we’re wired just a little bit differently than you. Our neutral expression may look like we’re contemplating ways to kill you, but we’re most likely just contemplating what we want for dinner or something. Yes, we do smile sometimes when we feel like it and it occurs naturally, but we refuse to plaster on a big fake smile the rest of the time just to make you more comfortable. Believe it or not, a person can be happy without smiling 24/7.
  2. When you order us to smile, it seriously pisses us off. Imagine just going through your typical day when someone points at you and says “Hey you! I don’t like the way your face looks. You have to change it right now, because I said so!” That would piss you off, right? Exactly, and we don’t enjoy it either, so just stop.
  3. We like pictures of ourselves without a smile. When we put on a fake smile to take a picture, we think we look goofy and weird, and it’s because we know ourselves inside and out. We like pictures that truly reflect who we are, and for us, that includes photos where we look serious (because successful, well-rounded people are sometimes serious). When we post a new profile picture that we like and then some douchebag comments, “Why don’t you smile? You look sad/mad/angry,” we feel disrespected. Next time you find yourself making this comment online, just hit backspace over and over until you successfully keep that stuff to yourself.
  4. Your colleague may be afflicted and you don’t even know. In many industries, especially sales and customer service, it’s necessary for us to produce some kind of smile and embellish our emotions more in order to connect with people towards a greater professional goal. If you hang out with us outside the office, you’ll see who we really are when we’re not exhaustedly attempting to maintain “business face.” At that point, please don’t ask us to smile like we do when we’re closing deals. That act is exhausting enough from 8-5, there’s no need to bring it into the evening, too.
  5. Yes, we do know how to have fun. We’re human, and fun makes us just as happy as it makes you. You’ll see some real, natural smiles when we’re legitimately having a good time, and those are the smiles that matter. Learn to value quality over quantity. Let it happen naturally.
  6. We don’t judge you for being naturally bubbly. Why, then, do you insist on judging us for being who we are naturally? Let’s equalize it and just accept everyone for who they are and how they choose to express themselves.
  7. We don’t want to be more like you. Just because your way is more socially acceptable doesn’t mean it’s right and our way is wrong. We don’t want to change ourselves into something we’re not in order to gain more “friends.” Newsflash: real friends like you for exactly who you are, not some act you put on to impress them. If you care, you should be able to accept us for who we are.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.