Resting Bitch Face: It’s Real

(Disclaimer- I proofread this thing a dozen times and used an online site to help.  If you see any mistakes, I’m only human and not perfect.  Thanks for reading!)

According to Urban, the formal definition for Resting Bitch Face is:  “A phenomenon in which the resting face lacks animation and appears to look bitchy at all times, thus leading people to believe a person must be upset, a snob or a bitch.”

I am a sufferer of this misunderstood facial phenomenon.  Thinking back on it for the majority of my life, I had absolutely no idea!  I would get the usual questions like, “What’s wrong with you?” or “Who pissed you off today?”  Or worse I would hear later that comments were made about me to others basically saying that I looked bitchy and “unapproachable.”  I wanted to say to them, “This is just my face.”  Who knows how many dates or hangouts I missed out on because someone was afraid to talk to me.  Who knows how many times someone may have looked at me and thought I was an angry person that would kick their ass in a minute.  Now to be completed honest and fair, back in the day I was not always the nicest person in the world.  I had what some would describe as a “bad attitude” and I was a bit of a “Debbie Downer.”  And I take full responsibility for that.  But I’m a totally different person from who I used to be.  I worked really hard to be a happier person for myself and toward others around me.  But do you know for all that work I did, I STILL have Resting Bitch Face?  Smh….

On a brighter note though, having Resting Bitch Face probably kept me from having a lot of unpleasant experiences.  So that’s good!  I feel like I shouldn’t be solely judged because I’m not walking around smiling 24/7.  Who the hell does that?  You know damn well if I did, people would think that I was either high or crazy.  Before when I saw someone sitting alone minding their own business smiling for seemingly no reason, I would have definitely been leery of them.  I would have more than likely thought to myself, “Is that person up to something?  They are smiling way too hard over there and they’re sitting alone.  I better get out of here.”  I know it isn’t right, but that’s what I would have been thinking.  Deep down in my mind, everyone is the potential killer/ rapist.  Weird thinking I know, but hey it has kept me alive and well so far.  I attribute this to watching and listening to far too many true crime shows and podcast.  But seriously though, it’s perfectly ok to be cautious.  But I was judging someone in the way that others judged me. And that isn’t right.

I currently work as a Teacher’s Assistant for a living until my successfully (and very profitable) writing career takes off.  I have to say children never think I have Resting Bitch Face.  Not that they would know exactly what that is, but they don’t judge me on my lack of a happy facial expression.  They usually just see another person that they can talk too about whatever is on their minds.  Children are extremely comfortable around me. I even have children in public places start talking to me without any motivation from me to do so.  I once had cute little girl start a conversation with me in a ladies line bathroom.  I’m sure to the adults around;  I may not have looked like I was interested in talking.  But she didn’t see that.  She saw a person that she wanted to talk to about her Little Mermaid shoes her mother bought her.  And that was the best.

Since I’ve discovered that I suffer from RBF, I do my best to be mindful of it.  Sometimes though, I can’t help it.  I get lost in my own thoughts of things I have to do or want to do. And my facial expressions (or lack thereof) get away from me.  That doesn’t make me not a nice person or unapproachable.  It just means I have a lot of things on my mind at that given time.  So next time you see someone who may suffer from Rest Bitch Face, don’t judge them too quickly.  There may be nothing at wrong with them at all.  For all you know, they could be thinking about how much they really want a taco.


7 thoughts on “Resting Bitch Face: It’s Real

  1. I love this! Yes, what you see on someone’s face often doesn’t paint a full picture of them. When I was a teen I smiled a lot, but not because I was happy. In fact, I was often nervous and I think I smiled to try and mask my nervousness. People even started to tease me about it, so I developed what I considered a “stoic” look to compensate. Today, that look might very well be called Resting Bitch Face!


  2. RBF is definitely a problem I have as well. My wife comments on it semi-regularly but not in a mean way. She’s a dermatologist and believes she can Botox/Dysport it away and wants to try. Part of me would enjoy trying to see how it might look and what unexpected benefits might accrue. When I worked in a retail sales position, my manager routinely would tell me to smile and it would help with the sale. I didn’t run a scientific experiment but did notice anecdotally my sales would be easier to close when I found myself jovial, happy, and SMILING.

    Who knows, I may try the Botox just to see what happens. But long-term, I am who I am. RBF and all. Maybe I’ll get a lot more people who want to talk to me with the Botox. If so, maybe I’d prefer the RBF?

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. I hate that this has become a “thing” I’ve had this my whole entire life and it made people prejudge me before they knew me. Which made making friends harder. I always said it’s bitter sweet, I get judged and it probably prevented me from a few situations (like you said). Now thanks to memes everyone thinks they have it and it’s “cute” 🙄


  4. YES! I have RBF so bad and I think that it really alters the way that people view me. I am not a mean person by any stretch of the imagination, but my RBF seems to convey otherwise. Thank you so much for this article!


  5. Love this. I am one of those annoying “smiles all day” kinda people. But I have friends who have serious RBF. From having friends with RBF I’ve defo learnt to not judge. I find a lot of people with RBF are really sweet friendly approachable people.


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