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 Dictionary.com, 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.

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Dear “Scared” White People

(Quick Disclaimer:  This is not about ALL WHITE PEOPLE,  just a chosen few.  Once you read it, you’ll know exactly who I’m talking too.)

Hi. My name is Nyikia.  In case you haven’t already figured out by my name, I’m black woman.  A black woman to be specific.  I’m writing this letter to you because I’m growing quite concerned (and a little-pissed off) by a lot of your recent behavior toward black people. I have listed a few examples:

1.) Calling the cops when black people are waiting for our friends in the local Starbucks.
2.) Calling the cops when black people gather peacefully in the park to have a BBQ with friends and family.
3.) Calling the cops when black people are going to view a house that is for sale.  Even though the person is a real estate agent, and had been authorized to do so.
4.) Calling the cops when black people check out of an Airbnb (with their luggage in full view) because you thought they might be burglars.

I’ll stop here because the list goes on and on, with your less than stellar behavior.  If you notice from the list, there is a consistent pattern.  The pattern of calling the police on people who don’t look like you.  Why is that?  I could understand if they were doing something that was suspicious.  But clearly, in these instances, they were not.  The suspicion for you was merely the color of their skin and the prejudices you have acquired over the years.  Now I understand that your prejudices have come from a learned behavior passed down from generation to generation.  And some have come from outside sources:  literature, television, hearsay and most notorious the media.  I’m really trying to work with you “scared white people,” I really am.  But at a certain point in life, you have to take certain inventory of yourself.  Not everything you see and hear about people is true.  Even the cheeto in chief (our current play president) knows this. Hence the term his administration loves to overuse, “fake news.”  Although in his case most of what we hear about him keeps coming up true.  But that’s a post for another day. Let’s get back to the task at hand.

I understand having a little concern for the unknown.  Dark places, stray animals, emails from strange addresses and yes our fellow humans.  I grew up in the 80’s with McGruff the Crime Dog, so I learned all about stranger danger.  But the one thing McGruff never taught, was to be afraid of someone based solely on their skin color.  If you asked the average child today to describe someone that frightened them, I’m pretty sure a stranger’s skin color wouldn’t come up.  Unless they were taught that in the home.  So why is it children are wiser in this regard than most adults?  I work with children for a living, and I notice that they have a tendency of seeing people for exactly who they are. Race not included.  When they judge you, they judge you on your merits.  Race not included.  When they are leery of someone, it is because of the vibe they get from the person.  RACE NOT INCLUDED.  Children are usually both open and eager to get to know someone who is different than themselves.  They ask questions without assuming they know the answer.  Children just see a person much like themselves with zero prejudgments.  So why haven’t adults learned to do this already?

For people who are older and intellectually smarter, we sure lack the intelligence of the average child.  I’m going to take this time to let you in on something you should have already figured out:  NOT ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE BAD PEOPLE.  That is shocking right? I know the truth often times can be.  But I feel you really need to know and understand that fact.  Let’s be clear here, there are bad people in every race, gender, and country. Being a bad person is not relegated to a racial thing.  It’s a personality and behavioral thing.  If I went around thinking certain things about certain races, then my belief right now would be that all white people are racist.  And clearly, that is not the case.

I have a suggestion on how to help you “scared white people” in working through your prejudices.  Provided you actually want to get rid of your judgmental nature and possibly make a few new friends.  BE OPEN.  Get to know more about the black people that you encounter in your everyday life.  That sounds like a lofty task, but it can be made easy.  Simple start by saying, “Hello.”  Easy right?  Have a real genuine conversation with that co-worker that you see all the time.  Get to know them on a level that based on common ground, common interest and friendship.  You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll have in common with the average black person.  Everyone has that one cousin that they don’t like in their family.  You avoid them at all costs at family functions until another relative asked you if you said hi to them.  You can easily bond over that.  Or how you love your kids to death, but could sometimes punt them like a football when they get on your nerves.  Often times can’t judge a book by its cover.  You have to pick it up, read the description on the back or inside cover in order to learn more about the topic.  And the same goes for people.  All I’m saying is get to know someone who’s different than you before you judge them.  And for the love of God: STOP CALLING THE POLICE.

With all love and sincerity,

Nyikia

 

RBF (Resting Bitch Face): Oh yeah honey, it is real.

According to Urban Dictionary.com 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, myself, do suffer from this misunderstood facial expression.  And thinking back on it for the majority of my life, the sad part is, 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 around 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 opportunities were missed because someone may have looked at me and thought I was a shady bitch that would kick your ass in a minute.  Sad.  Now to be completed honest and fair, back in the day I was not 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….Now I do anyway.  But I’m a totally different person from who I used to be.  I worked real hard to be a happier person for myself and 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 a lot of annoying people away from me.  So that’s good!  Ha!  Ha!  I feel like I shouldn’t be solely judged because I’m not walking away smiling 24/7.  Who the f*ck does that?  You know damn well if I did, people would think that I was either high or crazy.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m black, read the blog post about black people and scary movies to know exactly what I’m talking about.  Or the fact that I watch way too much Investigation Discovery Channel, where someone is always killing someone else for various reasons.  If I saw someone sitting alone minding their own business smiling for seemingly no reason, I would definitely be leery of them.  I would more than likely think to myself, “Is this motherf*cker 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 be 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.  Ha!  Ha! So next time you see someone who may suffer from resting bitch face, don’t judge them right away.  There may be nothing at wrong at all.  For all you know, they could be thinking about how much they really want a taco.