• author
    • Jesse Loren

      Columnist
    • June 6, 2013 in Columnists

    The answer to Resting Bitch Face Syndrome

    “What’s the matter? Are you mad? You look mad.”

    “I’m not mad,” I declare. And just that fast the battle is lost. I am mad. I am annoyed. And now, I have to consider that I might have Resting Bitch Face Syndrome.

    I recently read, “The Overthinkers Guide to Resting Bitch Face Syndrome.” It gave a name to something I have had for years. I guess I have a chronic RBFS. My youngest daughter has been accused of having resting BFS too.

    It’s a first world problem.

    There are some truly first world problems. I hate when my refrigerator makes too much ice. I hate when I accidentally click on Siri, but I don’t really need her. I probably really don’t need her…

    It’s also a first-world problem to think everyone should look like they just got-off in their pants. It’s unrealistic to think that everyone should look like they just saw the face of God.  (The dude you might be talking to is not God, nor will you get off by his incredible presence.  We just aren’t that into you.)

    In other countries, people just get on public transportation. They get on the transportation and they don’t care what you look like. You don’t have to smile. You just don’t. Everyone in Spain looks like they have RBFS. They just do. If they don’t know you, they aren’t going to greet you and act like you’re some super model they need to enchant. They go about their business.

    Two events in my life made me have a fake happy face. One was drill team. Every time we performed we had to plaster red lipstick on our face and look like we were jolly from ear to ear. It was incredibly fake. We were trained to think we had to look joyful and exuberant to win points. Suffice it to say, we were all girls. The band didn’t have to do that. Whether blowing the trumpet or thumping the drum, they just looked straight ahead.
    Purposeful. Not like they had to please someone. The football players didn’t have to smile either. Girls are taught to smile and act like they are enjoying it from an early age.

    The second event was getting a job as a “perfume model.” I was called a model, but really all I did was sell perfume, dress fancy, and smile coyly for hours at the mall. I got the job because I was pretty. Only pretty, thin girls, with big, fake smiles need apply.

    After college, when I got to be taken seriously, I figured out that my knee-jerk smile reaction was powerless, disingenuous, and sexist. I don’t really have a bitch face. I have a face that is not often amused.

    Bitch face is not really a syndrome unless women are held to an example of looking titillated at all times. Next time someone says, “Are you mad? You look mad,” just say, “No, I am not mad. But, do you have any grumpy cat pictures on your phone?”

    If that doesn’t work, roll your eyes or cock your head with scorn.  Who are these disingenuous little girls that smile all the time anyway? Maybe we just aren’t that in to you….



    • Funny stuff.


      • Maya North

      • June 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm
      • Reply

      I’m closer to 60 than to 50 now and the corners of my once-curled-up mouth are beginning to pull down. I like to look approachable, so I try to keep at least a start of a smile going, but it’s serene cheer rather than I-may-be-hiding-an-ax-behind-my-back-but-boy-do-I-have-just-the-used-car-for-you! 😉



    • We have resting old face syndrome. We aren’t mad, but we aren’t spring chickens.



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