On countless occasions I have been told directly or indirectly that I have what is known as a Resting Bitch Face. Frankly, if you tell me, unsolicited, to smile. I am likely to inwardly imagine throat punching you while outwardly demonstrating the largest, fakest most sarcastic smile ever.
It has always perplexed me why people feel the need to tell other people what to do with their face. Especially complete strangers. In my opinion telling someone to smile is the worst possible ice breaker attempt in existence. It is much more likely to create a complete shut down and repulsion on my behalf than the desired effect of levity and connection.
Yet, people do it. Both men and women have thrown out some resemblance of that annoying phrase to me over the years. Only to suffer the wrath of an intensified resting bitch face or a snarky comment or some other form of disdain.
It’s not that I am unfriendly. On the contrary, I make it a point to be a friendly, polite person. I greet people, say please and thank you and compliment people regularly. I banter with small talk. I wave at little kids. It’s not that I exist in a universe where I am the epicenter. I recognize that people can be having a hard day and a small kindness may lift them up. However, I do not walk around with a fake expression plastered on. Surely, if I am caught up in my own thoughts or feelings I am not even considering what is happening on my face.
So, why, dear stranger, are you so concerned with what my face is or is not doing?
I also feel that a huge double standard exists in the sense that strangers feel much more comfortable saying something like that to a female than a male. While yes, the male equivalent of Resting Bitch Face exists in the form of: Resting Dick Face or Resting Asshole Face most of the general public is not obsessed with pointing it out to the male population.
How about you let my face do whatever the fuck it wants? If that means resting calmly, then so be it. If you are genuinely concerned with my well-being or aim to somehow cheer me up because you have telepathically deciphered that I am grossly unhappy, maybe just smile at me. Bonus if you add positive energy, a thought or prayer.
In all reality we have zero inclination to what is unfolding or imploding in someone else’s world. Personally, I have a tendency in new situations to be a bit tame. I go into new situations on high alert, sensing, observing, trying to ascertain where and how I fit. That translates into a serious face. The implication that my face or anyone else’s for that matter is malicious or offensive is utterly self-centered and ridiculous. Once, I feel comfortable I am vivacious and dramatic. I have the capacity to light up a room.
Perhaps we should allow people to exist on whatever range they feel and rather than concern ourselves with what or how they look. Let’s concern ourselves with ourselves.
For this “Keep It Tight Tuesday” let’s shift our focus inward and express kindness outward. Let us focus on our own smile or Resting Bitch Face rather than that of others and rock whatever suits us in that moment.