A few years ago, I wrote about my chronic bitch face, which I still suffer from. Then today, I came across this post on Facebook that talked about the resting bitch face.
According to the RBF (Resting Bitch Face) theory, if a woman is caught in contemplation (i.e., not smiling), people are more likely to think she’s angry than if a man shows the exact same facial expression. A woman who doesn’t smile is assumed to be in a bad mood because, so the theory goes, women are expected to smile at all times. Through cultural conditioning, women have learned that in order for people to like them, they have to wear a smile even if they don’t think anything is particularly funny. Men who look thoughtful are seen as serious; women with the same expression are perceived as unfriendly and unlikeable. – Susan Krauss Whitbourne
I am a quiet person. When I don’t have anything to say, I simply stay quiet. When I am at work, I usually am using my earphones to listen to music. People would look at me sometimes and would ask, “Are you okay?” or “Did something happen? Did you have a fight with someone?” Like I pick a fight all the time. It makes me angry sometimes because I don’t have to smile all the time. Do I have to smile while I am working on a technical issue?!
Another thing that annoys me sometimes, is when I am talking, people would ask, “Are you angry?” I am not very girly. I don’t have a girly voice neither is it manly. My normal speaking voice is actually low in volume, so when people talk to me with a bit of a distance, I have to speak a little louder. But in no way am I angry, and yet they take it as if I am, especially when I am explaining things. Even when I am sending SMS or in a chat room, I’ve made it a habit to add an emoticon to make sure they don’t mistake my statement as angry or snobby or anything negative.
The struggle is real, people!
Women are not clowns. We don’t have to smile all the time. We are allowed to have an at ease face. We are allowed to be expressionless when we have nothing to smile about. Stop judging women based on their resting face. Stop judging my beautiful face. Stop judging my non-girly voice.
Do you suffer from a chronic resting bitch face, too?