*As I recall it, it was on a warm summer day in 1977, when I was first given a inkling that something was different, perhaps even wrong with me. I was but a mere child, all of six years old, when a kindly looking stranger approached my mother and I smiling. He bent down, tousled my hair, and exclaimed, “Now, cheer up, little lady! It can’t be all so bad!” And then, just like that, he was on his way without another word. My mother, distracted by her task at hand (grocery shopping), glanced down and said, ” Smile, honey, you look grouchy.” Well, six year old me was baffled, to say the least! I wasn’t grouchy, not at all! In fact, I was generally an all around happy-go-lucky kind of kid. The diagnosis would come many years later: I Have Resting Bitch Face Disorder.
It feels good to finally have a name for this affliction, I must admit. After years and years of trying to force my face into unnatural expressions of mirth, pleasantness, or joy in it’s restful state, I find that I am not alone. There are so, so many of us suffering this curse. Yes, my pouty looking friends, we are not alone. Together, we can conquer this vexing problem. Together, we can stand up, strong and united, and say,
” I AM NOT A BITCH! THIS IS JUST MY FACE, DAMN IT!”
Unsure if you have Resting Bitch Face Disorder? Take this simple test:
Five Easy Questions
1: Do strangers frequently approach you and say, “Smile!” or ” Can’t be all bad, now can it?!”
2: Are you often asked, ” What’s wrong?”
3: Do friends and/or relations regularly ask if you are angry with them?
4: Has a new friend ever said, ” Wow, you’re actually nicer than I thought you’d be!”
5: Have people, seemingly for no reason, ask if you’re looking for a fight?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, it is likely that you have Resting Bitch Face Disorder. Chances are, you’ve always had it. Breathe, my friend, we’re in this together. I’ve come up with this simple guide for dealing with your RBFD.
So, You’ve Been Diagnosed With R.B.F.D. Now What?
Okay, like any other major life event, there are stages you go through when discovering you have RBFD. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking them down:
1)Surprise – Yes, that moment when you hear the words, “It’s okay, you just have a resting bitch face disorder,” it’s like a whole new universe of understanding has opened up to you.
2) Dismay- Not everyone feels this way, but it’s not unusual to feel a bit of disappointment that, for all these years, people have thought you were a miserable witch. It passes, I promise.
3) Denial- Sometimes it hard to accept, I know. But: you just have to look in the mirror, or at that stupid jerk that just told you to ‘smile’ for the fourteenth time today, and say: ” I have a bitch face, and I’m okay with it!”
4) Relief- Ahh, sweet relief. Not only is it a relief to finally have a diagnosis, it’s an abatement of having to pacify everyone around you by wearing that impossibly uncomfortable half-smile for hours on end, just so the won’t ask if you’re okay. Now, you can just announce, ” I have R.B.F.D., for God’s sake.” They’ll be duly chastised, and you can rest your bitch face easy.
5) Acceptance – As with any situation like this, you come to a place of acceptance. Acceptance of your “affliction”, acceptance of yourself… acceptance of your face, damn it. Tell yourself often: I accept my bitch face, I love my bitch face, and I embrace my bitch face.
Because, really? At the end of the day, is all about accepting ourselves for who we are, how we feel, and how our own face rests. You don’t have to be a carbon copy of all the grinning idiots out there. Why do that to yourself? I mean seriously: Why the fuck are they smiling at nothing?! Ever think that they are the weird ones, and not us? I mean, think about it for a moment. At least our faces tell it like it is: we are legit, don’t-Eff-with-me, I’ll-smile-when-I’m-ready, not-when-you-tell-me-to, straight up RBFD motherfu**ers. So, ladies (and the occasional man with RBFD) rock your bitch face, and the next time someone says, “Aww, why so glum, chum?” don’t give that fake cheesy smile you’ve rehearsed for so long, you tell ’em it”s because you just killed the last guy who asked you that. That’ll knock the stupid right out of them.
Lastly, I want you to know this: Resting Bitch Face Disorder is not your fault. RBFD is the direct result of being terminally surrounded by morons who think all the world needs is yet another smiley face to make everything alright. It’s not you that’s messed up, it’s them. It’s them, I say.
*I took some creative license with that first paragraph, it was bullshit. While I have been told, throughout my entire life, to “smile” and “don’t look so mad” or asked “Are you mad at me”, I don’t actually recall the specific first time I heard it. Hell, my memory isn’t that good.