It’s OK, I don’t have ‘resting bitch face’, I’m just a bitch

You probably don’t have it either


I’ve got a pretty expressive face. It’s both a blessing and a curse, in polite society. I grimace and spit food out on napkins in fancy restaurants. I do that horrible wrinkly nose of disgust thing when I don’t like what someone is telling me. And I roll my eyes – I roll my eyes a lot. It gives the impression that I’m a thirteen year old who thinks that their mom and dad doesn’t understand them, or, as most people would call it (in tweets and BuzzFeed listicles) like I have resting bitch face -RBF. I don’t though. Actually, in those occasions, I just don’t like the food, what someone is telling me, or the person I’m speaking to. I don’t have resting bitch face, I’m just a bit of a bitch. 

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Exhibit A: Oysters do not taste nice

Why do so many women think they have “resting bitch face”? Why do so many of us tweet about it, laugh with our friends about it, rejoice when science says it’s a real thing? Why do girls, who actually have fine, impassive, normal faces, brand themselves with “RBF syndrome” and say things like “I’m actually really nice when you get to know me, it’s just my resting bitch face!”

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Exhibit B: Having to pause drinks in the sun to take an annoying phone call

Maybe it’s a self-deprecating way of saying “even though I’m not on all the time, I’m totally cool and nice, I just have to decide whether you’re worth the time”. Maybe it’s an apologetic concession – “I’m sorry for the times I didn’t look approachable, usually I’m an angel”. Maybe it’s a way to make ourselves look more serious and add more depth to our aesthetic. Maybe (probably) everyone has realised that you have nicer cheekbones when you pout than when you smile. Or maybe they’re hiding the fact that they’re actually not very nice. 

RBF, by another name, is basically negative charisma. The opposite of liking, trusting, wanting to be friends with someone on first sight. That gut feeling you get when someone enters a room where you think “fuck them, I’m not gonna like them”. But some people just don’t make good first impressions. Some of my best friends now are people I struggled to get along with when we first met, but none of us have ever blamed that on RBF.

I don’t have resting bitch face. Apologies to anyone I’ve tried to look relatable to on Twitter and anyone I’ve lied to on Instagram (I just like looking impassive in selfies). I don’t have “RBF syndrome”, I look like this because I’m probably just a bit of a bitch. If you meet me and think I look unfriendly because of my face, it’s less about being guarded and making you work to get to see my gooey centre and heart of gold, and more to do with the fact that I’m probably a bit awkward when you first meet me, and that can come off as unfriendliness – and that’s not a cardinal sin. Nobody is a bitch all the time (I’m actually lovely too), but the times we are, we shouldn’t feel like we have to blame it on RBF. I’m not tweeting about how the fact that my resting bitch face saves me from awkward situations (with the implication that I’m actually quite nice and fluffy). I’ve probably been saved from the awkward social situation because I’m not interested in them, and that doesn’t have much to do with my face. 

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Just a candid shot

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Just two bitches

And to be honest, I don’t feel the need to be apologetic about that. Neither should anyone else. It’s pretty much now socially acceptable to be pissed off when people tell girls to “give us a smile love”, but we’re also OK with embracing our “RBF syndrome” to validate and explain why we’re not smiling at everyone. It’s a contradiction which doesn’t make much sense if you really think about it (I have really thought about it).

You don’t have RBF. I don’t have RBF. We’re just bitches -and that’s fine.