I remember the first time I heard the term “Resting Bitch Face.” I felt a certain relief knowing I wasn’t alone and it was being embraced because certain celebrities had it as well as supermodels strutting down the catwalk, owning every inch of it. Finally it became a thing, a phenomenon that didn’t feel like a personal defect anymore.
Plenty of people had it and a lot of them were beautiful, powerful badasses.
And my God, CNN even did a study on it with actual scientists! Finally an explanation why people women didn’’t smile all the time.
I imagined in droves we would gather together in some sort of Coliseum celebrating in smiles momentarily, but mostly relaxed with our regal features and feeling no judgment. Let us unite! And any man who tells us to smile shall be thrown in with the lions! Go on men, tell those pussycats what to do. See how that works out for you.
And then I soon realized this wasn’t doing anything but saying we didn’t have to smile, not because we are women, but because some women can’t conform because they’re bitches. Relieved that is was becoming accepted, I overlooked the terminology. I then realised it wasn’t being accepted, just explained. Like a mental disorder justifying your facial features.
RBF is all about women which is interesting when men probably have this face more than we do, however, that’s just them stoically going about their business. With us, it’s considered a condition of bitchery. But then, why don’t men at least have a term like “Resting Bro Face?” It’s obvious, no one cares what a man’s facial expression is. The way a man looks isn’t supposed to be an issue. Us ladies, different story. How a woman looks has been exploited as her strongest asset in most mediums for centuries.
And there’s another reason smiling seems to be expected of us. It started 30 million years ago when gorillas and monkeys showed teeth as a way to tell their predators they were harmless with a “fear grin”. So now whether through culture or innately, women are taught to smile to show men we’ll be good girls and not challenge them. HAH. And maybe that’s why a man (sometimes even subconsciously) tells a girl to smile, to size up who is the hierarchy right then and there. He doesn’t walk away thinking he just made her day, he leaves thinking she did what he asked her to.
Now this isn’t about men being horrible to women, women are just as guilty for allowing this to happen. We are conditioned to hate each other, hate our bodies and ourselves.
So why do women accept the word bitch? Is it easier to act like we’re okay with something than deal with the backlash of being offended?
While some people use the word bitch as a term of endearment, this is not one of those times. After watching this video of Leslie Jones and the rest of the cast of Ghostbusters 3, I’d love to be Leslie’s bitch. In that scenario, it’s describing a real friendship with personal content. It’s obviously not generalizing all women who are simply not smiling, like we’re supposed to be pageant queens waiting to be judged whenever we leave the house.
So… I propose we change the word bitch to boss when it comes to RBF.
A bitch and a boss are basically defined the same way. A bitch will not take crap, express herself, take control, address the room and own it. That’s the way most people would describe a boss. If the boss was a male.
That stops now.
Being a boss always sounds better than being a bitch. Not smiling because someone tells you to, being true to who you are and not conforming is a boss move.
And even when you do something ridiculous, you did it like a boss. And you can laugh about it, because you’re owning it like a boss.
Wake up every day and remind yourself of this: it’s your day, it’s your strut, it’s your face. So please don’t settle for being referred to as a bitch, give your identity (and your gender) a raise. Be a boss.