This is my face. You don’t have to like my face. Whether you like my face or not, it’s not for you to decide what I do with it. Therefore, this is my face when it’s just a face and I’m not feeling the pressure to please you with it. Have you ever said to a woman, “Aw, what’s the matter honey?” or “You’d be so pretty if you’d smile” or “Smile, beautiful”? Do you think this is something the woman you were speaking to wanted to hear?
How many emotions do you typically feel in a day? Are you happy the majority of the time? Are you sad? How about neutral–neither completely happy or sad, but just here gettin’ your shit done. When my face looks bitchy it could just be that I’m chillin’, or thinking, or maybe I actually am upset. If you suspect I’m pissed at you then friend, you’re not getting Bitchy Resting Face, you’re getting I am pissed at you face. Totally different. Learn the nuance.
You could argue that you don’t like the look of my face when my mind is elsewhere, but so could I. For instance: you look fucking awful when you’re concentrating on your dick trying to cum, but what woman ever looked at you in that moment and told you to SMILE?
My research suggests that the term “Resting Bitch Face” first appeared on the internet in 2009, but that in 2014 “Bitchy Resting Face” started trending higher. Interesting facts. I prefer the latter because it uses bitchy as a modifier for face which says that my resting face is sometimes bitchy, whereas the former suggests I always have a bitch face and sometimes it is at rest. The way we use language is important.
Some women may not like the use of either term. Should that bother you, remember, she was absent the day the world got together and decided all women should fucking agree to like the same exact things so as not to trouble you.
In Hunger Roxane Gay writes:
“Intellectually, I recognize that I am not the problem. This world and its unwillingness to accept and accommodate me are the problem. But I suspect it is more likely that I can change before this culture…”
It’s a matter of who’s going to make the first move. As a woman, I’ve been making moves to accommodate you my whole life. I’ve even come to the late realization that when you tell me to smile I’m going to not-smile even harder. But there is some risk in that, there could be some retaliation.
Roxane wrote a whole book on how her body exists in the world and I’m just talking about a face. If we’re talking about my face, it’s a white face attached to my white body, which has suffered, but also moves through this world with more privilege than Roxane’s large, black body because of the racism deeply set in our country that we all should be working every day to undermine. To undermine it, and all other inequalities, I’m doing what I believe in loudly and publicly for women who do and do not look like me. I don’t speak for any of them, but I’m standing here and swinging my arms around to make some fucking space. This is called solidarity. And yes, it has something to do with my Bitchy Resting Face.
Your beauty standards suggest I’m not pretty when I’m not smiling. Your meter for politeness says that a lady should smile and eat chips silently. And that really fucking ticks me off.
When Ben Stiller does it as Zoolander it’s called Blue Steel. When women do it as themselves it’s called “Are you PMSing or what?”
Hillary Clinton even gave up her Bitchy Resting Face to be your president and she is still not your fucking president.
Let’s end where we began: you should love my bitchy resting face because it’s just my face. You don’t have to love me. You’re a stranger, I don’t want your love, but I’ll take a basic respect of my humanity. That’s about all my willing to give you in return. You’re over there and I respect your right to be you being over there, whatever your face. I’m not going to tell you to change it, k?
Are we good here? I’m gonna go spread my Blue Steel around town some more. Seriously, unless you are the barista handing over my cold brew, you ain’t gonna get shit from me today. And I’m not even mad. I’m just not smiling at you. Time you learned how to deal.