Resting Bitch Face (RBF)

Resting Bitch Face (RBF) is loosely defined as the neutral expression of a female that looks as though she’s annoyed, frustrated, pissed, or about to murder someone when she’s not. She could be perfectly contented or just zoning out, even though her resting face indicates otherwise.

But let’s be real. Iconic RBFs include Anna Kendrick, Victoria Beckham and Queen Elizabeth, so we’re in good company. You don’t have to walk around like as if RBF is a terrible condition you’ve learnt to suppress so people won’t get the wrong idea. Here are 5 things most RBFs can relate to.

1. We know we have an RBF… and we’re not going to “smile more”

Have you ever met anyone afflicted with an RBF who was unaware of their condition? A well-adjusted RBF knows she might scare off unsuspecting passersby, but has long accepted that she cannot stop to smile at every single person along Orchard road.

After a while, it gets tiring to constantly question yourself and your god-given RBF, wondering what you did to give off the “wrong” impression and how to please others. I could be thinking of baby walruses or be reminiscing over the happiest moment of my life and still look like a bitch. At the end of the day, we’ve realised that the best kind of people to be around are ones that don’t judge or assume.

2. Thanks for asking, I’m really okay

There’s literally nothing worse than telling an RBF that she looks upset. That only translates to “there’s something wrong with your face”. And if you were to ask me if something was wrong out of the blue, I can already guarantee that something will be by the end of this sentence.

Why can’t we just enjoy a moment of peace with our bitchily-perceived neutral faces? People don’t always have to feel the extreme ends of the emotional spectrum by being ecstatic, furious or depressed—they can be indifferent too. Or just hangry.

Women shouldn’t need to consistently ensure that people around them are comfortable about something as uncontrollable as their facial features. There’s this pressure for girls to be amicable and always get along with people because of the old-school gender norms. But it’s 2017, and you don’t see guys getting pegged as moody or unpleasant when they have a stern-looking face.

3. We cry the same during emotional Thai commercials

It sucks to be unfairly categorised as bitchy and angsty 24/7 because RBFs are assumed to be incapable of positive emotions. People are generally shocked when they see our pearly whites like they’re blown away by our breaths in a Colgate advertisement. And those emotional Thai commercials? You bet we’ll cry as hard as you… even at the end when we find out it’s for an insurance company. #trustissues

It’s so tiring having to live up to this expectation that girls should be graceful, demure and of course, happy all the time. We’re all human here, with fluctuating feelings and moods—both negative and positive.

4. But it comes in handy when we’re not in the mood to talk

As hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, we’ll reap the benefits too. Everyone knows that when a woman is pissed off, nobody should provoke her. In this case, gender stereotypes FTW. So it’ll come in handy when we genuinely aren’t having the best day and would rather be left alone since the unapproachable RBF automatically repels emotionally-involving questions. Plus, it’s less likely that people will mistake our kindness for weakness.

If we can’t change the prejudices against RBFs, we might as well embrace its power. Hey, we can’t control our faces. You, on the other hand, can control the way you treat us because of it.

5. RBF is your problem, not mine

I’m 90% sure this is how Kopitiam fights happen after unintentional “stare what stare” incidents. It’s amazing how the human brain is wired to be perceptive of even the slightest facial cues in processing body language. This intuition interprets RBF as indicative of its wearer being bitchy or filled with contempt. But RBF is just a neutral expression, not an active choice to scare you or make you feel anything, for that matter. So it’s irrational to feel intimidated, offended, or put off by a person’s face after one glance.

Your brain’s immediate response process to someone’s exterior doesn’t matter; it’s about how you process your opinions thereafter. You have full control over how you react to your internal thoughts and also, the way you treat people.

In short, everyone needs to cut RBFs some slack because you have more of a problem with them than the other way round. And to conclude, we can say that RBF is only the byproduct of your Bitchy Sensationalisation (BS).

Bitch Face Woes

So please cut the BS and stop telling me I look pissed. Smiling will give me wrinkles. Just blame it on my arched brows.