Resting Bitch Face

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RBF, or better known as Resting Bitch Face is a worldwide misinterpretation. When certain people have a calm, relaxed, and expressionless face it may come across as mean or bitchy. This does affect both genders, but has become particularly prevalent with women due to the social stereotype, it has made it easier to deem women as bitches or someone with a bad attitude.We as humans assume that it is easier to dictate a person’s personality based off of their face, especially with the use of Instagram and Twitter.

 Across all social media platforms, all sorts of individuals complain about having such a mean looking face and tend to wonder why people do not approach them. This is a very normal thing in my life as well, I completely acknowledge the fact that my resting face makes me look discontented. While this issue may seem minute, the certain individuals who have this bitchy expression sometimes become fed up with the assumption that they are mean. First impressions may be the biggest thing that someone can judge you on, but what happens when you do not go further than the first look.

Students and teachers are one on this subject, many teens will gripe about how they believed someone gave a dirty look or how a teacher simply has a mean face. However, many do not take that information and use it wisely, instead of figuring out if a person is truly mean, they could choose to simply spread the rumor of the person plagued with RBF. Out of 126 students surveyed here at Oak Hills High School, 75.7% of students believe they know someone with RBF. That is one hundred and three students, just a fraction of the number of students attending this school.

Oak Hills High School junior Jacqueline Fermin stated, “People form their opinion of what kind of person you are in the first few seconds of meeting you and if that first impression is not favorable it can be really hard to change the person’s mind.” She also added that if given the chance, she would change her outward expression in order to make herself more approachable, that way she would be judged differently.

The survey including OHHS students yielded various responses, several stating the reason why they do not  approach certain individuals, “My first assumption is they may dislike me,” remarked one student.

“My first assumption is that they must be upset at someone or at me because of the expression of their face,” said another.

After all of the questions and answers received, the majority of students believe that if they have RBF they would not choose to change it if given the chance. Only 22% said they would change their expressionless face if they were able. The majority of students who remarked that they might have RBF, are in fact women, it is much easier to call out a woman on this facial stereotyping than it is for men but there is no scientific evidence behind it. There is no gender bias when it comes to interpreting lax facial expressions, women and men are alike in this situation but

In a recent scientific study, behavioral analyst Abbe Macbeth stated, “RBF isn’t necessarily something that occurs more in women, but we’re more attuned to notice it in women because women have more pressure on them to be happy and smiley and to get along with others.”

Choosing to change your face is such a personal decision, personally I understand the struggles of going through Resting Bitch Face. Being a teen with a mean face can result in multiple situations of pure misunderstandings, or simply not looking as if you encourage strangers to approach you. Our social interactions nowadays can sometimes become solely based on one quick glance, this can give an onlooker several different interpretations and we put too much weight on that one signal that we can forget about the more important information regarding a person’s personality and character.

Fermin also added, “Instead of waiting for someone to come up to you, you should go up to them…give a gentle smile to everyone you make eye contact with…you’re just looking to take the edge of your RBF.”

In my life I have had to explain on countless occasions that I am not mad or sad, and one day first impressions will not be the sole source of judgement. Deciding whether or not to change your outward appearance is different for everyone, judging people based off character creates a seamless transition into relationships and helps to avoid complete misunderstanding. So what does one do when they are plagued with RBF?





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