I suffer from an affliction that I didn’t even know existed. My lovely wife happened to mention it to me over the weekend, and while we laughed about it at first, the more I pondered it, the more I realized that she might be right.
Resting Bitch Face, or RBF as it’s commonly known, (I’m using the word common very loosely here; I’m not certain just how many people actually know what RBF is) refers to people, mostly women from what I’ve gathered, whose natural, expressionless face makes them look bitchy.
What does bitchy look like?
Your guess is as good as mine, I suppose, but a quick Google image search of RBF will provide examples like Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson and Anna Paquin. I’d say Nicole Kidman probably fits the bill as well.
My wife’s probably right about my RBF. People are always confusing me for glamorous people like Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.
Actually, I suffer from the male version of RBF. I haven’t yet settled on a name for it, but something like SMF, (Scary Mean Face), or MHAPKWBSAFHF, (Maybe He’s a Psychotic Killer, We Better Stay Away From Him Face) would probably work, although that last one might be a tad too long, so maybe SMF wins by default.
I don’t have to do anything to turn on the SMF. It’s just always there, unless I’m talking or smiling. But if I’m doing nothing, like just waiting in line at the grocery store, someone who doesn’t know me might think that I’m mean.
My wife undoubtedly is the person most familiar with my SMF. On our first-ever mini-date—just before our first real date, and just after I friendly-stalked her a couple of times—she thought I was angry and didn’t want to see her. Yet, in a nod to my on-the-phone charm, she still decided to go out with me. As soon as we began talking she discovered that I wasn’t angry at all.
Now that I know that I have SMF, maybe it’s time for me to start using it to my advantage. Chances are I won’t go on to win any Best Actress Academy Awards since I’m not an actor or a woman, but perhaps I can still have some fun.
Some people need to dress up as a maniacal clown or a crazy scarecrow to horrify kids on Halloween. Maybe all I have to do is open my front door and not say a word. My silence would be creepy enough. My SMF might just send those cute little princesses and superheroes running away screaming.
And the next time I’m at a crowded restaurant I’ll put my name on the waiting list and then just stand in the corner and say nothing. I’ll look around the room, try to make eye contact with all the other people waiting for a table, and see what happens.
I’ll bet it’ll be one of two things: either I’ll get my table a little sooner because all of the other customers are scared of me, or I’ll have to convince the police I’m not a madman because all of the other customers are scared of me.
I’m missing out on a golden opportunity to employ the SMF when talking to my kids. Yelling is for amateurs. The thing to do is just to stare. Next time they do something enraging I’ll call them over, make them stand right in front of me, and just stare at them. Even if they’re not scared by my SMF, it’s possible they’ll think dad’s gone mad. That’ll work.
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