Resting Nice Face is the REAL Bitch.

A lot of people have a lot to say about “Resting Bitch Face” or, as the internet has so conveniently shortened it, “RBF.”  Strangers will annoying shout “SMILE!” at you as you walk by, plenty happy with your day but just not visibly enjoying it.  An attractive person that you might want to get to know crosses the street because of the unintentional scowl on your face.  A kid on the street refers to you as “that mean lady.”

Well, fuck that kid.  The dude that crossed the street is intimidated by strong women and the asshole that told you to “smile” thinks that because you are a woman, he can dictate your emotions.

I envy you, hot babe with resting bitch face… or HBWRBF, as I will refer to you, henceforth.  You see, HBWRBF, I have the exact opposite problem.  I have resting nice face.

Some asshole calls my name or calls out to me and I turn around and smile.  This time it was my fiancee. Photo by David Volker.

If you think RBF sucks, try RNF.  I may be having the worst day in the world, but I unintentionally smile at everyone that I make eye contact with.  Every single person that needs someone to talk to and is just waiting for the slightest perceived invitation to do so LEAPS at the opportunity to speak to me when I nervously smile or say hello in passing.  Any dude within a one block radius looks up from their Tindr app as I am passing by, as if their creeper senses are tingling.  I am then locked in a game of “No, thank you” followed by “I am engaged” because a woman saying “no” is not sufficient, it has to be about a matter of respect toward another man in order to shake them off.

I could be internally seething, having just gotten into a massive fight with my partner, and some motherfucker catches me and the switch for the auto-smile gets flipped.  After all, it’s not their fault that I’m angry.  FUCK.  Now, I’m trapped in a twenty-minute long conversation.


Am I wincing, farting, or smiling? You’ll never know. Photo by Bettie Newell.

Sarcasm aside, I like to think of myself as an unusually nice person.  Part of this is how I was raised, the other part is that I have been forced to learn patience because of my dreaded Resting Nice Face.  I wonder if being a fat woman has forced me to be kinder and more patient than my thin, equally successful or unsuccessful counterparts.  I’m fat, so I have to be jolly, right?  Fuck that.

I’m sure RNF has gotten me a lot of things, too – highly desired dick undoubtedly being one of them.  As much as I may complain, RNF has certainly worked in my favor and led to me getting jobs in a way that RBF probably works against sincerely kind people who just look really mean.

Maybe we can just work on ourselves.  Instead of assuming that a woman can be worn down after an initial “no,” men need to accept that lack of consent.  Instead of assuming a person has all the time in the world to listen to their issues, that person who would like to talk should ask “Have you got a moment?” Conversely, those who are not usually inclined to do so should leave a little room in their week to have a real connection with a stranger, as long as they have the emotional space to do so – crippling social anxiety is definitely exempt.  Sometimes the friendliest folks are the most emotionally dangerous and manipulative, just as the opposite applies for those who are seemingly unfriendly.

These are just a few things to consider before essentializing that woman who just make eye contact with you as a “bitch” or “friendly.”   Sometimes Resting Nice Face can be a real bitch.

I fucking hate Morning Show chatter, but Vanessa Bayer and I have the same very real issue.


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