Stop telling women to smile more.
Why do men expect women to be smiley and happy and perfect all the time?
This is real life — not a shampoo commercial.
Since when are women not allowed to express a wide range of emotions just like men?
Ohhhh, it's because you think it makes us more attractive? I forgot women exist solely for your viewing pleasure! Silly me . . .
And why is it socially acceptable to label any woman who dares to wear a passive expression a “bitch”? What’s a girl to do when she’s not mad but her face is? We’re looking at you, K-Stew.
Any woman who isn’t constantly smiling like a beauty pageant queen gets villainized for being expressionless.
Meanwhile, any brooding man just gets called a handsome heartthrob.
Or he gets called Kanye West.
But I digress . . .
The entire concept of the resting bitch face is nothing short of sexist. It’s a concrete example of the gender bias and societal norms that cause us to expect women to look happy and pretty 24/7.
Even more concerning, anytime a catcaller on the street tells a woman, “Smile, beautiful!” this seemingly harmless comment is a subtle reminder to women that their body is not 100% their own.
RBFs are always unfairly applied to women, but science proves men actually have them too.
A study by Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth, researchers from Noldus Information Technology, used the company’s FaceReader software to analyze the faces of various celebrities.
In an attempt to learn why some faces are perceived as “bitchy,” they included celebrities who have been known to have less-than-happy looks on their faces such as Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick, Kanye West, and Queen Elizabeth II.
The scientists found that RBFs occur among both male and female faces equally. Even more interesting, they noticed that these so-called resting bitch faces showed more underlying emotions than more pleased-looking faces.
Most neutral faces register a 97% neutral rating with 3% underlying emotion on average. However, people with RBFs register 6% underlying emotion on average. This causes us to perceive emotions like sadness, anger, or contempt.
On the other end of the spectrum, some people actually have resting happy faces. Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Blake Lively are perceived as making happy faces even when their facial expressions are neutral.
So the next time you’re tempted to mock a female celebrity for her RBF or catcall a woman on the street, please keep your thoughts on their bodies to yourself.
Women don’t automatically owe you anything — not even a smile.
SHARE your thoughts on resting bitch face!