What do Kanye West, Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick and Queen Elizabeth II have in common?
Hey, we’re not saying it. Noldus, a leading company that develops software for observational and behavioral research has found this to be true. On Instagram, the hashtag #restingbitchface has more than 950,000 posts to date. Science agrees. And… wait for it… so do Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries because `Resting Bitch Face’ is now formally a part of their official listings.
If you’ve been living off the grid or under a stone and feeling deeply puzzled at the sheer audacity of the phrase, Resting Bitch Face (RBF) describes the expression of annoyance, irritation and (allegedly) four times more contempt that comes over an affected face at rest. And it’s mostly attributed to women. (Kanye West is a rare, crossover poster-boy of the RBF expression.)
For example, when a woman is not communicating with someone, or not aware of being watched, her face relaxes into a scowl, lips tighten, brows crease, eyes harden, and the overall expression is translated by others as particularly unsocial.
It’s human nature not to ask for directions from people with an RBF, not to want to sit next to them on a bus, not wish them a polite good morning in the elevator, and certainly not date them!
Is it sexist? Yes. Discriminatory? Absolutely. Disrespectful? Without question.
Women don’t have to smile and be amicable and approachable by default.
And yet that is exactly the kind of social pressure women feel when they’re labelled with an RBF. (Or Bitchy Resting Face: BRF)
Plastic surgeons all over the United States can attest to this because the requests for non-invasive injectables to cure RBF are trending these days. According to the New York Times, procedures to correct an RBF have more than doubled in the past year.
At Dr Bryan McIntosh’s clinic, we’re using fillers and injectables, such as Botox, to transform ‘perceived’ semi-angry expressions to something more cheerful and vivacious with great results. Lip fillers, for example, take the edge off a scowling lip expression by making them look hydrated, full and more smiley. Botox injections placed under the outer corners of the mouth help pull them up into a more youthful smile and clear up deep frown lines.
We love what we are doing to make our clients feel confident about who they are, inside and out. Whether they are feeling quiet and introspective or in an outgoing, party mood.
But Resting Bitch Face?
Are we ever going to advertise our fillers and injectable treatments to re-angle mouths and erase frown and marionette lines as an RBF procedure?
We fully understand that RBF is supposed to be an amusing, tongue-in-cheek concept, but we oppose the inherent sexism of the b**ch word and the notion that a woman has to turn her frown upside down just because she is in public. Maybe, she looks irritated and offended because she is feeling irritated and offended! Maybe she isn’t trying to please anybody but just herself in that moment. Maybe it isn’t her resting but her active b**ch face. One that is fearlessly telling the world, “Hey, I’m having a moment, so quit all that judgement and just leave me alone…”