The Myth of Bitch Face

If repeated often enough, and pummeled into the collective consciousness, myths find themselves becoming truths.

Where these “untruths” exist, there will always be a brave warrior who will bring us back to reality.  I have been known to perpetuate myths.  I suggested to a friend that she tell a coworker that chewing gum will build the muscles in your jaw which leads to a “fat-looking face.”  This lie was not told without purpose; I was trying to be a problem-solver.

However, there is one myth that I feel necessary to stop in its tracks. And that is the myth of “Bitch Face”.

“Bitch Face” is sometimes known as “Resting Bitch Face” and to those who love acronyms “RBF”. Someone who has Bitch Face is someone who looks perpetually pissed off, OR mean, OR unapproachable, OR like a bitch.

There is the widespread belief that some women, regardless of their temperament JUST look like bitches. She might be a total sweetheart who nursed a sick baby bird back to health, but she just looks like a bitch. She’s not angry at you, or mentally assailing your outfit, she just looks like it.

Here’s the thing — if you have Bitch Face, you’re probably thinking bitchy thoughts.  Just as someone who is worrying looks worried.  Someone who is happy is probably smiling. A person who is stressed has “MurderFace”™ (we’ll discuss MurderFace another time)

Indeed, people who are mean tend to wear it on their face.  You’ve probably seen the excerpt from Roald Dahl‘s “The Twits”:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.”

I don’t have a pleasant face when I’m thinking of all the jokes about the girls who are in line at Nick’s Tacos/Rogue teetering on their heels like drunk giraffes, dressed in headband skirts at (FYI: Taco Tuesday refers to the sale price of tacos on the second day of the business week; it doesn’t mean show up with your lady bits out).

I have had Bitch Face.

I would like to think I’m a mostly nice person.  I actively remind myself not to have these kinds of thoughts, because I truly believe they appear on your face. Negative thoughts about others (and yourself) are like termites to a wood cabin.  They eat away at the structure of your mind, unseen and unnoticed until it is severely damaged.

A genuinely nice person can have bitchy thoughts. We’re all human—meaning general stupidity and bad life decisions are in ample supply.  And as imperfect beings, we find ourselves in positions where we judge.  It is when we have those thoughts, we have Bitch Face.

But people who have a constant stream of bitchy thoughts have Bitch Face.  She might not be saying those bitchy thoughts (which good on them — because that’s half the battle), but she is definitely thinking them and you can see it.


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