Is There A Cure For Resting Bitchy Face?
Bitchy Resting Face (BRF) is a problem that has plagued women ever since people had a face. It is the condition of having been born with a face that when you are not actively smiling you look sad, angry, or just plain bitchy. The condition was identified by journalist and comedian Taylor Orci. Her fake public service announcement became a sensation online in May and June after being posted on You Tube and Funny or Die.
Recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live actress Anna Paquin revealed that she is among those who suffer from BRF. When neither actively smiling nor frowning the woman with BRF looks upset, mean, grumpy, angry, sad, or, yes, even bitchy. Sufferers are often pestered by friends, family, coworkers, and sometimes total strangers asking what is going on with the person. In some cases they spend time trying to figure out what they did wrong.
It is about time this issue had a name. In truth these people are by and large happy, normal, well-adjusted people. It is just that their "default" face when the muscles are relaxed is rather unfortunate. It is just a fact that they struggle with every day of their lives.
Orci's video, made with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, has actually brought a spotlight to bear on a very real problem. And this doesn't just affect women. For men she created the term "Resting Asshole Face." The subject is personal for her since she has BRF herself, a fact that was pointed out to her by her boyfriend and fellow writer and performer, Jared Nigro. The subject started out as a private joke between the two that took on a life of its own.
Those of us (yes, I also have it) with the problem are often told to smile, accused of having a bad attitude, and asked what's wrong until we feel like we must sit around grinning like an idiot at all times. I've had people try to convince me that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile and wouldn't believe me when I denied that I was frowning. One time I ticked off a homeless man in San Francisco because I was gazing blankly out a car window. He thought my face was an opinion of him and he started swearing at me.
I have also been accused of being uncooperative at work because of my face. Somehow concentrating magnifies the effect. My mother called it my "look of thunder."
One expert has suggested training yourself to smile more (we're back to that grinning idiot thing). I have an added problem here since I have a downward turning smile. This often makes me look like I am grimacing instead of smiling. My neighbor and fellow BRF sufferer said that smiling for no real reason can come off as forced and insincere. This can also result in additional problems unless you are already a used car salesman or politician.
There is even an animal version of this phenomenon, as demonstrated by the poor feline now known to the world as "Grumpy Cat." This cat is not grumpy. It is actually quite loving and playful. It just has one of those faces.
Is there help for those us blessed with such lugubrious faces? According to plastic surgeons there definitely is. They have been aware of this condition for many years. They just didn't call it by these names. One of the procedures that surgeons can perform to help people with RBF or RAF is referred to as a grin lift. That is taking the naturally turned-down corners of the mouth and bringing them up. Another issue is the vertical lines between the brows that add the appearance of a frown. These can be treated with Botox.
While some may opt for the surgical option, I prefer to go with the public education option so that people everywhere will learn that we aren't monsters ready to rain anger and hostility down upon them. Taylor Orci has made a great start. You go, girl!
Just remember, not all of those with BRF are normal. Some really are bitches.Sources: Today, Mail Online