I'll admit it, I have a condition called RBF or, if you will, Resting Bitch Face.
Anna Kendrick, poor Kristen Stewart, the Queen of England are all life-long sufferers of RBF. Victoria Beckham even made a career out of it! And though it's usually used to describe women, some men are also afflicted. Kanye West is the best example of this.
But what is RBF? It's the slightly annoyed, slightly bored look some people happen to have on their face whenever it's not in motion. The phenomenon has been taking the internet by storm since the mock-PSA titled Bitchy Resting Face so scientist decided to find out the cause of RBF.
Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth are behavioral researchers at Noldus Information Technology. Sounds impressive. They used a machine to examine and catalogue 10,000 images of the human face in hopes to find the cause of RBF. After studying photos of truly expressionless faces, the computer spits out data stating there was 97 percent neutrality and 3 percent emotion. Then, they plugged in faces of celebs infamous for their RBF. The computer analyzed the photos and determined there was only 6 percent of emotion in their resting faces for both males and females. With the software being unable to pick out gender, their conclusion was that the issue with RBF is a distinctly female problem due to social norms.
As a woman, I find this particularly troubling. Why? Because thanks to my RBF, I get asked annoying question day in and day out about my emotional state when, to be quite honest, I'm perfectly fine.
Do you think you have RBF? Below are some signs you just might be one of the afflicted.
1. Strangers have told you "Smile!" on regular occasions
2. The first thing people say to you is "Are you okay?"
3. Dates have texted you asking if they bored you
4. Or, they tell you they don't want to go out again because you didn't seem interested
5. People question your level of comfort in any given situation
6. Friends have said, "When I first met you, I thought you didn't like me." and were totally serious about it
7. Jokes don't land well because people can't tell if you're serious or not
8. You've been told customer service isn't for you because you never smile
9. In fact, in your yearly review, your manager always writes to smile more under "room for improvement"
10. You hate when people have their cameras out taking candids
11. Even when you smile for a photograph it looks like either A) you're trying too hard or B) you're the Mona Lisa
12. Things can even get a little awkward when you smile
13. You regularly are told "I'm never sure how you feel about things"
14. You've scared strangers on the train/bus/sidewalk with your death glares-- even though they're unintentional and you're not really looking at them
15. Christmas and birthdays are hard because you have to figure out how to look like you're pleased with all your gifts even when you are
16. People frequently tell you you're intimidating
17. Friends stop inviting you to things because they think you don't like going
18. Your parents have RBF (it's definitely genetic. Thanks, Mom).
Obviously, it's not ideal to have RBF. But you've only got one face so own that frown. And to all the Emily Gilmores, Rhiannas, Kanyes and more — keep doing your thing.