Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I have resting bitch face

What I saw: I was looking at the Bacon Provider’s Twitter mentions and noticed that someone quote-tweeted a selfie he took at a 10K, saying he had the “mightiest RBF in creation.”

mid-80s RBF Bacon Provider

What I did beforehand: I have known since I first heard the phrase in 2012 that I have it. Strange men have shouted at me to smile since I was 15. 

Me with RBF, on left

When I was a kid, photographs were taken by adults, with film cameras, on occasions that warranted documenting, not because it was “Tuesday when I walked my dog,” but more like “Thanksgiving at Grandma’s,” or “when Uncle Nardie was in town.” I viewed adults with suspicion, as they were always making me do things I didn’t want to do, like sit in chairs, be quiet, and eat unappetizing horrors like beets or brussels sprouts. Or they were stopping me from improving my situation, like forcing me to come out from under the table, or get out of that empty cupboard, or put down my stuffed monkey, or keep my shoes on. Adult relatives were these terrible people who knew things about me, like my name and my birthday and where I lived and what I liked to do, and would use this information against me to ask me probing questions, like about my imaginary friend, Cousin Eddy. I had to send Cousin Eddy to college to prevent their further investigations. Adult relatives did invasive things like look at how big I’d gotten, wanted to know what I was drawing, or who I was talking to inside the cupboard, or felt free to touch my face or hug me or pat my hair or sit me on their laps. These were the times when I was photographed as a child. 

Me, learning to smile with RBF

Who went with me: my mother had resting bitch face. And my grandmother. My father had it, too, but, like me, also smiled and laughed easily and looks animated in photos. My mother had an upside-down smile and disliked many or even most pictures of herself.

My RBF mother in high school

How I got tickets: you don’t need a ticket to have resting bitch face. Just stop smiling. Ok, also stop smiling with your eyes. Ok, now, unclench your teeth, without opening your mouth, and squint just a tiny bit, not like a spaghetti-western-squint, just enough that you suggest your secret suspicions. I think you’ve got it now.

My mother might have been smiling here

Why I have resting bitch face:
you haven’t said anything funny enough yet.

This RBF baby is my mother

Where I sat: on a wall at the University of Utah, where I was getting an unfunny masters degree in pure mathematics.

mid-80s mathematician with RBF

What I wore: that same long-sleeve black t-shirt and jean skirt and black flats that I wore every day of grad school unless I wore the red skirt which was shorter so I wore tights and short little pointy-toed boots.

Sometimes, your RBF means
you're concentrating
This is a young RBF Bacon Provider

Things that were sad:
my husband did not know until yesterday that he has resting bitch face. Today, a communications person told him he needs to smile more, as he is preparing a big speech. 

My mother, her sister & dog with RBF

Things that were funny: this video

Things that were not funny: a lot of good dressage riders get into a zone when they’re riding where they are so focused and relaxed their jaws hang open a little; some people call it “bass face” or “dressage face” but, let’s face it, we should call it “dressage bitch face.” My face will be ready when my riding skills catch up.

Anyway, I expect to be in perpetual RBF mode until the anti-Semites and woman-abusers are out of the White House. 

Something I ate: this isn’t about food, though I've always eaten a lot of breakfast cereal. 

Adults interfering with my happiness

What it is: women do not exist for making you happy, so stop telling them to smile, and stop complaining about someone looking pissed all the time. Maybe they are pissed for a really good reason.

I'm the RBF baby here

Who should see it: people in the public eye should regularly check their mentions, or have someone do it for them. 

Walking my dogs is my RBF happy place

What I saw was his reply: "I never do anything half-way."


  1. Don't know why it says I'm Mike instead of Janet. Now I've got a RBF. Loved the photo of Ticker (dog). He always made me smile.

  2. A few years back I put together a slideshow of old family photos for a gathering in honor of a milestone birthday for my Mom. Going through and scanning old photos, we learned that my maternal grandmother had what my family now calls the ** smile (where **=my grandma's family name), and I now realize is RBF. I have pictures of her at the beach, sitting on the sand fully dressed, with the ** smile / RBF. PS: We have pictures from my early childhood that look exactly like your xmas picture in this post -- exact same clothing, hairstyles, furniture and decor, same kind of tricycles, all of it.