“You look serious when you don’t smile.”
“I was intimidated by your face when I first met you.”
“You look unfriendly.”
These are some honest reveals that I often get when my friends open up to me, yes, even my close friends. I realised that I was born with a mean-looking and sometimes expressionless face commonly known as Resting B*tch Face (RBF). It’s basically the opposite of people with sweet, innocent, and friendly faces that are pleasant looking.
However, as time goes by, I learned to not let the comments of other people bother me nor do I care much to force a smile all the time. On the contrary, I learned to accept my RBF as I realised that it has its advantages as well! So, keep reading if you think you have an RBF and would like to know how you can use it as a power tool or share it with someone you know who has!
Let’s be real. Every one of us is different and we all experience different emotions all the time. You can’t expect people to constantly be happy and smile all the time just so that the world may look more cheerful. Since everyone is special in their own ways, I consider my RBF a unique feature too! So, instead of whining, “Why don’t I have a cute smiley-shaped lip?” or “I wish I was born with innocent doe eyes”, I believe that celebrating my own uniqueness of having a serious default expression is the way to go.
Some days when I need to feel more empowered, I’ll look into the mirror and tell myself “I’m unique and I appreciate my physical appearance.” Having an RBF is something that I can’t change, but that makes my smile and my cheerful look more precious. Of course, I smile when I’m happy and, more importantly, I smile for my own reasons and not to live up to other people's expectations. Once I shifted my mindset and discerned the truth that I can’t please everyone, I found a better way to approach my uniqueness.
Before getting to know me, many may think that I’m extremely unfriendly, especially when catching me off-guard with my RBF.
You may be intimidated, annoyed, or even have an unfavourable impression towards me.
However, I assure you that once you get to know me, you’ll be amazed that my physical appearance and my personality are of stark contrast.
Beneath the cold and mean-looking RBF, there lies my cheerful and bubbly personality that will make you feel the warmth of friendship. Surprise, surprise! Don’t believe me? Ask my friends! So, who cares if I have an RBF? I’m a jolly person at heart!
Having an RBF taught me to look at things from a different perspective. Rather than blaming myself for having an RBF that scares people off, I began to change my mind to think that I am actually blessed with an RBF, taking it as a superpower that only some have.
If you realised, RBF exists in most of the famous stars, top models, and even renowned artists like Anna Kendrick, Emma Watson, Bella Hadid, and more!
Having a similar trait with these well-known people taught me to give my smile a break, and showcase my RBF as a superpower to the world!
Psychologically speaking, all of us have a defence mechanism. It’s the unconscious strategy that arises to protect ourselves from potential harm or unwanted feelings (eg. shame, guilt).
Being gifted with this look, I have an added advantage as I’m able to use it as a form of defence mechanisms.
It helps me to put on the “I don’t care” and “Please don’t talk to me” face.
This is useful especially in public settings to repel unwanted attention like pushy sales promoters, therefore saving me the energy to reject them.
Hence, having an RBF isn’t as bad as you think. When I think about it deeply, it actually poses benefits in many ways. So, if you have friends with an RBF, don’t be fooled by their appearance but rather spend time getting to know them before judging them. As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. And if you’re already in the RBF squad, my advice is to embrace it and live with your uniqueness! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.
PS: This is for you, #TCP23325 from Taylor’s Confessions page. (Yes, we noticed you!)
One of The Risers’ ambassadors, Jasmine is an assertive, bold and cheerful student currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education (Hons). She enjoys teaching, learning, singing and exploring new stuff.
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