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Resting Bitch Face

(45 Posts)
Disappointednomore Wed 19-Oct-16 05:57:03

I'd be interested to hear from other women their opinions on this delightful phrase which appears to be everywhere at the moment. It appears to mean "women who aren't smiling" from what I gather, and there is no corresponding phrase referring to "men who aren't smiling".

hesterton Wed 19-Oct-16 06:01:02

I have only heard it in reference to men.

LynetteScavo Wed 19-Oct-16 06:02:52

I've never heard it confused

Toomuchbooty Wed 19-Oct-16 06:04:35

I often refer to myself as having resting bitch face, I've always taken it to mean 'you look really mardy and unapproachable, but that's just the way your face looks at rest!' Countless people have told me they were scared before they knew me or I looked like I wanted to punch them etc when in reality I never have or would ever want to punch anyone in my life!

there doesn't seem to be a catchy enough name for it with a male orientated word, so I imagine it can be used interchangeably, also I would say that while typically a resting bitch face on a female would be viewed as a negative, it probably is read on a man as being aloof and brooding!

FourToTheFloor Wed 19-Oct-16 06:08:34

I always have mine on when travelling on PT through London. So far it's worked a treat smile

IzzyIsBusy Wed 19-Oct-16 06:10:13

My sil who is lovely has resting bitch face most of the time. She knows this and i think in some way she is quite proud grin.

It is not a lack of smile that causes this look its the air of i will reduce you to rubble with one look kind of thing.

pontificationcentral Wed 19-Oct-16 06:12:40

Men are supposed to be grave and severe. Women are supposed to be smiley and and amenable. It's not rocket science. Women who don't conform to that rule are emonrated with. Cheer up love it might never happen. Give us a smile.
I have resting bitch face. I'm not going to gussy up and fawn for anyone.
A family friend used to call me po faced lemon sucker. <proud>

pontificationcentral Wed 19-Oct-16 06:14:05

Oh god izzy are you my SIL? <boggle>
Nice juxtaposition though!

pontificationcentral Wed 19-Oct-16 06:15:25

Remonstrated. Not sure what autocorrect was trying to do with my typing...

IzzyIsBusy Wed 19-Oct-16 06:22:35

Ha Pont quite possibly grin

scallopsrgreat Wed 19-Oct-16 08:10:47

I've never heard it reference to men. Bitch isn't generally used in reference to men at all.

It's a shit phrase.

Scared to approach you Toomuchbooty? Shows how much we are conditioned to expect women to be always 'pleasant'.

Have a look round today at how many men have that type of face at rest. There are quite a few and they wouldn't be classed as unapproachable or have a special phrase for them.

Xenophile Wed 19-Oct-16 08:15:39

What scallops said. In bucketfuls.

Women don't have to be approachable at all times. In fact are taught from when they're tiny that being approachable is a bad thing while also being told to be constantly pleasing.

And I've never once heard it being used about men. I'd be absolutely astounded if I did.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 19-Oct-16 08:18:56

I think the male equivalent is "thug".

scallopsrgreat Wed 19-Oct-16 08:23:23

Possibly. But I don't see many women looking like a thug (or what I think of as a thug). I agree though thug is primarily used to describe men but normally with more threatening characteristics than a face that looks like you are pissed off.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 19-Oct-16 08:27:12

I'm trying to think of what other threatening characteristics you'd associate with "thug" (without resorting to stereotyping).

(I'm one of those sad buggers who's proud of RBF 'cause I'm antisocial at best and outright hostile on a bad day grin)

QuiltedAloeVera Wed 19-Oct-16 08:30:37

It started out as a satire on the idea that all women are meant to be cheerful and that women can and will be criticised for absolutely anything. Within about three days it had become 'a thing'....

I'll see if I can find a link.

scallopsrgreat Wed 19-Oct-16 08:35:19

But 'thug' is a stereotype. So I'd associate perhaps some of: a shaved head, tattoos, larger muscles on show, strutting around, aggressiveness; shouting or swearing. So thinking about it some more it's probably their actions which define them as thug. I can think of some men with shaved heads and tattoos who would definitely not fit that class.

There aren't many men I'd class as a thug.

mintthins Wed 19-Oct-16 08:36:17

There was an interesting programme on I think bbc2 last night talking about faces and they covered how much of a person's personality you can tell from their face. I can't find a link to it just now and only caught the end of it but putting aside the massive over simplification some of it made sense. Grace Dent was funny on the subject, and has an excellent RBF.

PinkSquash Wed 19-Oct-16 08:37:01

I have RBF and I'm proud of it, I can be very smiley and happy but sometimes I relax my face and need to release the feelings facially

MabelSideswipe Wed 19-Oct-16 08:37:05

I think there is a make equivalent but not the phrase for it. My DH lost all his hair through alopecia and he is quite big. Peoples attitudes changed towards even I noticed. Stares, comments, shoulder barging him in tube stations...because they seed to think he was 'hard'. He is the oppisite!

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 19-Oct-16 08:51:58

I think "thug" is no more or less a stereotype than "having RBF" it's a look that people attribute certain characteristics. So I still think "thug" is the male equivalent.

Rethinking, I guess "thug" is the male equivalent of "nasty bitch" and the male equivalent of "resting bitch face" is "looks like a thug" or just plain old simple "miserable bastard".

TheOptimisticButtercunt Wed 19-Oct-16 08:54:57

Wasn't there a study done into resting bitch face fairly recently?

It showed (IIRC) that the average person is more likely to notice a serious/non-smiley expression on a woman than a man. They used computer mapping to compare faces and show whether they presented any of the signs usually associated with RBF, and then asked people to identify which faces had RBF. The women were selected far more often than the men which had the same or similar scores from the computer mapping.

I only read a brief article on it so have no idea how reliable it was though...

<goes off to find link>

carmenta Wed 19-Oct-16 08:55:10

Resting bitch face is definitely pejorative against women. According to this study it's just as common in men but men don't get called on it. Presumably because they're allowed to be grumpy, rather than decoratively sunshiney like women are supposed to be.

carmenta Wed 19-Oct-16 08:55:38

X-post Optimistic smile

DavidPuddy Wed 19-Oct-16 09:01:10

I first knew the phrase as bitchy resting face. Surely that describes it better?

I do often find people who contort their resting faces into a smile to be rather inane. It seems to be somewhat seeking atrention. That said, I am probably generalusing based on a few people I know.

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