Resting Bitch Face – A New Gay Epidemic?

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Have YOU given up showing outward expression in your face and choosing to laugh and smile on the inside?

There has been a syndrome going around the gay community within the last couple years. It’s taking over the bars, clubs, gyms, offices and street corners from West Hollywood to the West Village – the Resting Bitch Face.

Resting Bitch Face (RBF) is very easy to do. Sometimes I catch myself in the middle of it, usually because someone asks me “What’s wrong?” or “Did I offend you?” or “Are you okay?” or “Is something the matter?” when in actuality I was thinking the happiest of thoughts. Unfortunately there are some guys diagnosed with intense RBF and don’t have a prayer in the world to come out of it.

To be honest, I feel deeply sorry for gay men with RBF. Nothing sucks worse than knowing you have to put in a million times more effort to look approachable in public, in a meeting, or even during sex. When you make a joke it becomes a miraculous moment for the people around you to discover you actually do have a sense of humor. The need to constantly apologize for your RBF can be soul draining, but the truth of the matter is it’s out of your control – or is it?

Studies have shown that women report smiling way more than men. It doesn’t really come as a surprise since women are, in theory, more emotional and empathetic. But we all know that smiles are bullshit. Just because someone is smiling doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy or satisfied with their lives. Some people would rather play peacemaker and smile through life rather than cause any friction with the men upstairs.

So what does this mean for gay guys? We’re unafraid to show a little sass in our expression, which might mean we refuse to hide beneath social expectancies. When we’re pissed, we’re unafraid to show it. When we’re judging you, we’re unafraid to show it. When we’re attracted to you, we’re unafraid to show it – shouldn’t all these things mean that gay guys as a whole are fearless? That sounds like a good thing to me.

Most of us can’t help the way our natural expression looks on our beautiful cheekbones, but we can control a little bit of how we’re being perceived at any given moment. RBF is definitely chronic, but the sooner we stop denying our issue the sooner we might be able to fix it. How many times are we going to hear that we look unapproachable before we start to make an effort to change?

Don’t get me wrong. Resting Bitch Face isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but as you know there are some people who work it and some people that flat out CAN’T. I like to compare it to the color orange – some people pull it off while others look like an ugly pumpkin. There are countless of people in this world with RBF who’ve managed to make it work, but unfortunately for the rest who haven’t it’s probably time we call them out on it, eh?

I say, be proud of who you are and how your face looks. Don’t judge a man by his lack of a smile. You never know, perhaps the man you’re staring at with RBF actually is a nice guy and isn’t the stereotypical bitchy gay man in the corner (or perhaps he is). But even a person with RBF deserves the benefit of your doubts.

If you suffer from Resting Bitch Face, you’re not alone. Don’t be ashamed. You might be resting but that doesn’t mean you’re a bitch. Look in the mirror, hug yourself, laugh a little and try to remember what that looks like. Whether you think so or not, a smile is a hell of a lot more attractive than duck lips.

 

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