Is Bitchy Resting Face Over? Or Is It Just the Beginning?


Well, Today ran a segment on Bitchy Resting Face this morning, so it looks like that specific discussion/scrutiny of women’s faces can finally fall by the wayside. I mean, once Savannah Guthrie is hip to a trend, it’s definitely dead and gone, right? Huzzah, I guess. We’ll never have to hear about Bitchy Resting Face again!

Or wait. Maybe this is only the beginning. Maybe now that “BRF” has been on Today, your mom and grandma will start constantly emailing you about it. They’ll make jokes about it at Thanksgiving. Ashton Kutcher will have a plot line about it on Two and a Half Men. Bitchy Resting Face will go mainstream like “Gangnam Style” and soon you won’t be able to go anywhere without hearing about it. Well, fuck, guys. This is the exact opposite of what we wanted.

The term “Bitchy Resting Face” (or simply “bitch face” if you don’t have a lot of time) has been around for awhile now, but recently experienced an increase in popularity when comedian Taylor Orci posted a parody Bitchy Resting Face PSA online.

Orci’s video is genuinely funny and aware enough to note that the whole “Bitchy Resting Face” thing is as much about sexism as it is about facial expressions. As the sketch points out, just as many men have relaxed expressions that appear angry or pensive, but no one ever gives them shit about it or shouts at them to smile as they walk down the street.

“Bitchy Resting Face,” for better or worse (no, definitely for worse), has taken on a life of its own. Plastic surgeons are capitalizing on it and women are getting corrective surgeries so they can appear more “cheerful” looking at all times. Even Today interviewed a doctor who said, “Bitchy Resting Face is a real phenomenon. Sometimes we have a permanent frown where the corners of our mouth droop, then sometimes it’s because our brows are a little bit decreased or a little bit low.”

(To be fair, I don’t think the doctor actually knows what the word “real” means. Bitchy Resting Face is not a real phenomenon, but here, I’ll use the word correctly in a sentence: “I can’t believe you’re saying this shit and have a real medical degree.”)

Unsurprisingly, Today missed an opportunity to have a productive discussion about the expectations placed on women that require us to appear amenable at all times. Guthrie touches on it briefly, but then quickly moves on to talk about Orci’s comedy video and the Bitchy Resting Faces of celebrities and people in the workplace. Tamron Hall is even nice enough to offer up Today‘s own cure for Bitchy Resting Face.

“What can you do if you have BRF?” she asks, scowling a fake scowl. “One suggestion: try to train yourself to smile!”

And if that doesn’t work, take a knife and cut yourself a Glasgow Grin because remember, ladies — if you’re not smiling like the Joker at all times, then you’re not doing it right.

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