RBF: A Blessing in Disguise
by Alisha Dhillon
I’m no stranger to the term RBF. My high school yearbook is littered with comments resembling, “At first I thought you were hella scary but then I got to know you and you’re so funny!” I get these comments in abundance because I have resting bitch face and I wear my “fuck off” expression with pride. Sure, having an intimidating glare plastered on my face has discouraged some potential suitors and maybe even potential friends. But after years of being told, “Smile more!” when I smile plenty and incessantly being asked “Are you okay?”, I’ve decided that I’m glad my RBF has steered strangers away from approaching me. I’d like to bid a virtual adieu to all those who have been too intimidated to strike up a conversation with me. Why? Because I have no interest in those who scare easily.
I value my alone time and guard it fiercely. I much prefer knowing that the people I do spend my time with either had to overcome the initial intimidation that my thick eyebrows and pouty mouth produce or were completely unaffected by it. Their “bravery” or “immunity” tells me that they don’t buy into the absurd idea that a perpetual smile equals kindness. To those who DO believe that: Did it ever occur to you that the people who are walking alone down the street wearing large smiles just killed their worst enemy in a bloody battle? After all, Ted Bundy looked very approachable and look where that got people. Just because my crossed arms and glare might give the impression that my iPod is playing N.W.A doesn’t change the fact that it’s far more likely to be Taylor Swift blaring in my headphones.
RBF is effortless as the “resting” portion suggests. I didn’t pick and choose the genes that my face showcases. I was born with them. We (hopefully) don’t judge those who have moles on their faces nor do we tell them to get them removed, so why am I always being told to smile? (I don’t want to smile all the time, it creates wrinkles!)
Remember growing up hearing the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? The only thing that people’s obsession with overt positivity showcases is that this very important message to reserve judgement didn’t resonate! We are not the expressions that we wear on the bus or while we’re power walking downtown! We are our actions and our words. Despite my harsh looks, I will always choose to speak and behave kindly (unless I’m sassing it up for comedic effect). I take comfort in knowing that my inherent generosity is reserved for those who decided to look past the glare! So yeah, RBF is a condition that many are afflicted by, but instead of complaining about how we’re treated because of it, we should remember how blessed we are to have it! Those we spend our time with had to pass the built-in test of open mindedness that RBF presents. And it’s the people who’ve passed this test who are worthy of our time.