I have Bitchy Resting Face (BRF). It is a condition that has attracted a reasonable amount of media attention in the last couple of months and it is one that I have lived with for as long as I can remember. For those who are not familiar with BRF, take a look at the comedic video below.
There is no doubt that I have BRF. I like to think of myself as a fun-loving, friendly individual – but my face, when it is unanimated, likes to tell a different story. Many of my friends have told me that their first impression of me, before ever speaking to me, was that I was arrogant and unapproachable. Some people have told me that I always walk around looking serious and unhappy. While the people who personally know me think differently of me (and realise that I actually smile a lot), it always made me wonder how often people misjudge my character just because my resting face. This has always frustrated me. And I have noticed recently on Twitter that other people feel the same way.
Some people even believe that this condition extends to animals. Television personality and entrepreneur, Bethenny Frankel, claims that her dog could be a sufferer of BRF. And, judging from the photo, I think this is an accurate diagnosis.
But yesterday, I truly realised that there are benefits to having BRF. The election campaigns for the student union at my university are currently in full swing. This involves students, who are innocently walking through the campus, to be faced with a barrage of flyers and spin-doctoring from the campaigners. It is almost impossible to cut a clear path to class. That is, however, unless you have BRF. While I spent five hours at university yesterday, I was not passed a single flyer. I literally saw campaigners look to approach me and then turn away. They must have noticed my face. And, when they chose to ignore me, it was bliss. Pure, unintentionally bitchy bliss. Then I realised that the same thing happens to me on public transport too. People rarely dare to fill a vacant seat beside me on the bus. Plus, it also helps me to get my point across more effectively in serious conversations in everyday life and gives the impression that I am listening more attentively. So, being the optimist that I am on the inside (regardless of what my face is showing), I am now more than happy to embrace the fact that I have BRF. If people want to judge me on face value, then I am sometimes going to use it to my advantage.
Of course, this whole post is meant in good humour. However, some people appear to take BRF more seriously. The Today Show in the United States ran a segment about BRF and actually featured a plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Youn, who treated BRF like it is a legitimate condition. In later interviews, he actually claimed that he has fixed this problem for several women through a grin lift. Really? Has it become too commonplace for people to get plastic surgery and not be able to smile properly that some are now resorting to plastic surgery to manufacture smiles? It is an interesting world in which we live.