A former colleague once told me I had Resting Bitch Face. RBF. Harsh but kind of true. It mostly happened when I couldn’t figure something out and didn’t want to be disturbed to a) not be found out and b) try and figure out how the hell to do whatever it was. Actually, sometimes it was when I was coding and having a lot of fun, so maybe there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to it.
Sitting in my hotel room, basically on lock down during Bali’s silent day, I’m doing some writing. The desk area in the room was under this mirror in a corner right next to the coffee and tea facilities. I’m not quite sure if I’m in the office, kitchen or bedroom section of the room but sitting at a desk and chair non the less.
As I pause to reflect (see what I did there?), I’d catch my reflection, not 30cm from my own face.
My head is tilted slightly to the left (sorry, thats my right actually), my lips don’t naturally close so my big-ass two front teeth are slightly showing. I look like one those little dogs who’s tongue sticks out from their mouths just a little, they get called ‘cute’ or ‘special’.
I stare at my face. Like really stare at my face. For five minutes. Up in my own grill.
Is this how I look in public? Sat in a cafe, walking around, in transit, reading, picking up men?! It’s almost like a blank scared face. What is that?
The last few days I haven’t had much interaction with other travellers. A combination of the rain keeping people inside, staying at a hotel where its not so social and I am having a bit of self imposed alone time. But maybe it’s this face? Would I talk to this face?!
I did my quick “hello passing walker” smile, which is a brief lift of the mouth. Oh gosh! I never knew it looked like that! It’s like a twitch and nothing else on my face moves. It was so brief no one would even know wha it was.
In horror of that greeting I give to many people, I try to move more of my face. Oh gosh, it gets worse. The eyes narrow as the mouth contracts. I look like a happy crying person. Or Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Sad eyes mixed with an overcompensating smile. Nope can’t do that again. Maybe a head tilt would improve it? Nope. Carnival clown where you put the balls in their mouths. Very inappropriate.
I laugh a belly driven laugh at the ridiculous experiment I was performing. There it is. A natural and genuine face. Ok, so how to do that in the street? Actually laugh as I pass every human I want to casually smile to? People might think I’m spitting on them. Or breathing on them. Or a little crazy.
Actually now I think about it, whenever I am getting my picture taken I do a little personal laugh, to create that genuine smile (in a fake way, on cue).
Staring at my lips now I’m pretty happy with them. Not full and voluptuous but not thin or invisible either. When I smile a Cheshire cat smile (which is my natural smile) I realise my top lip goes high jump and pulls the curtain on my top gums. Ew. I think that’s actually from having Invisalign. The retainers have forced my lips into a new habit and lifted them. Is that like a bonus (side effect) after spending the 8k or so on straightening my teeth?
I wonder if I have any of those ‘mouth quirks’ like Katie Holmes in Dawson’s Creek/every role she ever played or Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades. I walk around the room and take some notice of what I’m doing. Other than a ridiculous cartoon walk I don’t feel or see any habits there.
Maybe I could lift my eyebrows more, look more alert? NO. They are so fair they hardly rustle any movement in the station. Four thick rippling lines are created though, like a rice patty terrace on my forehead. I try and do that one-eyebrow-up trick. My left brow can sort of do it, the right has no hope. Even for life and death I’d be a goner.
I attempt to pull some other faces just to see what they do.
“Concerned” face looks valid, eyes water a bit, eyebrows head inwards, bottom lip tightens and chin goes inward. Although drop the chin and you’ve got an angry face, wouldn’t want to get those confused.
“No fucking clue” face looks on point. The mouth goes diagonal left or right, sometimes a possible click of saliva happens to emphasis the cluelessness (like a mental patient might do a random clucking noise).
Throw in a lowered brow manoeuvre to the above and you’ve got “I don’t fucking believe you”. Mouth isn’t so much diagonal but pulled straight left or right. A small smirk even appears (I don’t even know how that happens).
“Casually waiting” face, what’s that like? Oh gosh. Horrific! It’s like my Ted Bundy manifested Drivers Licence. Could scare small children.
Not even going to attempt tears, everyone is an ugly crier. Everyone.
Light bulb. I usually wear sunglasses. Maybe that helps my normal face look friendlier? Nope. Disdain. Perhaps a little contempt? Wow, I always thought I was so nonchalant with sunnies.
After all the hilarity I’m still unsure as to how to change my face, my normal everyday wearing, ends in the word ‘day’ face. Is it because I’m just looking at myself, maybe it changes in front of others and seeing their reactions? How does everyone else have a happy face on as they are walking through their daily lives? I go for a walk around the block and notice so many varied faces. Some are happy, like there’s a little mouse running around upstairs. Some do seem to have an emotion and then there are others that are just, faces I guess.
Maybe it’s just a solo traveller “I haven’t had a proper conversation in a few days” syndrome. I mean, I am writing about my face. But, at a time when conversation is important, I’m questioning my own attractiveness and trying to be assertive and make new friends this topic seems pretty valid. Thinking about on a bunch of interactions lately, I had actually started every one of them, each received happily. Maybe it’s not SO much my RBF but the courage and openness to start a conversation and smile that pulls the crowd in. Over exposed top gum or not.
Are you the type of person to start conversations or do you wait for them to begin? How do you do that?