By Ashley Phan
I’m sure all of us know what the acronym “RBF” refers to. (If you don’t, look it up. It’s probably a familiar concept.) It’s a popular slang that originated from a 2013 meme (no, I don’t know which meme), and is commonly used to describe women who look naturally angry or stuck up. I would know. I’ve got one.
Now, I’m not offended by the term “RBF”. I don’t even see it as a bad thing. I’m aware that when I think my face is void of emotion, other people think I’m irritated. (Trust me, I’ll be letting you know if I’ve got beef with you.) What really pisses me off is when people say things like, “Wow, smile much?” or, “Jeez, why don’t you smile?” Sorry, I didn’t know you were entitled to my facial expressions. Honestly, the phrases are reminiscent of creepy old men who ask women to smile as they pass by on the street. I know that’s not your intention, but my first thought is always, “Why do I have to smile for you?”
Unsurprisingly, my Casually Minding My Own Business face also makes people think I hate them. Sometimes I feel the need to introduce myself like, “Hi, I’m Ashley and I have a major case of RBF.” I space out a lot, meaning my RBF is aimed at your general direction with my eyes unfocused. It looks like I’m glaring at you, but I’m really contemplating dropping out of high school to join the Mafia.
This is my face when I’m most comfortable. Forcing a smile would probably be the least comfortable thing. I already don’t like my natural smile, but now you want me to fake one? No thanks. There’s always that one kid who says something like: “Did you know frowning takes more muscles than smiling does?” Here’s the thing: I’m not frowning. This is just my FACE. People seem to really struggle with the concept of the RBF being a person’s resting face.
I don’t hate smiling. When I’m happy, I smile. It’s a natural reaction. I like being happy (contrary to popular belief.) I also like being comfortable in my own skin. This means I don’t want to contort my face into whatever grin you want it to be in.