Can We Talk?


Hey, folks! We need to talk about my face. I suffer from RBF, Resting Bitch Face. I can’t help it. I inherited it. From my Celtic ancestors I get pale skin that bursts into flames from the merest kiss of sun. From my Eastern European Russian/Polish Jewish forebearers I get strong bone structure and piercing deep set eyes. Add myopia and a tendency to get lost in deep thought and what do you get? RBF.

 Recently a friend was looking at my teenage ballet photo from a previous post and commented “Wow, you looked mean then too.” This same friend a few days before said to me, “You know, people think you’re really mean when they first see you, but you’re really nice.” I’ve been called uppity, intense, overly serious, and I can’t walk from Penn Station to Times Square without some brilliant genius yelling at me to “Smile, things can’t be that bad”.

I’ve noticed that men are never diagnosed with RBF. They are distinguished, stern, and Masters of the Universe. Meanwhile, we females are expected to walk around with grins of perpetual pleasantness lest someone think we’re “not nice.”  With every passing year I become more firmly convinced that “nice” is overrated, and worrying  about what my face is doing when there are so many other things to think about is a complete waste of my time. 

Having said this though there are times when I have to modulate my RBF. I had to sit through a slew of auditions this week. Many of those being seen were very young, and had limited experience in auditioning. I didn’t want to frighten the poor dears any further so I made a conscious effort to relax my face, and smile. It felt weird and unnatural, but it was the right thing to do.

This is the face that my peculiar combination of Southern, Jewish, Baptist, Mormon, English, Irish, Welsh, German, French, Russian, Polish ancestors gave me, and I am proud of it. It reflects those who’ve come before me, and my son who comes after. I’ve never wanted plastic surgery to correct what others see as flaws, and I have no desire to slap a smiley countenance in a place it does not belong. This is me, this is the way I am, and I love it.