By Audrey Schroder
“Try to smile more.” This is what my 8th grade gym teacher, Mr. Dengler wrote on my report card. I had Resting Bitch Face before it was A Thing. People often told me to smile. I didn’t realize other women experienced this until it became a hot topic within the last couple years. Artist and activist, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh uses art to speak out against the street harassment of women. Her art series “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” features her street art based on interviews with women about their experiences.
People pleaser + afflicted with Resting Bitch Face = forced smiles
I’ve known for a long time that it takes less muscles to frown than smile. (Actually while researching for this blog, I found there is no scientific proof this is true.) That’s why I make a point to at least try to make the ends of my mouth turn more up that down. When I was working on McDonald’s social media team, my colleagues were situated at square desks, so at any given time, there were at least two faces for my smile/frown to be seen. It was in this position that I began faking a half smile while I was working. I was worried my coworkers would think I was scowling and frowning all day long. The habit is so ingrained, I often smile when I’m about to fall into dreamland, or when I first wake up and don’t yet have my eyes open. I suddenly realize I don’t need to smile for anyone. It’s pretty bizarre.