Apparently, I don’t smile very much. I hear the phrases; “Smile more”, “Chin up”, and “What’s wrong?” more times than I care to admit. When you spend your childhood watching movies like Beetlejuice and idolizing characters like Wednesday Adams —I guess it has an effect on you? I’m not saying I’m miserable. No, that’s really not the case. I’m just relaxed.
When asked if I’m pissed off I simply reply, “No, I just look like this.” My poor therapist can never predict how our session is going to be, because I always look like I’m about to hop out of the nearest window (apparently). Other female friends have voiced similar experiences. We are constantly asked to hold our heads high and perk up, but we don’t realize we’re frowning. In fact, most of the time we’re happy. Do we look that miserable, or is society expecting that– as women, we should always be chipper? In fact, the sentence; “You would look so much prettier.” occasionally follows the standard “You should smile more.” speech.
Actually, the truth is I’m happy. I can say that this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. The idea that to look prettier, I should forcefully plaster a grin across my jaw 24 hours sounds like a very strenuous task. Not emotionally—physically. Women already have heels, waxing, vigorous exercise, and dieting. Ask me to smile for an entire day, and I would swear that you were forcing me to run a marathon. It would be very uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable than the Spanx I wear.
I prefer to smile when it’s needed. You don’t sneeze on command do you? You don’t fart to call attention to yourself. No, you don’t do those things. So I don’t smile unless something is funny, or I’m trying to make a baby laugh. If I were to sit at my desk and blankly smile at my computer monitor– it would be proof that I had finally lost my sanity. Do people really want a bunch of Stepford wives bobbing around spreading cheer and terror throughout the land? If you have a world filled with peppy women–where would your Joan Jetts be? Where would all the attitude swingin upper lip stiffin’ bitches be? What then America?
My friends and I have diagnosed this as: Permanent Bitch Face. Otherwise known as PBF. PBF effects 1 in 7 women*, and it is a crippling disorder that hinders female interpersonal relationships. It places a melodramatic disposition on the relaxed face of a female, which leaves her unaware of the social signals she is sending outward. When encountering a female with PBF, they usually respond to with concern or fear. PBF can lead to failure of reproduction, cat hoarding, and unexpected punches to the face. PBF is a serious condition that you should probably donate tons of money to.
There is no cure for PBF.
*based on no actual scientific facts.