I’ve heard many personal accounts from friends who suffer from the frequently talked-about, “Resting Bitch Face.”
These friends are sick and tired of people asking them, “What’s wrong?” and telling them they need to smile more.
They can’t help that their face invokes fear into every fiber of random onlookers’ being – they were just made that way.
And while I can try to sympathize, I can’t say that I really understand what that’s like. Because while they’re trying to stop people from assuming they are habitually pissed off, I’m just trying to stop people from assuming I want crayons with my menu.
I suffer from a lesser-known syndrome that I like to call, “Resting Baby Face,” made notable by stars like Andy Milonakis and Haley Joel Osment.
A weird thing happened when I turned 15, in that everything about my physical appearance just seemed to freeze in time. Looking at photos over the last 8 years, you can see a progressive change in just about everything; the fall leaves, the youthfulness of my peers, the ever-changing haircuts…everything except me and my stupid, baby face. It’s as if I’m some kind of alien or Keanu Reeves (who, let’s be honest, is most likely an alien) that is just frozen in time.
For some reason, people keep telling me this is a good thing. That some day, I will be so thankful.
Thankful for what?
For my teenaged, acne-prone skin? For being constantly ID’d whenever I want to buy cough syrup? Or perhaps, for being ID’d to see a PG-13 movie? (Which has actually happened. Recently. And more than once.)
Well, I’m here to tell you that no one wants to look like they’re 15, not even 15-year-olds.
Because when I go to happy hour with my friends and we partake in the adult beverages we’ve been dreaming of since 8am that morning, the server usually does one of those, “Can I see…” glances around the table…lands on my face, “your ID?” And doesn’t even bother doing a courtesy check of the rest of the group because of their obviously age-appropriate faces.
Because every time I go into a job interview, it usually starts off like this, “I’m 23, I swear! I have two forms of ID to prove it.”
Because every time I substitute teach (at any school, not just high schools), I am usually told that I need to get back to class, that I need to get off my cell phone, that I can’t park in the staff parking lot (despite my staff parking permit), and one time I was even asked to a school dance (I said I would think about it).
Simply because, “Oh…you just look so young.”
Even small children seem to doubt my credibility. I walk into their classroom and the first thing I hear is, “How old are you?” Which is usually followed by, “Do you even know what you’re doing?”
I can glare at these little tiny beings and tell them to quiet down in my most stern teacher voice and all that I am met with is snickers and giggles.
I don’t even really blame them, because who is going to take this teenaged-looking wannabe seriously? With these rosy cheeks and faux-stern squeaks, it’s like being reprimanded by a Kewpie doll!
It’s gotten to the point where I have been forced to Google, “how to be tough” or rather “how to completely demoralize a child with simply a look.” (Because that’s just not something they teach you in a graduate program.)
I’ve tried putting on a more professional demeanor…you know, wearing pantsuits and spritzing myself with Chanel No. 5 and stuff. But all that does is make me look like my mom and smell like my grandma. I look like a little girl playing business-casual dress up.
So I’ve decided to simply come to terms with the fact that this is just how my face looks. I am 23 going on 16 and I am proud. (Actually, 16 might be too high. Have you guys seen 16-year-olds these days? Yeesh.)
So what if it takes me a little longer to buy a drink or medicate a cold? (Because they’re running my ID through that black light thing and bending it to ensure authenticity and then bringing a manager over just to be sure.) In the end, I still get hooch!
And so what if kids and potential employers don’t really take me seriously? Because of their very low expectations, I’m much less likely to let them down and much more likely to blow their freaking minds!
I might always have to reassure people that I’m old enough and/or capable to be doing whatever it is I’m doing, but really, it could be worse.
Besides, who doesn’t like coloring while they are waiting for their food? So yes, I will take those crayons with my menu and whiskey sour and keep ‘em coming!