Chronic bitchface

March 26th, 2011

Just doing my bit to spread awareness for this common, but little understood condition. Thousands around the world are affected by chronic bitchface, with sufferers having to endure being told to “SMILE” and “cheer up” by well meaning, but irritating strangers. There is no known cure.

(Prints of this are now available!)

525 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Everyone always asks me “Are you ok?” or “Is there something wrong?” or “Woah, whats up with you?” when really, I’m usually completely fine, very content and happy, but my face is saying “Boo I hate the world and you and everyone else!” I often feel the need to make a conscious effort to smile for no reason so people don’t think i’m a sour puss. :(

    reply

    Topaz says,

    November 27th, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    Chris, you are NOT REQUIRED to smile, either by dint of conscious effort, or upon command by impertinent strangers, or to make other people comfortable. Are you by any chance female? It’s as if women are allowed only two expressions, with corresponding facial expressions: SMILING/HAPPY, or NOTSMILING/NOTHAPPY. There’s no allowance for any complexity of feeling, or a face that doesn’t jerk into a rictus on awakening. The more useful response, I think, to those near and dear and (theoretically) well-meaning questions is: “Why? Why do you ask?” – and if they persist with personal comments, you can either go with, “Nope, just my usual face!” or even “Well, YOU should see YOUR face!” The proper response when strangers tell you “Smile!” is, “Roll over and beg!”

    reply

  2. Laura says:

    I have this posted outside my cubicle (with citation, of course), and I honestly think it’s been really helpful, not to mention an amusing ice-breaker. Thanks!

    reply

  3. […] Do you ever get told you’re quiet as if it were a problem? Do some people continuously expect you to contribute what’s on your mind so that you can prove to them that you’re worthy of respect? Do acquaintances tell you you look “angry” or tell you to cheer up when you’re busy thinking about what you’ll have for supper? Then you might be a sufferer of Chronic Bitchface. […]

  4. Jennifer says:

    I’m another sufferer. I’m so happy to have a name for my condition but you wouldn’t know it from looking at me. hahaha

    reply

  5. Jennifer says:

    I get this ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME!! I’m not alone! I’m SO glad to hear it’s become an epidemic! My sister always asks me what’s wrong, tells me I look crabby or asks if I have a headache! It’s gotten so bad that now if she asks “what’s the matter with you? “or tells me I look pissed, I usually tell her “Well, I CAN be if you want me to”. I started wearing bangs about 10 years ago because of this.

    reply

    Melissa says,

    July 7th, 2013 @ 2:48 am

    YOU WIN! “Well, I CAN be if your want me to.” WIN! <3

    reply

  6. […] facial expressions.  I have to be aware of my own facial expressions, especially if I suffer from this syndrome (It more recently was mentioned in a funny viral video…).  Face to face interactions are more […]

  7. […] this let’s-be-happy-all-the-time attitude is just too much for me. It feels forced. I have chronic bitch face. People tell me all the time to smile. Shut up. It’s my face and I’ll cry if I want […]

  8. EveryTime says:

    YES! THIS! EVERY TIME! i need to put this in my room!! my mom yells at me all the time for ‘being bitchy’ or ‘looking grouchy’, when I dont do anything! its just my face!!!!!!

    reply

  9. […] Or so I assume based on pure observation. Will I ever talk to him? HAHAHAHA no. I suffer from chronic bitchface. So, I’m sure if he has ever glanced at me (especially in the morning), he probably thinks […]

  10. Behind a painted smile says:

    This used to happen to me, despite the fact that I’m a natural optimist.
    I was even told in a work appraisal that I didn’t smile enough.
    So I slapped on a fake smile to please my bosses, it became
    so much of a habit that they then failed to notice when I was
    really stressed and sick and I had to take time out to tell my body
    I wasn’t ignoring it any more.

    reply

  11. […] the sour face if you can! I feel like I need to remind people constantly that I'm a sufferer of chronic bitchface and that nobody has in fact died. This shirt was a very naughty buy, I'd been umm-ing and ahh-ing […]

  12. Lauren says:

    I know this pain. I’m shy and quiet, but definitely not snooty or bitchy. Yet I think I too suffer from this condition. I think people avoid me because of it! Agh.

    reply

  13. […] mostly a happy-go-lucky person, which might make you laugh if you know me, because of my bitchface problem.  But I really am.  I try to look on the good side, try not to let the bad shit get me […]

  14. Brad says:

    Guys have this issue as well! Although, I’m sure it might have a different name. As a photographer, this has made me come off as intimidating, creepy guy with camera, and unapproachable… UGH!!

    reply

  15. Lily says:

    Oh, whew, I thought I was left to deal with this alone… I feel better, really. It’s just that at the moment, my face doesn’t show it. But I smile on the inside. :)

    Cheers!

    reply

  16. Ollie says:

    Wow, I love this..I am 67 years old and have been fighting this all my life!! I finally just said…”no, I am not mad…I am letting my face rest!” Usually, people will remark..”you always have a smile.”….yikes, that’s intentional so I don’t get the comments…”what is wrong” “are you mad at me?”…..stumbled on here and the comments are very old…so I’ll just go rest my face and stumble along….great drawings by the way…
    Ollie…2013

    reply

  17. Rose says:

    Store clerks often assume I’m vexed or impatient while standing in line and say things like, “I’ll be with you in a moment!” Actually, I’m more tolerant of boredom than most people, I think – rarely mind waiting because I enjoy people watching and daydreaming, and I’m retired and usually not in any hurry. This is just how I look when I’m not constantly working at smiling. One time a stranger on a hospital elevator said, “Cheer up! Things can’t be that bad!” and I blurted that my mother was dying of cancer, which happened to be the truth at that moment. If I really were a bitch, I’d be tempted to use that response every time because it gave her something to think about. Maybe people should just refrain from commenting on the facial expressions of strangers. If you’re really concerned about someone’s well-being, you could just ask how things are going.

    reply

  18. Jessica says:

    Aww I love that I’m not the only one with this problem :(

    reply

  19. mel says:

    I would just be walking alone on the street, and a stranger would just say why are you so angry? Its annoying as hell

    reply

  20. Bina Messenger says:

    At long last there is a name for this condition? To make matters, my tone of voice matches the face as well ..double jeopardy yikes! Yes I have often heard from members of my family that my face can sour milk… oh well don’t look at it then yes? :)

    reply

  21. Miss Dominique says:

    !!! I’m not alone!!!! Thank you!!!

    reply

  22. Bonnie says:

    O.M.G. My boyfriend has asked me so much “what is wrong” with me, and just recently I took pics of myself, posted one on FB and he said it looked terrible because I looked liked I was “pissed”. I said “no I don’t!”, then I saw this “chronic bitch face” picture on a website…I’m not a naturally smiley person, so perhaps I just found the reason why people think there is always something wrong with me! :3

    reply

  23. Immy says:

    THIS! Literally half my life is ‘omg what’s wrong are you okay?’, ‘cheer up love’. When really on the inside I am so happy.

    reply

  24. mahroon says:

    I CANNOT tell you how funny/perfect this is – thanks for finally putting an adorable spin on a life-long condition!! :)

    reply

  25. Binger says:

    I have suffered 26 years with this problem and thinking something was wrong with me because people always thought I was angry, mad, unapproachable, etc. I was recently called into a meeting with my manager who started the conversation off with “What’s wrong?” And when I, genuinely surprised, said “Nothing,” she told me I gave off the vibe that I was upset or angry all the time and I need to look and be more cheerful when I’m at work. IT’S JUST MY NATURAL FACE!

    reply

  26. […] via here, here, here, […]

  27. […] Chronic Bitchface – I have this for sure. via Krisatomic — Ask a mortician, episode four! Guide to spotting undercover cops at Burning […]

  28. BevyAnn says:

    I am an older woman 67 years old I feel young at heart have a lot of energy feel happy but when I catch myself I feel like I put all these other bitch faces to shame!!!!! The bitchiest ever.

    reply

  29. […] however, like random strangers shouting at me to tell me to smile. just no. reminds me of this illustration by kris atomic (more on her later in the […]

  30. […] How tall? This Tall: That was me, Christmas 1986.  Already displaying the signs of chronic bitchface. On the back of the photo, in my mother’s handwriting, it reads “Still waiting for that […]

  31. Louise says:

    I’ve had acquaintances who made comments about my facial expression every time they saw me, despite my explanation that I wasn’t unhappy, sad, or tired — I was just thinking or concentrating on something. It has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older (I’m now in my 70s) because the skin on my face sags. I’ve found that I eventually have to tell them, “If you don’t like the way I look, don’t look at me!” It works!

    I saw someone wearing a T-shirt that said I AM SMILING, DAMN IT! By the number of responses to this blog, I think we could make a fortune selling that shirt!

    reply

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