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!)

528 Comments

  1. Male w/ CBF says:

    Male, 34, I have chronic bitch face as well. I get comments on my facebook to, smile, lighten up. Thing is I am smiling. I smile in every photo. I am as happy as can be. People are just idiots. Now I give a thumbs up in photos to make happy.

    Other people have chronic bitch face too. Alot of people that test ISTP on the briggs and myers test tend to have it as well as INTPs and a few other types.

    I like it alot. It keeps unwanted conversations and fights away. “Look at crazy eyes over there. Lets not f with him.” so fun.

    reply

  2. […] I swear I don’t intend to come across as a mega-bitch. It just kind of happens. My chronic bitchface doesn’t help. (Image via Kris Atomic) […]

  3. Angela says:

    Oh my!!! There are others out there! My whole life I’ve heard, “Smile! Life’s not that bad!” and many other similar phrases. A perpetual pout is my plight. Thanks for the giggles!

    reply

  4. […] love this piece by Kris Atomic. Share the love:Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  5. Kristen says:

    THIS IS ME, omg. I shared this on twitter. I have bitchface, drivingface, programmingface. And it is the worst when people tell me to smile! I am the happiest person ever! I hate looking dour on the outside! So I put on a smile but I can’t imagine it’s natural looking. I think I need smile lessons.

    reply

  6. kimberly says:

    oh my gosh, this is how it has been for me since grade school i think. Its just my face people. I always told/tell them that. Uggh but glad im not alone.

    reply

  7. Ash Frog says:

    This is awesome!

    Me and my friends refer to it as RBF (Resting Bitch Face)

    reply

  8. Tony says:

    So, it looks like there are a bunch of people out there that know that they are sending off some kind of non verbal message about being bitchy but don’t think that there is “anything” they can do about it. I am calling bullshit, stop being such a bitch, and figure out how to communicate happiness. The rest of the world shouldn’t have to be clairvoyant because you feel like a victim. You people are pathetic.

    reply

    kris atomic says,

    December 30th, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    Calm down Tony, it’s just a bit of fun.

    reply

    Jessica says,

    May 17th, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

    What Tony needs to understand is that it’s actually the unsolicited commenters that are rude and that women don’t exist to brighten his day. His entitlement is staggering.

    That whole “Smile for me” attitude is really revolting. Whether strangers have a bitch face or not is none of their business.

    Tony’s problem is that he thinks he’s owed smiles. He is owed fuck all by anyone. Least of all people he doesn’t even know.

    reply

  9. Kate says:

    I have had this all my life! People were telling me to smile as I was going down the isle at my wedding! I thought it was just me.

    reply

  10. Deborah says:

    What a great post! I had chronic bitch face and got so tired of the “smile” and “it’s not that bad” comments that I decided to change my face. I practiced turning the corners of my mouth up and now it’s a habit. I don’t feel any different on the inside but everyone around me feels better. You can also communicate a positive vibe through eye contact.

    reply

  11. Bobsaggot says:

    Atleast people ask you about it. Or comment on it nicely. I have chronic bitch face and as a male everyone just assumes I’m a prick. And treats me as such. Woman have it easy…

    reply

    Jessica says,

    May 17th, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    Actually, no. The comments are never nice, no matter how they are worded – they are always a domination exercise. Because women are somehow public domain. I really don’t think you would appreciate being public domain.

    Other people’s resting facial expressions is none of anyone’s business and still people stick their nose in. How a face is put together is not an invitation to self important, unsolicited blowhards.

    _You_ have it easy. Because you are not reminded that your body, down to your facial expressions, is not your own every time you leave the house but everyone’s to order about.

    reply

    kris atomic says,

    May 28th, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

    You’re awesome.
    Kris x

    reply

  12. Sally says:

    Love it – share your gift! An American living in Britain loves your work!

    reply

  13. Estella says:

    I can’t even begin to describe how much this picture is like me! i always get comments like ” Cheer Up , we hate it when your crabby” and im all lke ” What are you talikng about? im in a great mood!” Now i know its just my face!! To bad there isnt a cure!

    reply

  14. M. S. Miller says:

    thank you for this, yes it is a pain to have this condition. if i had a nickel for every, “smile it can’t be that bad” or why do you always look so grumpy!!

    reply

  15. M. S. Miller says:

    thank you for this, yes it is a pain to have this condition. if i had a nickel for every, “smile it can’t be that bad” or why do you always look so grumpy!!

    reply

  16. […] Kris Atomic comments – “Just doing my bit to spread awareness for this common, but little […]

  17. jennifer says:

    this happens to me all the time,started in my teens til adulthood….. now i have one wrinkle crease between my eyes and that REALLY makes me look bitchy!no matter how nice you are or the tone of your voice,people look at your face and think your a bitch,mad,grumpy or something is wrong….i would love to have plastic surgery to fix this…what can i do?

    reply

    noreen says,

    April 5th, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

    can’t help it if we are not fake people with a permanent plastic smile!

    reply

  18. Tim says:

    I have the opposite condition. I have an Irish face, and even when I’m brooding people seem to think I’m always ready to dance a jig on the table, smiling rainbows.

    reply

  19. Hildegard Argelmach says:

    people also can’t tell the difference between:

    a) pointless worrying
    and

    b) trying to think hard about something that is legitimately, seriously bothering me

    or c) trying to put on a moody atmosphere so I can enjoy a feeling of pleasant, bittersweet melancholy, like that awesome cut scene in that game

    I don’t like looking cheerful and happy all the time. Nintendo does that. I was raised Sega.

    reply

  20. noreen says:

    HAHA I LOVE THIS. It should be a Facebook page. since young people have always thought I was stuck up, and only after actually getting to know me would say,”You know, I thought you were really bitchy when I first met you. But you’re actually fun!”

    reply

  21. Susy says:

    I have this too! It used to drive me crazy. But then I realized, it’s because the outer corners of my eyes droop down, just like a sad cartoon character. So when I realized that, I decided to start doing a cat eye and now I only get comments like “your eyes are so pretty”. Makeup can do ANYTHING

    reply

  22. dalaurya says:

    Uggggh! Thank you so much. :)

    reply

  23. […] this has been a common thread throughout my life. I’m living with chronic bitchface – a syndrome that prompts strangers to tell me to smile and causes men to think that I’m mean […]

  24. […] for work and getting shouted at by strangers to cheer up because I have an ongoing case of chronic bitchface (she even has […]

  25. CHRISSIE says:

    hahah!! perfect. i get this from everybody, was starting to think i was just a bitch, this post gives me hope hahaha.

    reply

  26. […] couple of weeks ago, I ran across this comic going around Facebook. I SO IDENTIFY WITH IT. I remember even way back in high school, struggling […]

  27. […] of “being friendly” as a marker of beauty? What if you’re like me or friends of mine who have Chronic Bitchface either from dealing with all the bullshit in the world, or just because that’s how our face […]

  28. somebody says to me: “What’s with the face”
    I say: “So you’ll know who I am”

    reply

  29. Emma says:

    This is wonderful. I really always thought it was just me who had to explain that I wasn’t annoyed/don’t not like someone but that actually it’s just my face…My favourite illustration in such a long time!

    reply

  30. Martha says:

    Oh now I know why I have not had a date in the 15 years since my divorce. Thank god my baby was raised staring up at my bitch face while feeling nothing bu love and warmth, so at east she knows the difference. My relaxed face sucks, especially if I am looking down, like at a menu. I can be so excited about eating out and waiter treats me like I just spat on the menu. Alas it is a tough syndrome to live with. I just constantly put on an idiot grin in public now to overcome my disability.

    reply

  31. Shannon says:

    God, this is so me. “what’s wrong?” What’s wrong?” NOTHING IS WRONG in fact I’m pretty goshdarn happy. ARGH. I have neutral face on – what can a girl do???

    reply

  32. Melissa says:

    ..I’m in sales and have to really make an effort to smile, big. Not small…big, because I have small teeth and they don’t show if I don’t make it a big one! I have this one customer that has told me I have the reputation of the girl who never smiles! I can remember my mom telling me from the front seat of the car when I was around eight to smile because I look so serious! And I was dumbfounded. This helps, lol..I guess I have chronic bitchface and it explains ALOT!
    Thanks:/
    I mean :)
    Haha..

    reply

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. […] 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. […]

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. […] 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 […]

  39. […] 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 […]

  40. 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

  41. […] 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 […]

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