Do you know where you were the first time you saw Bitchy Resting Face? I do. I was on the tube at Highbury station, en route to a netball match.
As is often the case with sport, I was dressed in shorts and trainers and feeling, well, aware that I was wearing shorts and trainers. Were they too short shorts? And if so, what could I do? Nothing. I could do nothing. Just as my paranoia reached critical mass, I caught my reflection in the tube window and decided, firmly, that no they were fine. This was appropriate attire because it was 20c outside. And, for the first time on that journey, I breathed.
Unfortunately, the woman on the escalators had different ideas and as we locked eyes, two steps from the top, I saw her face, That Face – Bitchy. Resting. Face. Judging me (or so I thought) and my too-short shorts. And guess what? I never wore them again.
Much to my relief, last month a video created by American journalist Taylor Orci about what has fast become a global endemic went viral. And so it became a thing: Bitchy Resting Face.
But what exactly is it? Bitchy Resting Face is the Natural State Of Face. It is the way your face is when seemingly expressionless, when working, when not working, when just being. A slight frown, lips slightly parted and (in some extreme cases) shooting evils at any unfortunate soul who wanders into their line of vision. I’ve done it – we’ve all done it, and yet for some reason, we cannot stop despite the fact that it takes fewer muscles to smile.
It is the reason builders holler that staple cuss, 'Show me a smile', from their scaffolding platforms and the reason that probably jolly nice lady on the tube shot me a look that felt tantamount to a slap.
It’s only now, 18 months on, and in light of this revelatory video which explains exactly what happened that Wednesday night on the Victoria line, that I now understand that BRF is a thing. And, you know what? I can now wear my shorts. On the tube. (Just please for the love of God don’t look at me).