"An Ode To My B*tch Face" Spoken Word Poem Reminds Us That We Don't Have To Smile If We Don't Want To — VIDEO
Most people could probably tell you that the term "resting b*tch face" was probably not coined to be a compliment, but there's a reason so many women cheerfully adopt both the look and the title, and the spoken word poem "Ode To My B*tch Face" by Olivia Gatwood reminds us all. Because as someone who definitely has resting b*tch face, I can tell you that there are way worse things in the world. Like, for example, people feeling like they can just come up and talk to you all the time.
In the video of her performance, before launching into the poem, Gatwood gives starts off by giving the best rundown of the term "resting b*tch face" that I've heard to date: It's "a term coined by someone who's just generally unhappy with the fact that women aren't smiling literally all the time." And indeed, this unhappiness doesn't seem to be confined to just one person. Resting b*tch face is a term that's now widely used to describe women whose default expression is not happy and pleasant. Because I guess we've all to some degree internalized the idea that women are naturally sweet and open and friendly and happy. And if a woman doesn't default to all of those things, there must be something wrong with her — aka, she must be a b*tch.
As Gatwood points out in her poem, resting b*tch face has a lot of advantages in our sexist society, too. Plus, for all that society expects women to be happy behind, it also gives us more than enough reason not to be. And so it really shouldn't be so surprising someone would write an "Ode To My B*tch Face."
Here are three lines from the poem that you won't be able to get out of your head.
"Resting B*tch Face They Call You, But There Is Nothing Restful About You."
"I Don't Blame You For Taking The Iron Pipe From Their Hands And Branding Yourself With It."
"How Can You Sleep Pretty When There Are Four Locks On The Door And The Fire Escape Feels Like Break In Bait?"
It's the last line, though, that takes the cake. You can hear the whole poem below.