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RBF – Get Your Own Mona Lisa Smile

Reading the Sunday New York Times Style Section, I came upon an article featuring the gorgeous and cool, yet sometimes sinister-looking photos of female celebrities. Some were young, some were old, but one factor lumped them together. They suffer from what is now called (I kid you not) RBF – Resting Bitch Face!

The title of the article was I’m Not Mad, It’s Just My RBF. The term RBF is not new. It became popular in 2013, but had been growing in renown over the prior ten years. Defined, it means “A face that when at rest looks angry, irritated or aggressive.” Some consider it to be a face that is expressionless. It’s the kind of face a woman may make when thinking really hard – or maybe not thinking at all.

However described, I’d have to say that it’s the opposite of the sly intriguing look of Mona Lisa. That face makes the observer want more. It makes you want to get to know the person lurking inside. Those plagued with RBF send out a negative signal that says, “Stay away. I’m unhappy or pissed. You don’t want to get in my space.”

There are three questions you might be asking yourself now:

  • Do I suffer from RBF?
  • Why would I care if I have RBF?
  • Is there anything that I can do to get rid of RBF?”

Let’s first address “Do I suffer from RBF?” You’ll have to answer this question yourself by taking a hard and realistic look at yourself in repose. Examine a photograph taken of yourself in an unguarded moment. Do you like what you see? Or, are the sides of your mouth turned down in a perpetual frown and/or your brows furrowed even when you are feeling happy? Do you look distant and unapproachable?
Another way to tell if you might have RBF is to note whether people tend to ask you “What’s wrong?” or “Are you unhappy or mad?”

OK, lets say you have it. No big deal, right? Wrong. If you do have RBF, it’s probably something you want to eliminate because studies show that while this look on a man is generally more acceptable, akin to a poker face, on a woman it’s a definite negative. Sadly it’s a fact that standards for women and men in the workplace haven’t yet equalized. No surprise – there are double standards even now in 2015.
That the term RBF even exists and that there is no equivalent for a man, tells the story. Says a leading business coach, “Women in the workplace have a lot more to pay attention to, especially at leadership levels. Communication styles that are accepted for men are not always the same for women.” She added, “For women … expectations [are that] women should be warm, nurturing, maternal and encouraging” in addition to strong and capable.

It goes without saying that in business women take all kinds of courses, read books, get coaching and take myriad other steps to assure that they are taken seriously and maximize every opportunity available to them. Taking into account what clothes you wear, whether you are stylish, and how you look, generally is part of professionalism. And part of how you look is how you appear to others. RBF is part of your personal package.

This brings us to the third question, “How can I eliminate my RBF?” That’s where I come in and where only a few minutes with me can help you. A little Botox® and filler and perhaps some of the other lifting treatments we offer can turn a negative look into a positive, more pleasant and approachable one.

There are many other uses for Botox to help a smile. For example, some people have gums that show too much when they smile, and a little well-placed Botox can take fix this. Fine lines around the mouth can also be relaxed to achieve a smoother appearance.

The bottom line is this – if you have a smile that needs a little perkiness, please call Aesthetic Skin & Laser Center for a consultation. We’re here to help you achieve your best “look” – whether undoing RBF or just giving you a refreshed appearance.

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