Much has been written recently about the “resting bitch face,” a sort of disdainful pout that pops up candids all the time.

The gender-specific appellation is wrong, and misogynistic. Many of us default to our own personal RBF, and attaching the b-word – even if just acronymically – to that seems doubly wrong, both inaccurate and perpetuating.

All that said….

I love to look at strangers’ faces, at the expressions they port throughout their day. I imagine their expressions tell me lots – not just about their moods, but about their sexualities, about their worldviews, about their histories.

There’s the man in his late fifties, jaw jutting forward, eyes uplifted, arms crossed. He is determined, he’s been through a lot. But the slightest uptick at the edge of his mouth tells me he’s inclined to see the good in people, to be kind. In my mind, he is married, faithful, devoted. Sure, he has fantasies – dark fantasies, of which he’s ashamed. Maybe involving violence, or children. But he is a strong man, and, except for just a few slips, he has tamed them.

The woman in her forties whose lips defy the adage that it’s harder to frown than to smile. Even when she does smile, the smile appears within the confines of her frown. I don’t imagine she actually is unhappy, per se. Rather, I think her reflexes all are negative. I don’t imagine she is a giver, sexually, but neither do I imagine her easily satisfied.

The woman in her fifties who has a sly, almost naughty smile, at all times. She makes eye contact, and her smile opens, broad, wide. I imagine her to have lots of friends, lots of lovers, to be skilled at creating fun in just about any circumstance.

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