How I Learned To Embrace My “Resting Bitch Face”

Stella Guan
7 min readDec 28, 2021

What It’s Like To Be Told To Smile More Your Entire Life

My first memory of becoming self-conscious about my face was around the age of seven, when my mother mentioned casually that I looked prettier when I smiled.

Even as a child, I understood the unspoken message — I was not pretty when I didn’t smile.

At that age, I thought it was ridiculous.

Why would I have to force myself to smile if I didn’t feel like it? What’s wrong with my normal, expression-less face?

Photo by Jim Flores on Unsplash. This is NOT me! For my real “resting bitch face”, check my profile picture.

When I turned twelve, I got into a fight that almost turned physical with a boy in class.

He was one of the “naughty kids” that always caused trouble.

One day, he said to me: “You’d look fine if you just cover up the bottom half of your face.”

I almost hit him with a broom — we were on cleaning duty for the classroom that day.

Fast forward to adulthood, I finally learned of a name for the predicament I had been in my entire life revolving around my face — apparently, I suffer from something called the “resting bitch face”.

Accepting That People Will Always Get The Wrong First Impression



Stella Guan

Digital nomad designer and entrepreneur between the US, Europe & Asia | CEO of Path Unbound, UI/UX design school | |