Beware of Bitchface

Has anyone ever come up to you and said “smile!”? Ugghhh so annoying! Annoying as it is, they might be onto something there. Often we don’t realize it but our body language, and more specifically our face, is sending off the wrong message. I call this phenomenon: Bitchface.
(Urban Dictionary Definition: Bitchface: “Any person whose face makes them seem like they’re a bitch.
Person A: She looks like such a bitch.
Person B: No, she’s not. Her face just looks like that, she has a bitch face. She’s actually really nice.”

Think Posh Spice, Kristen Stewart, and Vivian Leigh.
classic bitchface

We might be in a perfectly fine mood but our face falls flat or looks bitchy, even though we don’t mean it to. The problem is, nobody wants to talk to Bitchface. Can you become more aware of your body language and your facial expressions? Try to smile at the universe. Men are attracted to women who smile, laugh, and make eye contact, basically women who are approachable and don’t look like they will bite your head off if you go up to them. It’s really difficult to approach someone, and the more there is a guarantee that they won’t lose face over it, the better your chances of being approached.

Just sing this song in your head

That being said, when you put on your “Happy face” you will then attract people who will come over to talk to you and you aren’t interested in them.

How do you handle this unwanted attention?

I was at the airport the other day with my friend and we were chatting away, as we do, about everything and anything and probably at a volume for anyone nearby to hear the entire conversation. While I was discussing my next holiday destination, a guy sitting next to us jumps into the conversation about how he has been to that city. Ok, obviously not so much tact and it through us off a bit but his intention was in the right place. He was interested in talking to us and saw a way into the conversation, can’t really blame him for trying. The surprising thing was my friend had a look of disgust on her face and wouldn’t even turn to look at him. I chatted with him a bit about where he’s been and then exited the conversation. My friend rolls her eyes.

Trust me, I have been this girl countess times and I have also been on the receiving end of this cold shoulder response and it sucks.

I see this all the time, especially when the girls at the bar are approached by a guy they aren’t interested in. Someone who is normally very friendly and kind becomes standoffish and almost offended that the person approached them. Is this our only way of asserting our boundaries and letting someone know they aren’t welcome? Are there other ways to do this? I understand that we won’t like every guy but does that give us the right to be rude? Also, you never know who’s watching.

On the other hand, I also have friends who will chat away with a guy all night who they aren’t even interested in, leading him on the whole time because they feel rude ending the conversation. How can we strike a balance between being nice but not “too nice”? My advice would be to be kind to everyone you meet, greet them with a smile and chat for a minute or two. Then politely shake their hand or say it was nice to talk with them and leave. You can say you are taking a walk around the bar, finding your friends, going to the toilet….trust me, they will get the message but it’s not mean.

Know what you want and who you want to talk to. Give someone your respect but don’t let them dominate your time and energy all night if you don’t think it’s going anywhere.

It’s about having boundaries while not putting up a wall.


  1. The need for women to smile is actually also addressed in Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. It is so easy for women to be perceived as a “bitch” in a social situation or in the workplace that we have to be extra smiley to broadcast to the world that we really are nice people. And if you realize that your friend has Bitchface, be a friend and let her know!

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