Chronicle 1: Mona Lisa

Poor Mona. The Queen of enigma has no idea how relevant her puzzling expression is, to this day.

Is she happy? Or is she pissed off about having to be sat in the same position for hours whilst some dude called Leo toyed around with some oil paints to create an artistic masterpiece? For all we know, she could be overjoyed about being the centre of attention. Or her hamster may have died that very morning. Who knows.

Because here stands one of CBF’s oldest known victims.

mona_lisa_by_leonardo_da_vinci_from_c2rmf_retouched

An uncatchable smile, the beginnings of a smirk or the way her face is when neutrally engaged. Chronic Bitch Face had the poor lass hard. Mona Lisa couldn’t contour, take a selfie instead or put a filter on her face. She just had to deal with it.

Just because we can’t tell what she’s really feeling during her downtime of having her portrait taken, it’s made her smile a world-wide phenomenon. And that right there shows the true power of CBF.

 

 

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“Are you okay?”

Typically annoying CBF remark no. 9, first received when I was 14 years old.

“I’M FINE.”

Throw back to hitting puberty. An ugly era for any nineties child. And whilst it’s true, your face starts to change as you grow become older, CBF rebels like the hard-faced she-devil she is. It stays put, scoring a big gold star in persistency. And in a bitter, twisted pot of irony, the natural stresses that come with being a teenager do not exactly scream smiles.

“OH WHAT A JOLLY MENSTRUATIONAL COUPLE OF DAYS I’M HAVING.”

Said no teenager. Ever. Team that with spots, bras and hormones; all handed to you on an unappealing adolescent plate, at the same time boys decide girls actually smell quite nice… It’s not really the stuff that ‘grins’ from ear-to-ear are made of.

And so, girls dealt the CBF card at birth are given as much chance as an operatic choirboy at 13. Left with no choice but to raise a white flag and surrender to a teenager’s moody stereotype.

You see for some girls, neutrally engaged facial expressions have never been trained to be anything more than that. There was never a discipline that we were told, nor were strict instructions provided of what our appearances should represent when inactive with others. Perhaps if that were taught instead of the ancient curriculam that was probably instated when Madonna was a child, CBF wouldn’t be at the epidemical status it is today.

Misery accusations dart around you like a housefly on a sugar high. You would think the more you swat them away, the more they’d get the message. You are absolutely, one hundred and ten percent spiffing. Fine and dandy. However, when it comes to Chronic Bitch Face, you are given no such luck.

One thing we can be thankful for is this generation. Because before a term for this expression malfunction was ever born, you were just referred to as a pubescent nightmare. Or when your name is Mandy, Moody Mandy. Mardy Mandy. Miserable Mandy. The alliteration game proved humorous. But there I was, Misunderstood Mandy, with my inner sunshine totally face blocked.

Are you a sufferer?

Over the years, I’ve become pretty familiar with the stages that you go through when coming to terms with the angry attitude your face parades. Not sure whether a friend hates you? Confused as to why someone at work looks at you like you sneezed in their latte? Look no further. As they too, could be another one of CBF’s tragic victims.

  1. First signs

Ever find yourself on the receiving end of patronising comments from colleagues, shop assistants, friends and (yes, even) fellow commuters? Do they confront you over why your face is looking like it’s escaped an identity parade in Kentucky? Then keep reading…

If you feel as though you are quite content and happy, but most of your thoughts about puppies and food are interrupted with “are you okay?”, you have to ask yourself: Where were your parents when all the others were in the facial expression gene queue?

Common phrases include “chin up”, “what’s the matter with you” and “crack a smile”. All annoying. All unnecessary. But if people make you aware that you look as though you spend 84% of your day in a bad mood, then chances are you are a sufferer of CBF.

You may start to spot behavioural trends amongst those around you. If you observe people avoiding you in social situations, if you’re not picked first on a sports team or if fellow passengers choose to sit next to someone eating fast food over you on a bus, then this too may be an indication of CBF. Or that you need to tell better jokes, increase your athletic ability and swap your deodorant.

Just remember to look out for a few key features that are normally recognised in a CBF victim:

  • A mouth that struggles to get slightly erect at each end
  • A persistent, vacant look in the eye
  • An unnerving frown
  • Kristen Stewart-isms
  1. Diagnosis

As CBF is yet to go under medical analysis, you cannot go to the doctors to be diagnosed with the condition. But if you can relate to any of the symptoms listed, then chances are you have the ability to make an informed self-diagnosis.

If you’re sat here reading this and certain miserable faces are popping into your head, listen up. Whether it’s a friend, family or loved one ticking each box of this facial impediment checklist, you have a duty. Please. Take it upon yourself to assess their behaviour and pull them aside. No one deserves to suffer from CBF in silence.**

**Just a few words from our legal team: We cannot be held responsible if your alleged CBF victim is, in fact, expressing themselves negatively due to undisclosed agonizing information. Please ensure extensive research into their personality patterns have been completed prior to approach. False accusations can create irreparable damage to relationships.

  1. Anger

Upon realisation that you have Chronic Bitch Face, emotions are known to run high. This is normal. You have just realised that you look like an enraged serial killer, with an accomplice that has unsuccessfully hidden the weapons to your latest killing spree. Ninety-two percent of every day.

“HOW DARE PEOPLE THINK THAT I LOOK LIKE A CONSTANT BITCH?” You may fume. But getting angry about looking angry is only going to make you look even angrier. Seeing as people already look upon you as pretty advanced in that area, getting mad is not the answer.

On the flipside, after accusation, you may feel the need to repress your anger with a forced, fake smile. This is going to do nothing for your raving serial killer look. If anything, it’ll add a bit of crazed psychopath into the mix. Again, not the answer.

Anger is expected, but if you can, try and only reflect the mood this has brought to you when you’re within the comforts of your home. That way, impending arrests can be avoided and your dignity will be protected. A bit.

  1. Denial

Me? A bitch? Per-lease.

It’s only natural to be hit with a spout of denial. You might even try to convince yourself that your reflection isn’t as evil as CBF suggests. But in reality, many girls who suffer with it are never on the receiving end of their fierce scowls. So are oblivious to the mass offence it’s been known to cause.

By all means, have a mirror-mirror moment. See what all this bitchin’ fuss is about. But we cannot guarantee the results are going to be accurate. You’ll probably be staring at yourself with what you deem as your actual resting face, but subconsciously, you are overcompensating for your auto-bitch expression with a more PG version than what everyone else sees.

Just weigh up the accusations. If you’re repeatedly accused of having CBF, then there’s a high chance that you are a sufferer and denying it is only going to make you look like a twat.

You may go through phases where you attempt to sport a temporary positive mouth, also known as the smile. This will probably last all of 3 hours. CBF puts up one hell of a fight.

  1. Support

Your mother, Mona Lisa, Grumpy Cat… Anyone that can relate to your facial hindrance is going to become your guru. You will look for answers everywhere. Was it something in the breast milk you were fed? Did you trip and face plant stinging nettles as you learnt to walk? Were you deprived of sunshine in your infant years? Or was your mother’s womb not a hostile environment enough? No. You cannot blame your parents. The truth is, baby scans do not detect CBF. Over the years, they have learnt to accept your menacingly-challenged face. And continue to be there for you when your face isn’t.

Your closest friends have learnt that they don’t need to tread on egg shells around you. And that you don’t in fact hate them. They will probably offer you lessons in face school, in an effort to turn your stone expression into possessing an ounce of feeling. Appreciate their attempts and try to unleash your inner face sting. Then come to terms with the fact that you’ll always look like the bitch of your squad.

Do not search for support in make up. You cannot disguise Chronic Bitch Face under a layer of foundation that’s strong enough to support the great wall of china. Clowns can still look bitchy. I mean, have you ever met Barbie?

  1. Acceptance

To move forward and be happy (not that your external persona will let this on anyway) you have to undertake the fact that this is who you are.

You have a bitchy resting face. It’s as simple as that. Pleasantries will not be shown when you’re unengaged with human interaction. Only upon accepting this truth will you be free to pursue a life where you can use CBF for its advantages. (Yes, it does have some.) No one will dare to push in front of you in a queue, you’ll forever look like you mean business and are protecting yourself from being mugged. I mean, when you’re face is as sour as vinegar that’s been dashed over a bag of chips meant for Donald Trump, no one will cross you.

  1. Treatment

Remedies for CBF are in research stages. A prototype face cream with a formula that eradicates negative expression is still in its infancy. The last guinea pig for such a product was Victoria Beckham. Results are inconclusive.

You may look into “Perma-smiles” through injections that work in the same way as botox. Patients that used this approach have confirmed that success rates are 0.03%. In some cases, this method has resulted in Chronic Bitchface becoming Chronic Murderface. Now if I were given the choice of looking like a moody cow or a psychopath, I think I know which I’d opt for.

Hypnosis: Yet to be tried.

Please come back for updates in this area.

  1. Prospective

In time, when CBF becomes more of an established condition, we can look forward to living in a world where our faces aren’t judged. Where we can switch into autopilot without being asked if we’ve just face-planted a pile of bricks or witnessed a squirrel meeting a lorry fatality.

Until then, look out for your fellow sisters. Because if CBF has anything to do with it, it’s time they be at peace with their sullen guise.