“CHEER UP LOVE, IT MIGHT NEVER HAPPEN”

Well, sir. That depends on what you mean by “it”. If you’re referring to being singled out by a stranger and made the main attraction at the bus stop you frequent daily; due to the expression your face naturally falls into when your muscles want a bit of downtime, then yes. “It” just happened.

And whilst you’ve rattled my cage and we’re on the topic; your negative observation of my sour appearance when it takes a well-earned rest has just added to my surly external look. But then again, you probably wouldn’t know that. Because that’s just the mysterious game my face likes to play with the world.

And I guess at that very bus stop, whilst waiting for my transport to school, was where my battle with CBF really began. When you’re 12 years young and personally ridiculed, those words aren’t going to evaporate anytime soon. They’ll be written in a diary and repeated over and over by your curious, pre-teen brain. But let’s get one thing straight. Waiting for a bus, to embark on a journey where your destination enforces the teaching of Pythagoras and the patterns in plants chromosomes, isn’t ever going to be the highlight of a child’s day. But for me in particular, a lack of upbeat facial engagement meant that no one would ever know if that fathomed any truth.

“I’M FINE.”

You hit 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 DAY’S I’M HAVING.”

Said no thirteen year old. 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.

The expression – impression. In it’s simple terms, is what it comes down to.

 

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