“Aye, brown skin girl! You too pretty to frown. Turn it upside down…”
As I walked to the Metro from my off-campus digs, a graying man stopped me in the middle of my trek. I was running late, my hair was disheveled, outfitted in a haphazard ensemble…a hot mess in a sundress. Though he annoyed the hell out of me, it’s safe to assume that my face matched my ‘tude.
Sadly, this has been a common thread throughout my life. I’m living with chronic bitchface – a syndrome that prompts strangers to tell me to smile and causes men to think that I’m mean and/or stuck up. And oddly enough, I’m generally an easy-going gal. I just don’t come off that way.
I could chalk it up to my native New Yorker nature. I could blame it on my shy girl guise that dates back to my days on the playground. I could say that I rock a bitchface to avoid situations where I need to be kind of a bitch…like on a crowded train where pickpockets try to get the best of you or when someone cuts in front of me at Chipotle. But no…no matter how happy I may be on the inside, my outside says otherwise.
And now, not so surprisingly, it’s affecting my dating life. Not too long ago, I decided to grab pizza and drinks with a friend. We looked impeccable – dressed to the nines, faces beat. An older guy followed us into the Black Squirrel, a dive famous for its long menu of beers and few available stools. We were lucky to grab two. As soon as we settled in, an older (kinda creepy, very married) guy chatted my friend up. I politely gave them their space and sipped my amaretto sour, waiting for him to disappear. Before he finally did so, he left me with a parting statement – “I didn’t even want to talk to you. You looked like you’d curse me out!”
It’s possible that my bitchface is one of many reasons why I don’t have a boo. But it counters many rumors that I’ve heard – that men like mean girls. Men want a challenge. Nice girls never win. That they like ‘em 18 with an attitude or 19 kinda snotty actin’ real rude. And if that’s their preference, that’s fine. But I know me. My friends know me. My mom knows me. I’m not a snob. I’m an overly-sensitive wallflower that cries at the drop of a dime – a problem in itself, no doubt. But I think I have some redeeming qualities that are worth exploring once you get past the exterior. So I’m committed to finding a cure for my chronic bitchface, one smile at a time.
CollegeCandy, are you living with chronic bitchface?
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.