I have never ever been picked up by a man. One of my male friends once said to me, ‘Why would anyone pick you up when your default expression says “Speak to me and I’ll slap you hard”?’
I think I have what is now called a ‘resting bitch face’ and not only does it stop strange men (actually ALL men) from speaking to me, it also means that I don’t get messed with much. I am grateful for this, but when I was in my twenties, I would get sad because I couldn’t understand why all my friends would get chatted up in pubs and bars, but I’d always be given wide berth.
If there are twenty-three-year-olds out there who don’t care about whether or not people think they’re attractive then hats off to them. I’m afraid that at that age, my self esteem rose and fell according to how admired I was by others, in particular how admired I was by guys. At that age, I didn’t know that lots of men don’t have to admire your looks or anything else about you to want to shag you. And I also didn’t know that men will chat up almost anyone so long as there’s a chance of a shag.
My scornful, murderous expression said, ‘Not on your nelly’ and despite wanting to have men throwing themselves at me and despite being pretty stupid, I nevertheless already had a low bullshit threshold and an even lower sleazeball one, so, yeah, those men were reading me right.
My resting bitch face doesn’t just happen to be how I look. It reflects who I really am. And back then, before I wised up, it served to protect me from myself.