People are interesting. I mean really. The way we carry ourselves, regard our lives and cultivate relationships is something that made me want to major in sociology before I realized I was born to be a media maverick. As a writer, I’m a natural observer. Sometimes I tend to just sit back and scan a room, focused on finding the stories that individuals are telling only using their body language. Often, I scan the room and see the usual sight in a collegiate environment, people cliqued up with people they know. Individuals that they’re comfortable around. I never see people leave their cliques to meet new people unless it’s a requirement.
I always wondered why that occurred. Is it because we’re so comfortable being with people who we’ve built trust and a friendship with? Or, does it go deeper? In my observations, I found that it does indeed go deeper. As people, we have a type of subliminal competition that controls the way s that we act in a social environment. If we see someone different we alienate them. If we see someone walk into a room with an ounce of self-confidence we chop them down. We’ll mumble to our friends within our clique, “Who do they think they are? They must think they’re better than everyone else or something?” Often times, these individuals don’t even have to talk. They don’t even have to look your direction for you to blast your insecurities on them. The favorite line, “He/She looks mean!”
As far as I know, this has been something that has been said way before me. Misconstrued perceptions of how people act based on their appearance have been around forever. Going deep, you can talk about social prejudice in the forms of racial and gender stereotypes. But we ain’t about to go that far! I track this mainstream saying among our generation back to 2013 when I first saw mention of Rihanna having what they call a “resting b*tch face”. A “resting b*tch face” is basically when you’re not showing emotion on your face. It’s inadvertent. Sometimes you just do things subliminally that you don’t realize. However, it’s become something that we’ve taken and ran with as a generation. Rihanna become the face of peoples insecurities and she didn’t even try to!
I got the inspiration to write this article after I was scrolling my school Fort Valley State University’s hashtag on Twitter when I ran across the tweets into three young women that had similar tweets about their social interactions on the yard at FVSU. One of them bought my book last year (The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson: Volume II available in the FVSU Campus Bookstore! @Midnight__Wish bought it! Not that this matters in this article, just thought I should point it out). The tweets are below.
I wonder if people don’t talk to me on campus because I look mean. I’m sorry if I have a resting bitch face. I’m really a sweet person. #FVSU
— Ashley 💋💋 (@Midnight__Wish) August 30, 2018
#FVSU anybody wanna be friends ? I’m not gone look mean anymore i promise 🤣
— BLU 💙 (@keevrai) August 29, 2018
🤣🤣, I sholl be looking mean, but I’m a stop 🤣. https://t.co/3UHfr2MAJY
— Rena ✨ (@sarena_renee) August 30, 2018
While these tweets very well could be just jokes, because I’m sure these beautiful young women could care less who does and doesn’t want to hang around them because of what folks “think” they are, it brings up an interesting conversation. As a student leader, I’ve had several young women come up to me and cite how it’s hard to find friends or guys to talk to because people think they mean just because of how they look. For some reason, people even think this about me. Randall Barnes! The person that everybody asks questions on campus when they want to know something! My Twitter be overflowing with questions like I just work for Fort Valley yet I’ve had people tell me, “I thought you were mean and arrogant when I first saw you.” What? Do I get a say in this? I guess not.
Let’s just be honest, your perception of these individuals are the reason why you think they’re mean, arrogant or have a “resting b*tch face”. If you were to meet some of the people you judge out of spite they might be the coolest people that you’ve ever met. That person might even be a lifelong friend or somebody that can improve your life. Yet, you don’t even get to that point of meeting them because you think they’re prettier than you or you think they think they’re better than you. Seriously? Aren’t we adults here? Let’s be open to meeting new people. More importantly, let’s stop projecting our insecurities on people!