Art Seen

Women Are Sending This Artist Selfies So She Can Paint Their 'Bitchy Resting Face' — And Reclaim Their Bodies In The Process

"By depicting women as we are naturally, I hope to erase the shame and negativity that we feel about simply being ourselves."

Ah, the "resting bitch face," or RBF, otherwise known as a person's neutral expression and an excuse for strange men to tell women to smile. 

Artist Mandy Tsung was sick of the latter situation, so she decided to use her art to combat it. In her project Bitchy Resting Face, Tsung hopes to help to break down gender stereotypes that surround women and their appearance. When women aren't smiling or otherwise displaying a pleasant demeanor, they're often thought to be upset, angry, or disrespectful — even if that just their relaxed facial expression. 

"All women know how infuriating it is if someone tells you to smile when your face is simply relaxed," Tsung wrote on her blog. "This is the most natural face a woman can make; her most honest expression, and yet it is so unsettling that strangers feel the need to do something to stop it. Perhaps it's because it makes it hard for them to enjoy her, to objectify her."

Bitchy Resting Face is a series of painted portraits that show the facial expressions women have when they're just being themselves. Tsung started the project in 2015 when she asked women to email her selfies that showcase their RBFs. Once received, she painted them in her signature style. 

"The self-portrait or selfie is an important component of this project because it is the purest form of the female gaze," Tsung continued. "People seem to have a big problem with a woman taking pleasure in her own appearance — objectifying herself — even though the rest of the world will do so with or without her permission. Perhaps the selfie is a way of granting permission, or taking back ownership over oneself." 

Tsung's Bitchy Resting Face portraits are currently on display at the Hot Art Wet City gallery in Vancouver as part of its "Strong Female Character" show. 

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You can check out some of the portraits below:

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(H/T: Mashable

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