Billboard claims that Avril Lavigne has ‘Resting Bitch Voice’ and that’s not a thing

The BFI 62nd London Film Festival European Premiere of 'A Private War' held at the Cineworld Leicester Square - Arrivals

Avril Lavigne is not my favorite person, but I feel like the past five or six years have been really difficult for her, and I genuinely feel sorry for what she’s been through. The tough skater girl with the IDGAF attitude grew into a woman who still doesn’t give a f–k about most things, but she has matured and dealt with some hard times, through divorce and a years-long battle with Lyme Disease. Avril is releasing her first new album in five years, and for that, she got the cover of Billboard. The Billboard cover story is an okay read – you can read the full piece here. Avril comes across as down-to-earth and sympathetic about some things – her health struggles, career struggles, divorcing Chad Kroeger – and yet she’s still the same old Avril who loves to gossip about Shania Twain and dudes and how much she drinks. But I wanted to talk about this one small part:

Lavigne says that at one point, she thought, Oh, I guess I’m done with making music.

And indeed, the calm 34-year-old woman sitting before me on her suede couch does not exactly seem ready to rock. When Lavigne tells me how excited she is to be doing this story, the words are delivered in her apathetic mall drawl, dragged out of her babydoll mouth like a child frog-marched through a museum tour. Does the motherf–king princess even want the motherf–king crown anymore? Who, exactly, would be her acolytes if she decided to seize it? And why did she disappear four years ago?

The esprit de brat still lives in Lavigne. She soon swaps her Emergen-C for the rosé, mounts a pink skateboard in her pink Vans and zooms down her vaulted hallway. Lavigne’s mom and stepfather, visiting from Canada, lounge in the backyard next to a menagerie of inflatable pool animals. But Lavigne wants it to be known that at her castle, outdoor activities are allowed — encouraged, even! — indoors. She informs me that later in the evening I will be sabering a celebratory bottle of champagne in the house, using a large sword she pulls out of a box and brandishes at me. When Avril Lavigne is excited, her tone retains its say-something-nice-to-your-sister reluctance but adds exclamation points of shrieks and giggles. It appears that she (like me) simply has resting bitch voice.

[From Billboard]

Oh, Billboard. “Resting Bitch Voice”? Are you joking? While Resting Bitch Face is a real thing, I don’t think RBV is a thing unless you’re one of those people who is obsessed with policing the WAY women speak. It’s a thing with a lot of men, especially, to criticize and critique women’s speaking voices as “shrill” or “vocal fry” or “she has a bitchy voice”? Besides, it’s Avril, what do you expect? Why not go to Resting Apathy Voice, or even “she still has the vocal inflections of a bored teenager”?

Avril picked up on the “Bitch Voice” criticism too, posting an Instagram Story where she said, “If I have resting bitch voice, does that mean I have resting bitch face?… Eh. At least I have a face and a voice. Look at the bright side, look at the positives.”

Photos courtesy of Billboard.

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37 Responses to “Billboard claims that Avril Lavigne has ‘Resting Bitch Voice’ and that’s not a thing”

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  1. Abby says:

    Ugh. I’m a journalist (not for celeb magazines), and I have to write profiles sometimes, but I would never describe someone that way. It seems like the journalist doesn’t really like Avril. That’s a cringeworthy paragraph. And no one would ever say a man had a “resting bitch voice.”

    I agree that the “mall” voice or teenager voice would be a better way to say it.

    Also, I’m still rooting for Avril. She was a defining voice for my teenage years and I feel for what she’s been through.

    • Alissa says:

      agreed. She’s the reason I learned how to play guitar. I’m always going to root for her a little bit. That paragraph was pretty awful to read, it just seems kind of rude.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I agree with your statement about the journo not liking her. The tone smacks of it, and I wondered if the author were a man (didn’t go to Billboard to find out).

    • Millenial says:

      Yeah, the author expresses surprise (to her face!) that she can play her instruments and I’m over here like… did you do *ANY* research before you showed up at her house ready to be judgmental af? I mean, I don’t even really like Avril, but that’s just super unprofessional.

    • Mina says:

      I’m a journalist too and I totally agree with you.

    • Abby says:

      OK, apologies. I went back and actually read the article. I still stand by my opinion that the excerpted paragraph is terrible. The author is a woman! I just think that was not well done.

      Things that stand out to me — she speaks well of both her (Canadian!) ex husbands, and she played music that she produced with both of them during the story–that’s cool.

      I am so glad that Lyme didn’t take away her voice. One of my dear friends is battling Lyme Disease and it has taken her beautiful, powerful singing voice among other things. I hope she’s able to get it back.

    • SK says:

      Good lord I cannot deal with writing like this. It is so pretentious and overwrought. Mate, you are not a salty F. Scott Fitzgerald, lay off the crappy prose! He spends two paragraphs delivering her a contemptuous back-hander.

  2. Lucy says:

    Even though I don’t listen to her music as much as I used to (used to be a HUGE fan), I’m glad she’s alive and well, doing what she loves. I can definitely sense a change in her. Years ago, she would have told the reporter to f*ck right off. Instead, she gave her a genius response.

  3. Gutterflower says:

    Wow that was such a rude excerpt from the interview.

  4. Jane says:

    I don’t see the problem, not if you don’t take issue with resting bitch face. Some people do just default to a tone that makes them sound bored (in an actively rude way, not an apathetic way). From what I’ve seen of her interviews, Lavigne is definitely one of those people.

  5. CharliePenn says:

    Resting bitch voice is actually the best description of Avril’s voice I’ve ever heard. I’m SORRY. Should the journalist have written and published that? Probably not. It’s unkind. But to me, it’s not wrong.

  6. dlc says:

    I hope this isn’t going to become a thing like “basic bitch”. My significant other showed me a video last night that he thought was hilarious and I didn’t about a woman being diagnosed by a Dr. as being a basic bitch. I think it means you like popular things like pumpkin spice and have inspirational sayings on your wall, stuff like that? So it’s making fun of women who aren’t cool enough? Why does that exist and not being a basic dude bro? If you or your buddies do anything Kavanaugh did during his confirmation hearings, you might be basic dude bros. If you get teary eyed talking about lifting weights with your buddy in high school, you might be a a basic dude bros. Etc. Etc.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Well, sister, we’re going to fix that. We’re going to put “basic bro” into existence. We shall use it from now on whenever we see fit.

    • Veronica S. says:

      “Basic bitch” is one of those things that can be funny when women are joking around with one another but is just obnoxious when men jump in. But then again, men ruin a lot of things for women, so that’s not a surprise.

    • Ange says:

      Ummm we have plenty of terms to describe those sorts of guys… Frat bro, douche bro etc.

  7. Erin says:

    That’s a dumb phrase and it seems sexist to call women shrill, but I don’t see a problem with criticizing vocal fry. It is completely manufactured and SO rampant in this Kardashian era. I work in a PR agency full of early twentysomethings who put it on because they think it seems cool/intelligent/professional and it’s the f-cking absolute worst.

    • BANANIE says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I don’t understand how someone could believe it makes them sound cool/intelligent/professional. It comes across as self-absorbed/ignorant/childish. Fools!

  8. ByTheSea says:

    My default setting is bitch and I admit it. My voice and tone sound bitchy, even when I don’t mean it to. People tend to ask me (even on the phone) why I’m angry or if they’re annoying me. For me at least, it’s a real thing.

  9. Naddie says:

    I’m glad she’s not a thing anymore. I was a die hard fan when I was 15, but now (and even then) I could see she was the epitome of the white brat who’s all about looks and bragging. From her stupid and unfortunatly iconic video where she and other white dudes would just be assholes in a mall (imagine kids with other aesthetic) to her “I’m not like the other girls” cool girl persona (Britney was often a target). White mediocrity never been so well represented.

    • Lucy says:

      Well, people can change over the course of a decade, you know. They grow. And the feud with Britney was never really a thing? At least not on her behalf. It’s fine if you dislike her, but she has shut that down more than once.

      • Naddie says:

        My comment is not only about my personal taste or herself (it is about those too), but the Avril Lavigne brand. Obnoxious brat with grating voice, much worse live, we know why she got so many passes.

      • Lydia says:

        She would have “grown” if she apologized for that.

        She’s still the same brat taking shots at people she secretly wants to be like.

  10. Lydia says:

    She was so judgmental about pretty, popular girls, and now she styes herself like Barbie.

    (I don’t mind girls who look like Barbie, but the hypocrisy makes her so annoying).

    • Lucy says:

      Well, people can change over the course of a decade, you know. They grow.

      • BBeauty says:

        Avril doesn’t seem to have grown at all. She still comes off as rude and judgmental. She has styled herself as blonde rock n roll barbie for years. I was never a fan and I don’t think ANYONE missed her in her absence except for a handful of people. I grew up listening to girl rockers but Avril always seemed like a poseur.

  11. The other Kiki says:

    I think this is what I have! It’s not quite vocal fry, but it’s just an inability to emote or add inflection. Kind of like a deadpan delivery in comedy except there’s nothing funny about what the person is saying. The plus side is that I am really good at deadpan when I do drop a joke, but the majority of the time people think I’m not excited about anything and that I’m maybe a little sad. I can be very excited but you won’t hear it in my voice. You have to really know me to pick up on it.

  12. Gabrielle says:

    The way that her make-up/hair is here is something I’ve been seeing a lot recently. On Taylor Swift on the Red Carpet, a few other pictorials i’ve seen. The pale lips with the cat eye and kind of retro bouffant hair. i love it.

  13. BBeauty says:

    Ok maybe that comment was rude but OMG Avril seems like an annoying entitled person. Skateboards and swords at 34 years old? Really?

  14. Yes Doubtful says:

    Resting bitch voice?? I’m not even sure what that even means or what that would even sound like. I’m not a fan of Avril, but her new single is on constant rotation on my iphone playlist.

  15. zia says:

    I like some of Avrils older songs. Won’t lie. I’m with you was always my favorite song to sing at karaoke LOL. I had Lyme disease and have been suffering from the aftermath for years. It’s not easy. It changes your whole life. Nothing is ever the same. I have compassion for her because I know what it’s like. it can feel very lonely because the symptoms mimic so many other illnesses that sometimes people think you’re a hypochondriac because you’re always having a weird new manifestation of the illness.. It is AWFUL. As much as I get people downing her for being apathetic or whatever Avril is, I can’t talk smack about a girl dealing with Lyme. It’s an everyday battle.

  16. kristen says:

    I’ve been thinking about her lately. I was at the Austin City Limits music festival a few weeks back and saw Deryck Whibley at the Amex Lounge. He looked better.

  17. Jana says:

    Totally agree. I’n not an Avril fan, but Resting Bitch Voice? Would anyone say that about Kanye? No.