Stop telling women to smile. Please.
When you go for a check up, do you attempt to get your doctor to smile? No. Do you try to harass a chuckle out of the mail man? The pharmacist? No. That begs the question, why are you doing it at all? By all means, be kind and pleasant and charming in appropriate ways that might inspire a smile. But inspiring a smile and awkwardly forcing one from someone are two different things. Women should not feel the need to pretend to be happy or “perform” a social cue on demand because our value in society is that of a show piece. We are not always happy and we certainly are not here to provide smiling background faces for the folks with whom we are sharing our immediate spacial situation. The Smile Police have no jurisdiction over me or my face. So smile on my friends! Or not. Whatever works for you.
This interaction inspired THIS ZINE
Listen to a conversation about this whole concept between myself and my friend Justin, who was pretty sure it’s nice to tell people to smile.
*Explanation contributed by Noelle