Sexism with a capital S(mile):


Smile for me sweetie
You’re more attractive when you smile

I smile
I’m here for your entertainment after all
My automatic reaction instantly regretted

I don’t smile
There is no rational grounding that says I should
I smile when I want to

I’ll give you a smile
It’ll be so fake, so invasive it’ll leave you regretting your egotistic demand

Who are you to tell me to smile?
Where do you get off thinking it is within your power to control MY EMOTIONS?
You have no entitlement here
I won’t give you any satisfaction of power- of control over me


It means you’re happy
You should always be happy
And if not, pretend you are

Otherwise people around you feel uncomfortable
And you are responsible for their comfort

Instead I gRroOOOwWWLLLL

Photo credit: Holger Knote


How did the demand for a smile come about?
Why is it often men asking this of women?
Why is this deemed ok, cute even?
Let me feel how I want to feel, how I genuinely feel
I don’t have to prove anything to you
Work extra for you
Sell myself for you
And you have no right to demand it
If I do my job and if I do it politely that’s all that should be
expected from me
What happened to embracing the range of human behavior?
Behavior that encompasses the good, the bad, the weird, the
efficient and everything in between
To hide is to deny, to deny is to limit, to limit is loss of freedom
Freedom of self
of self expression
of personality


All this being said, it is of course based on context and situation. Inspiration for this piece came in two fold. First, having worked in service, I was exposed to plenty of such comments, and, secondly, this ode to the term resting bitch face by Olivia Gatwood. Angry, yes, but rightfully so.  I not only appreciate the challenges she must have faced when writing this ode, but it’s her passionate way of delivering her words that makes my hair stand on end.

 This is a nice little note that was left for me on a receipt.

(The feature image is a little doddle I made. Is it an awkward smile, a smirk, a growl? who knows).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!So this is an entry that calls for participation!! I would love people to add their own line or two or three!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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8 thoughts on “Sexism with a capital S(mile):

  1. Smile … be nice. Why can’t you just be nice? Nobody likes smart ass girls, no one likes bitches…. no one. Be likeable. That’s your job, didn’t you know? Just smile sweetie, smile darling. Smile and be nice, because that’s we want you to be. Don’t make a fuss, ok? Make life easier for us, laugh at our bad jokes -we on the other hand, don’t have to smile, we on the other hand have freedom of expression, freedom to be angry – but you darling, don’t you dare, don’t you dare get angry lest your frowning become wrinkles and we all know the most important feature of you is your beauty -smile darling, sweetly, discreetly – no loud laughter please, that’s too ….. big

    1. Yes, so good! Thank you for adding your voice! “That’s your job, didn’t you know? …Don’t make a fuss, ok? …that’s too ….. big.” These lines keep playing back in my head! Thank you! xoxo

  2. Smile, stranger said, gesturing towards my waist
    Or not, I said, deflecting his advance
    That unwelcome touch
    Glossy eyes, boozed breath
    “No” doesn’t cut it for a dog off his leash

    1. So direct and catchy! I had to read this a few times! Love it 🙂 Thank you for adding your voice! xoxo

  3. Smile because your eyes are so sad.
    Like Mona Lisa you provoke fear.
    Fear of the unknown.
    Because without that smile, I cannot KNOW YOU.
    Without that smile I CANNOT love you.
    Without that smile all
    I feel for you is PITY.

    1. This is so moving, Jackie. I feel a pull, tensions, when reading. Thank you for sharing your voice!! xoxo

      These posts are adding so much!!!!

  4. I did a mock interview in college and the only feedback the recruiter had for me is that I need to smile more. 1) Useless feedback but 2) Would she have said that to a male student?

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