When they tell us to ‘smile’

Feminist Baby knows how to deal with this aready.

By now it has happened to you, if not it will. Some man or even the White House Press Secretary will deem your face unacceptable and insist you rearrange it to their liking. 


You might be walking down the street, to school or to identify a body – whatever, and some man will suddenly cry “Smile! You’re too pretty to frown!” or some variation of the same theme. It doesn’t matter if you’re dressed to the nines or in sweats and Ugg boots, men always feel free to comment on our appearance and how it somehow should be altered to make their world a prettier place.

It won’t even matter if you are at the Women’s March, some man will say “Free fuck Trump souvenirs! All you have to do it give me a smile!”

You may want to punch him in his smug probably unshaven face, a completely valid emotional response, or perhaps just scream an obscenity at him. You’d certainly be warranted. Maybe you, like most of us, give a small reflexive smile, all while wishing you had a foam capsule hidden in your cheek to suggest you have rabies and he is next. Despite the fact commenting on someone’s appearance is rude to begin with, we have been trained to take it, lest we ourselves appear rude. But enough with that. I suggest we all take a deep breath and employ all the weapons in our arsenal. Including our smiles.


To get you started, here are a few inspirational come-backs you can use.


Go for the gut:


-It’s just that smell…is that you?

-It just seems wrong to patronize the socially challenged.

-I don’t smile at ugly people

-Your fly is down, and there is nothing there you want to show off.

– Drop and give me twenty.

-Your mama must be so proud! Be sure to tell her when she tucks you in tonight.


Dark responses :


-Smiling feels wrong when I am about to kill you

-I lost my smile in the war

-Sorry, you remind me of my uncle that  touched me in the bad place

-I am just waiting for the results of my biopsy.

– Give them a big creepy smile with dead eyes and just stare at them. A little too long is just the right amount.


Hit him with TMI:

-Sorry, it’s just that my dog died and these infertility hormone shots are just making me crazy. Plus I feel like I am going to puke at any second, and I can’t eat anything but all I want is a tuna fish sandwich. Do you like Tuna? You seem like the kind of guy that like tuna but rarely gets it….

-It’s just that my uterine lining is sloughing off and it feels like the physical embodiment of that time this guy that looks a lot like you made me sit through a Lord Of The Rings marathon.

-I have nerve damage in my face. I was rendered incapable of smiling by men who think I am here to make their world more aesthetically pleasing.

– *Burst into tears*



-Why, are you gonna give me a cookie?

– That never occurred to me!

Smile big, start skipping and singing

-What? What? (pretending not to hear)

– Thank you for reminding me I am only here to please you.


Depending on my mood these are the two favorites I use on a weekly basis:


-*Waving hand like Obi-Wan* I am not the woman you are looking for.

-Awe. Bless your heart.


Then go buy yourself a latte or a bloody mary. You deserve it for not burning it all down. And if you want to smile a self-satisfied smile while you drink it, go for it.