Watching this Presidential election has brought up a lot of issues dealing with the way people ridicule and criticize women in the public eye. Amongst the many comments made about Hillary Clinton that I have seen in the media, she has gotten an especially large amount concerning the amount of times she did or did not smile during different events. These types of comments aren’t just reserved for Hillary Clinton, but also for so many other women of influence and power as well. This made me think about myself, and the amount of people, especially men for some reason, that have told me I should smile more.
I can remember people telling me to “smile more” all throughout high school until now. I would be doing something at work like organizing a clothing rack or minding my own business and someone I had never met before would approach me and say something like “You know, you should smile more.” or “Smile honey. It’s a beautiful day.” I think it is important to remind anyone reading this that none of these tasks required a smile. And I accomplished them all with great timing and quality too.
Seeing and hearing things like this always irritated me, but also made me wonder why is it that women are told to smile more? Why is it that women have to look pleasant, or happy all of the time? Does smiling effect a woman’s capabilities? Does it make her less likely to complete a task? No one would dare to create a headline asking if Donald Trump smiled enough during his debate.
It is time for a new rule of thumb. No more questioning the personality or capabilities of a woman based on the amount of times she smiles when she talks. There should be no more approaching women you have never talked to, and telling them how pretty they would be if they just smiled. It’s time we start minding our own business, because a lady’s smile is her own.