Stop Telling Me To Smile, Already

Julie Gerstein | February 27, 2013 - 10:40 am

How many zillions of times in you life have you been told by a random stranger on the street to “smile”? While the sentiment may at first seem harmless, the implication is that women only exist to be objectified by men — that by not smiling, we’re not fulfilling our end of the bargain. It’s a subtler form of street harassment, but no less a reminder that some men feel entitled to dictate what women do with their bodies. I mean, have you ever, ever walked up to a random man and told him to smile? Didn’t think so.

With that in mind, some anonymous anti-smile harassment vigilante has been putting up these awesome posters in the Bed-Sty neighborhood of Brooklyn. Thanks, stranger, for saying what I’m thinking but never remember to actually voice in the moment.

What do you do when someone tells you to smile?

Update: The artist behind the posters has been identified. Her name is Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and she also sells the drawings as tee-shirts.