“Smile love, it’s not the end of the world”
I’m sure many women like myself hear this phrase on a weekly basis. It begins with you simply minding your own business, either sitting on a train, walking down the street or simply standing somewhere waiting for a friend whilst scrolling through your phone to avoid awkward eye contact with a stranger. Then out of no where, a stranger walks past me and says that dreaded expression.
Normally, when this happens I simply just stare blankly at the passer-by and my brain does not process a reply in enough time (usually this happens hours later when it is no use to me at all) and then I just carry on with my day and except that I have resting bitch face. The reason for this post is that last week whilst I was at a pub minding my own business at the bar whilst my boyfriend was paying for my pint, a middle-aged man approached me and loudly said, “How rude are you?! Standing on your phone, not saying hello and smiling at us!” I panicked, looked up from my phone and without thinking forced a smile across my face and sheepishly said, “hello”. The man smiled back and then carried on his conversation with someone else. I quickly grabbed my pint and sat in the smoking area rather annoyed.
Why should I smile and say hello? I understand being polite but why was I pressured into it? Why is it anyone else’s business that I smile? Why does it bother you so much if i smile or not? Why do I owe you a smile?
Like I said before, this has happened on more than several occasions. Not long ago, I was walking along a busy high street when a man bolted passed me quickly and scorned, “smile, bitch”. I scowled at the man and went back to looking at my phone. A friend of mine has told me that one day when she was commuting to work a man suggested that if she smiled she would look a lot prettier. Thanks for the tip random stranger but it really isn’t any of your business.
This isn’t a post ranting about men, I’m sure many people have these experiences regardless of gender. This is just explaining a situation that has happened to me that I’m tired of.
So no I will not smile for your satisfaction random stranger, I will smile for myself and occionally at dogs on the internet. Until then just except my resting bitching face.