This topic has come up more and more in the media.
Halsey’s latest song Nightmare even addresses this:
“Come on, little lady, give us a smile.”
Women are encouraged to smile all of the time. It makes them beautiful. And sure, that could be the case sometimes. But why don’t we encourage men to smile just as much to appear handsome?
I remember back in high school, I was in the middle of a volleyball tournament. Being the setter of the team and playing in a 6-1 formation, I was focused. I was the only setter on the court for my team, which meant I had to be ready to be anywhere at any given time to support my team. I was focused.
Suddenly, I heard a voice from the bleachers, “Smile Sarah! Smile!”
It was my principle.
Although I’m certain he meant well, he was a nice man, I became furious. My expression tightened, frown deepening. His words only set my teeth on edge. I was focused on the game. Why should I smile?
Women should smile more. Women shouldn’t curse. Women should be sweet. Women shouldn’t be muscular. Women should this, women should that.
Little girls should love sweet things. They should play with dolls. They should like feminine things. They should wear cute dresses.
We will smile when we want. We will curse when we want. We will be our own selves without you or popular culture telling us what to do.
When my goddaughter wanted to do cub scouts, I was so proud. Sure, she’ll want to look cute and be girly. But its when she wants. Not because it is forced on her. Her parents are raising her to be who she wants to be no matter what anyone says. And in my opinion, that’s the best.
I will continue lifting weights to become stronger. I will have a sailor’s mouth. I will be a hunter. I will be me.
*Photo by Sportrock*
I’m personally dealing with depression, anxiety, and isolation. I’ve even had to deal with sexism in my work life. I’m struggling. But I keep fighting because I want to be strong. I want to be a warrior. So, no. I won’t smile. Not unless there is something to smile about.
Even with my book, TO DREAM IS TO DIE, I’ve seen reviews comment that my main character, Brenna, is mean. Not every female protagonist will be sweet and kind. They won’t all be shy or innocent. They won’t all find love. They won’t all be weak.
Brenna has seen some shit in her life. The girl is half dead for crying out loud. And she’s been alone for the majority of her teenage years. She is socially awkward and has a salty personality. She is blunt and will say what is on her mind. And sometimes that will come off as mean. But as she goes through her journey in the Dead Dreamer series, you’ll watch her grow into herself. Watch her realize her mistakes and learn through them without changing her personality.
I wrote Brenna to reflect my beliefs and experiences.
She doesn’t smile a lot. She can come off crass. She will be honest and blunt because that is who she is. She won’t smile or be sweet because others are trying to push her to be that way. Some may call her a bitch. I call her independent and real.
I am thrilled to see Brie Larson and Halsey putting their opinions out there about pop culture pushing women to be a certain way. And I’m sure there are many others out there, but these two stuck out to me the most.
Whether it’s sexist, or a culture thing, I honestly don’t give a shit. We’re all individuals with our own personalities. Be you.
Vent over. This post was random, but I wrote it on a treadmill and felt I needed to say somethings.
Have a fucking epic day, y’all.