pleasing smiles

“In my own case, I had to train myself out of that phony smile, which is like a nervous tic on every teenage girl. And this meant that I smiled rarely, for in truth, when it came down to real smiling, I had less to smile about. My ‘dream’ action for the women’s liberation movement: a smile boycott, at which declaration all women would instantly abandon their ‘pleasing’ smiles, henceforth smiling only when something pleased them.”

Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case For Feminist Revolution (The Women’s Press, 1979), p89 (via radtransfem)

via somethingchanged

Oh, don’t you hate it when some random stranger guy (they’re always men) tells you to “Smile!” on the street. As though you were obliged to decorate their public space with a ‘prettier’ face.

I think my new thing will be experimenting with fake smiles in dance performances. There’re a lot of fake smiles getting about from women dancers, but I don’t know too many women who use fake fake smiles. I think it will be discomforting. Like Snake Hips Tucker’s expression while he danced. Terrible and terrifying.

2 thoughts on “pleasing smiles”

  1. Oh my goodness… if I had to count the number of times someone told me to smile, and lifted the corner of their lips, (OR EVEN MINE!!!) to show me how to do it. I FUCKING HATE IT !!! I’ve been thinking about having a chapter in my thesis about this. The requirement to smile in life and especially in swing dancing. “But you’re dancing, you’re supposed to be happy”… Well how do you know I’m not happy ? That’s my happy state God Damn it ! I don’t have to constantly show it, do I ? How do you tell the way I feel ? Do you read my mind ?! The dictatorship of the exteriority of pretended happiness. Nobody asks you to not smile when you fake it. SO many people have a constant smile. Some rare people are like Buddha. Good for them. Some people are just trained to do so. Well, at least when I smile, I FUCKING MEAN IT ! And it’s glorious !

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