For the women of New York, street harassment is an infuriatingly common occurrence, as addressed by a disturbing viral video as well as The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams. But it’s not all aggressively sexual comments about our bodies. Sometimes, it’s far more insidious ones that get under our skin. Like sharing, “you’d be prettier if you smiled.”
I know. A lot of people don’t get why that one’s a big deal. It’s nice, right? Someone wants you to be happy. Except they don’t. They want you to look happy, so you look more pleasing.
Here’s the thing: You don’t know me. You don’t know why I’m in whatever mood I’m in that doesn’t make a big showy grin on my face. And you know what? It’s not my job to look “pretty” for you. So fuck off. (This is essentially what runs through my head when randos tell me to smile.)
The Broad City girls get it. On the season finale, they took a moment to give us a simple rejoinder to this sexist request, which succinctly exposes how stupid this demand is.
Kristy Puchko smiles and laughs a lot. Just not on command.