Don’t tell me to smile, fool

When did it happen? When was the very last time a man told me to SMILE? And despite really wanting to tell him to shut up and get away from me, I smiled. It always seemed churlish not to comply, right?

Well, it’s been many years since a man demanded a smile from me. Many, MANY years. And here’s why:  I believe a man only tells a woman to smile when he’s attempting to make a personal connection, no matter how tenuous, inappropriate, or annoying, because he finds the woman attractive. He is either hoping she will one day agree to have sex with him, or he’s using it as a power play (and wants to have sex with her). When a woman is not pretty enough (according to his taste) or young enough (again, subjective) to be fuckable, he doesn’t care if she ever smiles. Ever.

I had this epiphany about being too old for anyone to ask me to smile when I saw this funny little video on Facebook yesterday called “Smyle for Women” by Nightpantz. Check it out:


When I shared this video on Facebook,  my two friends named Tina commented on it. Tina #1 said men don’t tell older women to smile because they are afraid of us and know she’ll tell him to fuck off (but Tina said $%&@ off) and mind his own business.

Good answer, Tina! So even if a man were tempted to break the ice with an older woman by telling her to smile, we might guess that he’s finally mature enough to know how stupid that ploy is, or he is afraid he’ll be embarrassed by the woman telling him he’s a jackass and that he can go smile at himself in the mirror if he’s that desperate for a happy face encounter.

On the other hand, Tina #2 expressed some concern about being afflicted with RBF, or Resting Bitch Face. You know the face. Mouth automatically turns down, even though your mood is neutral or even happy. Your face, at rest, looks like you’re frowning. That can happen to men or women and is no indication of whether or not that person is cantankerous or one of the funniest sweetie pies you’ve ever met. It’s just Mouth Gravity.

Are you ever hesitant to approach a stranger with RBF? Have you reluctantly greeted someone who looked cranky and scary, but the minute you said hello and introduced yourself, her face lit up with the most gorgeous smile ever? I love it when that happens.

If she were still with us, I’ll bet Mary Tyler Moore would have RBF by now and hey, that girl could turn the world on with her smile, right? I think Rhoda had RBF at a young age. Phyllis, too, now that I think about it. RBF is not strictly age-related but – wouldn’t you know it? – it’s mostly the females of our species that get called out on it. Yeah. Don’t be put off by RBF, people.

And if you’re one of those men who still struts up to young girls and women and commands them to SMILE, all I can say is – knock it off.  If there was any chance that the lady in question might have considered sleeping with you, the odds dropped dramatically after you demanded to see her teeth. Trust me.  Women of all ages hate to be told to smile. Unless you’re with “Candid Camera,” resist the inclination, guys.

Otherwise, be aware that her smile is just barely hiding a snarl. Every time.



6 thoughts on “Don’t tell me to smile, fool

  1. Love the video, Kate. I don’t remember the last time anyone asked me to smile, but I know it would make me mad. The funny thing is, I do tell my husband to do so. He tends to have what I call a poker face and I’ll ask him if he’s happy and he’ll say yes. Then I tell him he forgot to inform his face. Now that I think about it, I wonder if that makes him mad. Got to go ask him. Talk later!

  2. Molly, I’d love to know what he says about that! I was primarily referring to male strangers and work colleagues/bosses, actually. I have on occasion had women tell me to smile when they know damned well I’m very upset or angry about something and I’d like to smack them for saying it, too!

  3. Interesting and entertaining as usual. I know I have RBF and was kind of bothered by it until you mentioned MTM would have one now too. With that in mind, I will relax and look forward to some laughing with you on Monday.

  4. Chris, I think if we live long enough, we ALL get RBF eventually! It’s just sooner rather than later for some of us. My sister calls the vertical lines at the corners of her mouth her “marionette lines.”

    1. As long as he doesn’t insist that you smile, you’re good. Now, if YOU feel like smiling – go for it! He might very well like what he sees, sags and all!

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