|Photo by s8 using the Creative Commons License.|
But in the end, I don’t fire any amusing ammo. Instead, I nod my head and shoot a quick, fake smile. The Smile Monitor leaves and I am left wondering, my mind laden with self-loathing and doubt. Do I look angry, sad, depressed?
The truth is Smile! makes me feel belittled and, embarrassingly, bullied. A command that I feel is usually directed towards women, Smile! is loaded with sexist notions of what a woman should look like apart from how she’s really thinking or feeling. Instructing me to Smile! overlooks my very personal and private thoughts and emotions. So not surprisingly Smile! has the complete opposite reaction: it makes me defensive.And whether I am overanalyzing an innocent comment made with the purest of good intentions, I’d like to suggest substituting the command with the general question, How’s it going’?
So rather than unleash some snappy, witty (and yes 100% gratifying) comeback or go into some long-winded explanation to try to explain myself, I’ve chosen a better response: No thanks. I’m ok.