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Smile policing | by J.G. Park
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Smile policing

Somebody who saw this picture told me I should smile. I look pretty when I smile!


The smile police strike again.


A few weeks ago, while I was waiting for the bus, I had a stranger in a passing car slow down, roll down his window and actually yell at me that I should smile. I was taken aback, but this was just a new twist on an old theme: ordering women to smile. Because it is every woman's obligation to smile for others, no matter what's really going on in her pretty little head.


I'm not a very smiley person in general. I'm certainly not a toothy grin person. And I have better things to do when waiting for a bus than smile for the benefit of strangers.


I can smile when I need to. My work persona smiles at strangers. But, in this shot, I'm at hour 8 of a 10-hour workday at the end of four weeks of overtime. I'm too tired to smile.


I mean, I _did_ fix my hair, wear a dress, paint my nails, put on make-up. Sorry if that's not enough.

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Taken on March 7, 2014