Smile, Darlin’–You’re So Pretty!

smile, pretty girlHave you ever gotten this?  It’s annoying. A friend told me when she used to get told to “smile, it can’t be that bad,” she  would reply “How the hell would you know?!”

It’s something little girls and women hear; when I was younger, I heard it. I wonder if men and boys do, too. Probably not as much,  because women and girls are expected to be pleasant and visually appealing. And smiling is part of it. If this little girl has her way, things will certainly change if she become president.

This also appeared on my column.


About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men,
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4 Responses to Smile, Darlin’–You’re So Pretty!

  1. Nikki Stern says:

    I’m still trying to reestablish my password (lost track of this one) in order to comment on WordPress sites, but my off-site comment is: The whole “smile” thing manages to “diminutize” the woman or girl and trivialize whatever is on her mind. *Nikki Stern *

    *the possibilities are endless*

  2. Rob Husberg says:

    I think I’ve mentioned this a while back, but I’d love for you to publish a collection of your “sandbox” cartoons. What a great format — and you own it!

    No, I can’t recall ever being told I was pretty, but I’ve been told to smile a gazillion times. Especially when I’m at the dentist. Whenever I’ve been in the company of a woman who’s been told this, I’ve instinctively cringed. It’s insanely rude, patronizing, and annoying. I feel for the recipient every time. But we live in a world where appearance is all, or so it seems.

    • Yes, you are so right. But it is more of an issue for women (young). And yes, I should do a sandbox collection! My Women On Men is due out this fall…so maybe after that. Thanks, Rob.

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