A Twitter Account Questioned If People Are Really Told To Smile. Women Spoke Up.

"This has happened too many times to count."

Last week, a Twitter account that claims to represent the Independent Workers Party of Chicago began tweeting about the treatment of women in America. Sexual assault and harassment were both discussed before the conversation turned to women being asked to smile.

When one Twitter user brought up the upsettingly common practice, the IWP account doubted it ever happens and said it was "made up."


Per BuzzFeed News, that misguided claim sparked anger and outrage from many women on social media, many of whom began tweeting about their experiences with strangers or others who told them to smile. It quickly became clear that women of all ages, races and backgrounds have  heard that request dozens of times throughout their lives. Take a look at some of the responses below:

Following a prompt from another Twitter user named Molly Shah, who asked the Twitterverse to "retweet if a stranger has ever told you to smile," the thread really took off. Shah received hundreds if not thousands of replies to her request and did her best to keep up with them all. 

Many women mentioned being asked to smile from a very young age, while others retold stories of being asked to smile in the midst of upsetting personal crises. Some women even said they complied with the unfair and ridiculous request because they feared what might happen if they didn't, and a common theme was that many women had been asked to smile "too many times to count."

The variety of the replies Shah received serve as an indicator of just how prevalent the experience is. Check out some of the additional responses below:


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