Smile! It's International Women's Day
When I get a haircut from someone new I’m terrified that they will dress my hair for a job I do not want: a sensible mom maybe, or a Proud Boy. My short hair compliments my truck-like gait, which, as I become adept in wielding the power that comes to all women as they leave their thirties (invisibility), allows me silent passage before any number of unwanted audiences, from the bus stop to the smoking patio. I can’t remember the last time some dick told me to smile.
This method is not practical for everyone. I know. I can’t teach you how to keep your hips moving strictly in horizontal planes. Not everyone has the cheekbones and brow story to pull off today’s short styles. Some people were born in the eighties and nineties. I get it. So in honor of International Women’s Day, I have a few alternative strategies for making this particular specimen of street harassment into a teachable moment for all involved.
- Wear a mouthguard. There is nothing as unsettling as someone in street clothes smiling and revealing a mouthguard. Also, if you decide not to smile, your teeth and jaw will be protected as you grit and strain them during the encounter!
Compliment your interlocutor's ass. You may find yourself smiling by accident as the words leave your mouth, and then everybody happy!
Smile, but think of the Netflix/Fuji Television coproduction Terrace House. It's a Japanese version of Jersey Shore in which smiles can mean everything from “I am sorry but also excited that I will live in this house with you” to “I am sorry but also I will never want to hold your hand, wear yukata, attend a festival, or watch fireworks with you.” A smile can mean many of things!
Pretend you didn’t hear them, put your head down, and walk faster. Happy International Women’s Day!