Justice

Olympic Gold-Medalist Simone Biles Doesn't Need to Smile, OK?

May 9th 2017

By:
Michelle Betters

After her performance on this week’s episode of "Dancing with the Stars," Simone Biles received another round of conflicting feedback from the judges, including compliments from judge Carrie Ann Inaba.

When the show's host Tom Bergeron made a comment about the fact that the Olympic gold-medalist wasn’t smiling, she had a perfect response.

“Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals,” the gymnast said.

Twitter erupted with support, praising Biles for her savage response, which has since gone viral.

 

 

 

 

Others also called out Inaba, who had criticized Biles for being too “on the beat” and dancing “like a metronome.”

 

 

Unfortunately, Bergeron’s remark, which he later called a “clumsy question,” isn’t new, and many women have probably heard it before on the street or even in casual interactions. In the last few years, artists like Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, who started an art series called “Stop Telling Women to Smile” in 2012, have shed light on what’s wrong with the gender-based harassment.

“It’s a matter of control over women’s bodies,” she explained to HuffPost in 2013. “And it’s a serious issue to address.”

 

 

Biles isn't the only woman in the spotlight to get this criticism, Hillary Clinton was constantly criticized for not smiling enough or showing more emotion.

When writer David Frum asked who had told the presidential candidate to “keep smiling like she’s at her granddaughter’s birthday party,” comedian Samantha Bee pointed out that everybody did it. On the other hand, she noted, “No one was suggesting superficial changes for Trump, like try wearing a suit that actually fits. ”

In a brief backstage interview with Entertainment Tonight, Biles expressed her frustration with the judges, who have yet to give her a perfect score. “You don’t know which wildcard of sexy or of happy they want you to bring,” she said. “You almost have to read their minds and find it.”