Justice

Rowan Blanchard's Response To "Why Aren't You Smiling?" Is Perfect

"Girl Meets World" star, noted feminist, and precocious 14-year-old Rowan Blanchard just nailed why it's impolite to ask women to smile.

RELATED: Rowan Blanchard Wrote a Powerful Essay About Feminism

Popular shows such as "Scream Queens" and "Broad City" have challenged the annoying "why aren't you smiling?" question in humorous ways. But for many people, especially women and people battling depression, it's a question you can live without.

In a series of tweets, Blanchard highlights why asking someone to smile can make a person feel awful, especially if that individual is suffering from a mental illness. It is also sexist and assumes that women only exist to look pretty for men.

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Blanchard wrote that it was hurtful to see her followers ask if she was depressed simply because she wasn't smiling in certain photos. She added that throwing around such an assumption about someone is harmful because depression affects millions of Americans each day and can lead to more serious health risks.

Blanchard's message was well-received among many of her fans and followers, not only for addressing the larger issue of depression, but for telling others that it's not cool to ask women to smile:

Blanchard has made a lot of news in recent months for her powerful comments about feminism. In August, when she was still 13 years old, she wrote a viral Instagram essay on white feminism in response to a fan question asking "how common feminism might exclude women of color and non cis/queer women." Blanchard, who also spoke at the UN Women’s annual conference on gender inequality, weaved the gender pay gap into her answer and pointed out that women of color tend to face an even larger pay gap than white women.

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"'White feminism' forgets all about intersectional feminism," Blanchard wrote. "The way a Black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women. While white women are making 78 cents to the dollar, Native American women are making 65 cents, Black women are making 64 cents, and Hispanic women are making 54 cents."

Many cheered Blanchard on for her powerful essay, including U.N. Women ambassador and noted feminist Emma Watson:

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