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Simone Biles had a biting response for a TV host who asked why she wasn't smiling

Please refrain from asking girls to smile.

Gymnastics - international competition Source: DPA/PA Images

ANY GIRL WHO has spent a while working in retail has most likely had the experience of being asked to smile by a stranger.

You could be 7 hours into your third 10 hour shift in a row, with piles of college assignments waiting for you at home and any number of issues or potential stressors going on in your personal life and some man you don’t know will come up to your checkout, pop down their shopping on the conveyor belt and say those three deeply, deeply irritating words: “You should smile”.

rih Source: Giphy

First of all. Who are you? What reason does anybody in a shop have to smile at you?

Staff aren’t in shops to offer customers emotional performances. Do you know how much these people are paid? €9.25 an hour to deal with the public is nothing to smile about.

Second of all, the “you should smile” crowd are rarely women – women know how annoying this is and would never ask that of a stranger.

It’s usually men who insist that they’re saying this to be nice and friendly. If that’s the case, how come they never say it to other men? It’s nothing to do with being friendly, it’s all about feeling entitled to emotional involvement in an ultimately meaningless transaction from a retail worker.

rih2 Source: Giphy

But even if you’ve won 5 olymic medals, there’s no escaping it.

Nobody owes you a smile. Especially not Simone Biles.

As of late, the 20-year-old gymnast has been on Dancing With The Stars. After her second performance on Monday, Biles stood on stage, completely out of breath after an extremely physically demanding performance.

She had just finished listening to the judges critique her performance when host Tom Bergeron decided to add his two cents. “I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments… you didn’t.”


For a moment Simone appeared to be in disbelief, before shrugging and telling him that “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.” And it’s true. The judges are there to rate her dance performance, not how she reacts to compliments.

Maybe it’s time for Tom Bergeron to start a spin-off called ‘Smiling With The Stars’ if he’s that concerned with the emotions of young women.


The comeback received an outpouring of support from her fans, who were delighted that Biles stood up for herself.

Biles admitted having tears in her eyes and feeling close to crying after the judges were hard on her. Her pro partner Sasha Farber said “I know how hard t his girl works, each week she comes in here and delivers something different. There’s a lot of expectation on her shoulders”.

While Biles herself said that “I feel like I am trying, I am being honest, but if they don’t see that, I don’t know what more I can do.” When someone this hardworking and dedicated faces such frustrating criticism, its’ probably best not to ask them to smile.

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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