“Not burnt, but trashed – the discarded bra sparked heavy controversies.” Photo: Associated Press

If you were to pick one item, or one topic that keeps women from living up to their full potential, what would it be? Would you feel good by throwing it into trash can with a loud ‘thump’? I know I would. I want to get rid of – the smile.

That polite smile that women should always have on hand in every and any situation. From a very young age I learned that whatever I had to say, I should say it with a smile. Even if I was to express discomfort or try to make my boss pay me more money, always put a bit of smile into it. And have you ever heard someone say to you: “You should smile more” or “You would look a lot nicer if you smiled”? I sure have. But I haven’t once heard people say that to boys or men. Are women considered to be always-happy, always-motherly beings handing out generous doses of sunshine to everyone? The housekeeping guides from the fifties and sixties remind the female readers to always, always (!) greet their husbands with a smile after those tiring office days. And that seems to have stuck. Girls and women were raised to smile as a form of signalling their attention, enhancing their looks and making those around them feel comfortable in their presence.

So, let me trash that smile, because I don’t feel like smiling… so it makes me look prettier – and apart from that, it gives me wrinkles. Let me smirk, grin, purse my lips in irony or simply be a grumpy gal for a day. I’m not anyone’s feel good machine.

What would you like to trash? Have a think and give yourself permission to do it.

-Kristina Kraemer
Junior Editor
Girl News International

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