Stop Telling Me to Smile

Faz Street ArtImage source:

Have you ever been told to smile while simply walking down the street minding your own business? Almost every day I hear:

“Why don’t you smile?” 

“Why do you look so angry, smile you’re so beautiful”

“Smile girl!”

Grrr… I hate it when strangers (always men, I’ve never had a women say that to me) tell me to smile while I’m going about my business as if my sole purpose is to entertain them. Why do I need to smile? Why do they feel the need to talk to me when my body language alone is screaming: “leave me alone please”?

I recently came across the work of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh who posted anti street harassment posters around Brooklyn in the United States. I’d love to see some of these popping up on Long Street and around the Cape Town CBD.

Faz Street Art 2

Image source:

Read more about her posters here:

Does this happen to you too? Email your street harassment encounters to [email protected] or tweet us: @HollabackSA.


One Response

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  1. Dan says:

    You do realise that men get the same thing from the same sort of people?

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