Simone Biles gives the clap back of the century when being criticized on Dancing with the Stars for not smiling. After performing her first dance, Biles was presented with a mixed response from the judges regarding the authenticity of her smile. Host Tom Bergeron then proceeds to criticize her as to why she didn’t smile when she received positive reviews. You would think a four-time Olympic gold medalist knows a thing or two about how to conduct herself in front of judges and an audience. Nevertheless, in response to this comment, Biles proclaims,
“Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals”
And she’s absolutely right.
What makes Simone Biles a champion, not only as an athlete but as a woman, isn’t whether or not she does or doesn’t smiIe. It the fact that she spends every day defying the limits of what it mean to be an athlete and what it means to be human. She puts in 500% and what she gets is a criticism of her smile. Only at the age of 20, she has accomplished so much more than what so many of us could ever dream of doing. And frankly, I couldn’t care less what faces she makes because it didn’t get her where she is today,
“She kept it real and sometimes the truth hurts,” semi-finalist Val Chmerkovskiy told ET. “Smiles don’t get you gold medals and I agree with her as an athlete and I side with her.”
So no, Tom Bergeron, you don’t get to tell Simone Biles to smile nor any other woman in your industry or any industry for that fact, to smile. It’s time for men everywhere to stop telling women to smile. It seems that whether we’re on the streets of New York or on national television, women are still being told to smile. I hate to break it to you but smiling isn’t going to end your embedded misogyny, and according to Simone Biles, it doesn’t win you gold medals either.