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People Are Sharing Their Experiences Of Strangers Telling Them To Smile After This Viral Tweet

"Lmao retweet if a stranger has ever told you to smile."

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Last week, @MollyOShah responded to a tweet, and it has gone massively viral. An account tweeted: "Who 'tells you to smile randomly on the street'? No one of course, you made that up." People, like @MollyOShah, had some thoughts about that assertion.


Meghan Richards, a 24-year-old office assistant from Auburn, Maine, shared an experience of being told to smile during a workout.

@mmeghanrichards / Via Twitter: @mmeghanrichards

"I was jogging on a treadmill at the gym," Richards told BuzzFeed News. "I had headphones on and I had sort of zoned out, but then I noticed that an older man was standing in front of me and motioning for me to smile."

"I kept staring at him, which would make him exaggerate the smiling motion again and again," she said. "Finally, I just plastered on a fake smile and quickly looked away. I was really upset and wondering why this guy needed to single me out like that."


Ally Schroy, a 22-year-old animator living in Texas, told BuzzFeed News that she changed her running route after a guy yelled at her to smile during a run. "After that day, I started driving several blocks away to run at a nearby park to avoid getting shouted at again," Schroy said.

Ann M. Little, a 49-year-old professor of history at Colorado State University, shared a story about her daughter. "She came home from school in grade 3 frustrated that a substitute teacher told her to smile," Little told BuzzFeed News.

@Historiann / Via Twitter: @Historiann

"She was confused because she wasn't unhappy, she was just thinking about her schoolwork and had a serious look on her face," the professor said.

"I was glad she was irritated by the interruption in her day. When I was her age I just smiled back obediently."

"I’ve been told to smile anywhere from in nightlife situations in my twenties, to in grocery stores," said Robin Fulford, a 38-year-old stay-at-home mom based in Texas. This is her strategy for dealing with people who tell her to smile:

@robunny1 / Via Twitter: @robunny1

She stressed that women's everyday lives are not performance. "It always irked me — the expectation that we put on a show for them," Fulford said.

"Growing up doing dance recitals we smile when we perform. Women are not performing — we’re living. We don’t need to smile for men at all times, as our lives aren’t for the pleasure of men," she said.


Remy Smidt is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Remy Smidt at

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