As a woman, have you ever been told to "smile" by a random man on the street, in the workplace, or at school? Why is there a schema associating women with having to be light, perky, and bubbly at all hours of the day? Are we not entitled to basic human emotions that aren't exclusively happy?
Stop Telling Women To Smile is a street art series for the public. "The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces," describes the artist and creator, Tatyana Fazlailzadeh. (via "about")
Tatyana works to bring attention to the street harassment women face. As a young woman myself in our urban environment, harassment is worrying enough when going home alone late at night on public transit. To be told to "smile" by a man has no context. Do we have to always be a pleasing object of beauty and entertainment to males?; Always feminine, never a frown to be seen? Society needs to stop condoning men's offensive behavior, and this is a powerful installation giving women a voice against street harassment.