12 Women Who Changed the World by Smiling
Tonight on Dancing With the Stars, Simone Biles — who, just in case you live under a rock, won 19 Olympic and World Championship medals in 2016, making her the most decorated American Olympian — received positive feedback on her second performance of the night. But that didn’t seem to matter to host Tom Bergeron. Instead of letting her listen to the judges’ feedback, the host interrupted her moment to ask the — again, I remind you — most decorated American Olympian why on earth she wasn’t smiling — after facing criticism for smiling too much during her first performance literal minutes before.
“Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals,” Simone replied, and the world applauded.
This cringe-worthy moment (that will admittedly make a badass GIF I’ll save and inevitably use literally everywhere) got me thinking: what on earth have women managed to accomplish without smiling? Here are just a few women who have accomplished a few small things, in no particular order.
1. Serena Williams
Image via SerenaWilliams
She won the Australian Open while pregnant. But she smiled the whole way through the match, and that’s what’s impressive.
She traveled thousands of miles with a baby on her back and two men probably mansplaining the whole way, but she did it all with a smile. I’m sure of it.
3. Susan B. Anthony
Image via AskForKasasa
You can clearly see her smiling on the one dollar coin.
4. Joan of Arc
As we all know the story goes, Joan of Arc was the first (female) (17-year-old) military leader to lead an army with a smile on her face. Her winning smile was also the reason she was later deemed a saint. Nothing else. That’s it.
5. The Notorious RBG
Image via lindsey.z.briggs
She’s notorious for smiling.
6. J.K. Rowling
She wrote some book series that was adapted into a series of eight films and made millions of dollars. But more importantly, she has a really great smile.
7. Marie Curie
She won the Nobel Prize. Twice. For smiling. You know, not for developing the theory of radioactivity and coining the term. Nope. For smiling.
8. Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Harver
They became the first two women to become Army Rangers in 2015. But it wasn’t blood sweat and tears that got them through Ranger School at Fort Benning. It was smiling.
9. Lupita Nyong’o
Image via LupitaNyongo
She won an Oscar. For Best Smile. (Sidenote if an award for Best Smile actually existed, this goddess would win it hands-down. But that’s not the point.)
10. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson
These powerful “hidden figures” sent men to the moon. Not because they worked hard, or were smart, or went to school, or challenged the system; no, it was because they had really nice smiles.
11. Anna Wintour
Image via marcopiracciniphoto
She changed the fashion game and Meryl Streep played her in a movie. Because she’s known for smiling.
12. Hillary Clinton
Image via hillaryclinton
She won the presidency in 2016 because of her winning smile. Oh wait…
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Last modified on November 18th, 2019
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