Black Girls Rock

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If you ask a girl to smile be prepared for this response forever

Who knew 6 words could carry the same weight as 1000? Simone Biles, that's who.
As she digested mixed criticism of her Paso Doble, Dancing With The Stars host Tom Bergeron noted that Simone Biles was not smiling at feedback, as he expected.
What happens next belongs on somebody’s Shopify store T-shirts, coffee mugs and wall art prints.

YOU? GO? GIRL? ??? If only it did.

In one sentence Simone Biles simultaneously reminded us that she’s the best and most decorated gymnast in the entire world and that smiling doesn't trump hard work. Ever. 
In a true sign of the times, Twitterverse erupted in high praise of the shade.
For many women her response was much more than that. In that moment, Simone shed light on something we've discussed in quiet for many years, but brought to light recently; mostly thanks to Hillary Clinton and the prevalent sexism on display throughout the 2016 election cycle. That is, the notion that women should always be smiling to appear soft and amenable.
Venus Williams
, to
Victoria Beckham
and countless others, both those with celebrity and your girl next door, every girl has a story of a time where she was told she needed to smile. For a society such as today's, where it's drilled in us to 'be yourself' and 'be authentic'; the demand that women need to smile all the time is a direct juxtaposition.

So, let's say it one more time for the people in the cheap seats. 

And because she's ever the professional- smiling or not- all is well that ends well. Tom learned a lesson the hard way (thanks Twitter!) and Simone still has love for the host.

Image source: The Today Show
Black Girls Rock

The Movement: To see more of us reporting our stories.

I’ve discovered that you are better able to empathize with someone with similar life experiences as your own. This is why it’s so important for diversity in the public realm- teaching, government, first responders and more. Knowing this to be true,

four black journalists have launched the Ida B. Wells Society to help bring and retain diversity to the specific field of investigative reporting.