"Why are you frowning?" "You'd be pretty if you smiled!" and even "Smile, bitch!" — sadly, many women have heard these comments before. The (male) smile police is out in full force on city streets, reminding you that you'd be so much more attractive if you only bothered to arrange your mouth into a pleasing U shape.
That's why the "Smile Bitch Training Camp" was created. It's here to save women from the terrible affliction of Resting Bitch Face (RBF) or simply the horrible condition of not smiling at all times. "Are men constantly begging you to smile in public?" reads the advertisement. "Sign up for the Smile Bitch Training Camp! We'll teach you how to smile like a lady."
Thankfully, this camp is imaginary. It exists solely in the latest sketch from New York City-based stand-up comic Janelle James. And, it's a razor-sharp, satirical send-up of the street harassment that's all too real in NYC and beyond. The clothes women choose to wear should be no one's business but their own — and so, too, should the expressions on their faces. But, try telling that to onlookers intent on voicing their opinions.
By mockingly taking these opinions seriously, James' priceless video shows the comments for what they are: intrusive, inappropriate, and unsolicited. "Thanks to the Smile Bitch Training Camp, guys never have to have their day ruined by seeing my unhappy face!" enthuses a satisfied customer of the fictional program. But, for a moment, Janelle herself pops in to tell us what she really thinks: "Maybe it's your fucking face and you don't feel like smiling." Amen. Watch the video above — it will put a (genuine) smile on your face.
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