Kelcie Bryant-Duguid: Stop telling women to smile

Watercolour paint and graphite on paper. Weaving – This piece was made in response to the furore over the unremarkable action of a woman choosing not to smile in a photoshoot for a politician. The reaction from a woman’s decision not to ‘play nice’ or comply with the embedded ‘social etiquette’ for the sake of a man’s vanity or to fit society’s expectations has been both stunning and refreshing. It has reminded me of my anger and of the countless instances when I have been shushed and silenced and spoken over and patronised and minimised by men. This one brave action and the response to it has enlivened a conversation surrounding how women’s behaviour is policed in order to silence and dismiss her voice. 16cm x 16cm x 2.6cm


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