In the annals of badass retorts to men who tell women to smile, Simon Biles pretty much scored a perfect 10.
After a performance on “Dancing With the Stars,” Biles faced off with judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who offered the gymnast some praise, along with some constructive criticism. Biles nodded politely through the critique.
It wasn’t enough for host Tom Bergeron, who apparently preferred Biles perform a little more happiness, despite being a professional competitor trying to … win a competition.
“I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments,” host Tom Bergeron said. “You didn’t.”
“Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals,” Biles replied.
An artist was commissioned to create an interpretive rendering of the moment:
Here’s the thing: The “Dancing With the Stars” host picked the wrong champion to chastise. Simone Biles smiles all the damn time — when she damn well wants to.
Here she is, choosing to smile, at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.
Here she is freely smiling while destroying an entire world’s worth of competition at the 2016 Olympics.
Here she is smiling — of her own free will — while performing on “Dancing With the Stars” about 40 seconds before Bergeron asked her why she wasn’t smiling.
Would you smile while someone was telling you your dancing is a little too robotic? I doubt it.
Furthermore, as Simone herself said, faking “joy” has nothing to do with her ability to kick ass.
Sure, she might pop a grin while mowing down competition in pretty much any arena of her choosing. But the smile is really just an accessory.
Most importantly, it’s an accessory for her, and not for anyone else.