Kristen Stewart Shouldn't Have to Defend Her Frown

Poor K Stew is synonymous with frowning. She's caught so much flack for her stony paparazzi face over the years that she still gets asked to defend her choice of facial expression. Now Kristen Stewart has opened up about not smiling to Elle magazine saying, "Now I feel like if I smiled for a paparazzi photo—not that I ever would—that’s exactly what people would be desecrating me for. They’d be like, ‘now you’re going to give it up, now you’re a sellout.’ Like, okay. What do you want? What would you like?”

That's probably a pretty accurate statement considering Stewart's rocky relationship with smiling as it is. Robert Pattinson once said of the situation, "People have decided how they are going to perceive her. No matter how many times she smiles, they’ll put in the one picture where she’s not smiling.”

But the bigger problem here is that Stewart is again being asked to defend her choice of emotional state. It's just another example of society telling women that they owe the world their smile. In reality women have a lot of reasons not to smile, something Bustle's Rachel Krantz discovered when she hit the streets in search of answers to that common street harassment question, "Why aren’t you smiling, baby?"

For years Kristen Stewart has been subjected to the same type of harassment. But because it came from the media instead of strange men on the street, she was somehow deserving of mockery. After all, she's a celebrity; they owe us their lives! Even on their birthdays:

It's gross to see a woman berated for choosing how to arrange her face in photographs and it's sad to see she's still being asked to defend that choice.

Fortunately K Stew is pretty strong and I feel confident that when she does decide to smile that she does it for herself—not because society continues to think that women don't own their own facial expressions. Now if only she didn't have to keep defending that decision.

Images: Rachel Krantz, Courtney Laermer; perezhilton