Simone Biles Just Gave the Best Clapback of All Time

It is 2017, and men are still telling women to smile

Simone Biles' Dancing with the Stars quip has gone viral

Consider yourself served, Tom Bergeron (Photo: Getty)

Typing “Don’t tell women to smile” into Google will give you more than 85 million hits—and somehow men still don’t get it. Most of us have perfected the head-down-earphones-in response to being told what to do by complete strangers; but it’s much harder to react when you’re being told to smile on national television.

Of course, Simone Biles is not most of us. She is a four-time Olympic gold medalist who has made it to the final four on hit reality TV show Dancing with the Stars—and she’ll be the first to tell you that she didn’t get here by smiling.

Though Simone is well loved by DWTS fans, the judges’ reviews of her performances have seemed mixed. On Monday night, she was told that her smiling was keeping her from conveying real emotion. Then, after her second dance of the night, she was given confusing feedback from judge Carrie Ann Inaba about being “too perfect.” Um, what?

While listening to Inaba’s feedback, Simone looks focused, and is still clearly trying to catch her breath. Host Tom Bergeron was somehow confused by this.

“I gotta quickly ask,” he says, interrupting the judging. “I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments. You didn’t.”

Simone gives him a huge smile, shrugs twice, and then responds with the best clapback of all time:

Simone Biles on DTWS responds to host Tom Bergeron's comment about her expression by saying, "Smiling doesn't win you gold medals"

SMILING. DOESN’T. WIN. YOU. GOLD. MEDALS. Twitter reacted right away with users quoting the instantly iconic line.

We are in awe of Simone’s poise and quick-wittedness as demonstrated in her clever, poignant response to an irrelevant and generally sexist question that had nothing to do with her actual dancing. But we’re also both angry and exhausted over having to have the same conversations again and again when it comes to policing the way young women present themselves.

Tom Bergeron realized that his question was careless at best and reinforcing negative gender stereotypes at worst. He posted an article criticizing his comment on Twitter last night, writing, “The question I should have asked (and have of many contestants) was “What’s your reaction to the judges comments?” He then went on to commend Simone for her response in a second tweet today.

Tom realizing that he added to the “smile pile” that is too often heaped on women is a step in the right direction, for sure. But these realizations are looong overdue. Still, until everyone gets it through their head that women can smile, or not smile, as they please, at least we have a kick-ass comeback to yell back at critics.

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