An inspiring video made by self-described “male feminist” Duncan Wizell has gone viral this week. In the video, Wizell approaches women on the street to give his approval of their decision to not smile.
“It’s important to show women that not all men are the kind of assholes who will go around telling you to smile,” says Wizell. “I want them to know I’m okay with them not smiling because not smiling can be beautiful, too.”
Many women featured in the video seemed to heed Wizell’s wishes, remaining stone-faced as he passed by. “I could tell by the response it was what they needed to hear,” he explains. “Women are so strong.”
Wizell came up with the idea when he heard female friends describe how obnoxious it was to be told to smile by strangers on the street who felt it was somehow within their realm of control to tell them what to do. “That shocked me,” says Wizell. “I was like, ‘That’s messed up. I’m gonna do the opposite.’”
“I just want women to feel like it’s okay to have regular expressions on their face like men can and that a lot of us men—the good ones—will still be into you for who you are,” he says. “I would date a girl regardless of whether or not she was smiling. That’s feminism.”
Wizell’s video has been shared by many other men on social media who want their female friends to know they share his sentiments. “I like a serious woman,” says Tim Hawkey, 32. “Women’s mouths come in all shapes and sizes and that’s cool. I would make out with every one of ’em.”