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Don’t You Dare Tell Captain Marvel to Smile More

The trailer for the highly anticipated Captain Marvel released recently, and it was wonderful. The painstakingly short trailer gives us glimpses of Carol Danvers in action. We see Brie Larson kicking ass, punching an old lady, and just generally being a badass. Fans were ecstatic to finally see this illustrious character on their screens.


Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful heroes in the comics, and her entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is HUGE, as it signals a significant shift in the entire narrative. The Captain Marvel movie will be the first female centred film in the MCU, and it is absolutely glorious.

The trailer was released to a lot of excitement from fans, and generally positive reviews. For a while, the internet was a wholesome place of excitement and speculation about the film’s plot. Brie Larson was praised for her depiction of Carol Danvers and the Captain-Marvel-Punching-Old-Woman scene kind of took over for a while. But, happy times are scarce, and they do not last very long- especially on the internet.

It didn’t take long for the misogynistic trolls to crawl out of their caves, hiss at the sunlight and criticise Brie Larson FOR NOT SMILING. One person took to Twitter to share photoshopped images of Carol Danvers smiling with the caption ‘I fixed #CaptainMarvel’ insinuating that she needs to smile more.

Many others tweeted sharing similar sentiments, with some even stating that she should ‘smile more’. Some claimed that her facial expressions were too monotonous.

Let us take a moment and fully appreciate the absolute absurdity of this. How dare you ask her to smile more? Why should she smile?- she’s not happy in the trailer. Captain Marvel is one of the most interesting comic book characters in history, but that doesn’t matter, does it? All that matters is that she’s too grumpy and angry- she’d look way better if she smiled, right?

It’s so frustrating that these people even dare to share these horribly misogynistic views. Did we expect Bucky Barnes to smile through his misery of being The Winter Soldier? Did we expect Iron Man or Captain America to smile? Did we ask Doctor Strange to smile? NO, WE DID NOT. So why should Carol Danvers have to smile simply to satisfy the toxic and misogynistic views of this society? You don’t ask the male superheroes to smile, so you shouldn’t be asking one of the strongest superheroes ever to smile either.

This is the manifestation of the very damaging issue that prevails in our society- how many women have been urged by random men to smile, simply for the pleasure of these men? “Smile, baby” “Give us a smile” “Why so angry? Smile” “You would look so much prettier if you smiled” These statements are probably very familiar to women who are accosted on streets and public transport by random, patronising creeps demanding a smile.

When women refuse to smile, we are cranky b*tches. When we do smile when we want to, it’s creepy and weird. A smile is often viewed by many as an invitation to engage, even if that smile is demanded. This entire issue promotes the misogynistic idea that women are here to please and entertain men.

In a time when the #MeToo movement is at the forefront of social commentary, shouldn’t our society have at least learned the simple truth that women are NOT here to please our society?

Misogyny within the ‘geek’ fandom is an ever-present issue. Remember when Kelly Marie Tran was harassed on social media by fans who did not like her character on Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Or even the emergence of ComicsGate- a revolt by ‘true’ fans who believe that diversity and inclusivity for the sake of representation are ruining their lives. (Cue eye roll).

Now, this entire article might seem like it’s a reachy-rant from just another feminist making a big deal out of nothing nothing, but it should be understood that it is micro-aggressions like these that mature into a wider mentality. These small things shape the way in which a society thinks, and allowing them to fester will only create a more damaged future.

You do not need to smile if you don’t want to. And neither does Carol Danvers. She’s trying to figure out who she is and how she got back to earth. Who would smile through that? But, even though she’s going through all of this, there is a snippet of her smiling in the trailer! So, what the hell, internet?

Brie Larson responded to these trolls in the most amazing way: she posted a wonderful message about smiling and included photoshopped images of Dr Strange, Iron Man and Captain America smiling.


And if Carol Danvers were not a fictional character, we can guess what her reaction to these demands would be.

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Aishvarya Singh is an aspiring writer and law student. She is into books, Bollywood and social justice. When she's not writing, she is either binge watching series or reading. She lives in South Africa, and no, she does not have a pet lion. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @ai5hvarya Email:

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