Brooklyn-based painter and illustrator Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is taking it upon herself to stop street harassment by creating a series of posters pasted in public places. Entitled Stop Telling Women To Smile, the series features portraits of women responding to daily dialogues they might face walking down the street. The series aims to empower women, allowing them to take control of their surroundings.
“Yelling or whistling at a woman on the street like she’s a dog who will come when you call, or telling a woman to ‘Smile. It can’t be that bad. You’d be so much prettier if you smiled,’ dehumanizes her. It reduces her purpose to pleasing the male gaze. The posters, answering that reduction with confrontation, are meant to show street harassers that they are not entitled to women’s smiles or any other part of them.” – Madison Carlson of Feminspire.