It’s inarguable that Simone Biles is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Since her stunning performance at the 2016 Olympics, celebs and the public alike have swooned over this rising star’s world domination.
A clear standout, she was the face of determination for the gold-medal-winning Team USA.
While teammate Laurie Hernandez was coined the “Human Emoji” full of infectious smiles and wide-eyed grins, Simone balanced the “Final Five” with the face of fierce that said—”Rio, you’re MINE.”
And it WAS.
It may come off as unladylike or even prideful to some, but the gymnast who prays before every performance has made it pretty clear that her competitive confidence is not to be confused for the Rock upon which she stands:
But now it’s precisely that same “face” that’s created a storm of controversy on this season of Dancing With the Stars.
Though she’s totally been SLAYING the dance floor with her graceful moves and top-notch athleticism, she’s been told she’s not showing enough emotion, or coming off “too perfect”…despite the fact that just a few weeks ago she poured her heart out on set over her emotional “Good, Good Father” tribute to her adopted dad.
After Biles’ most recent performance, judge Julianne Hough commented, “I don’t know if the smile is authentic. I want to see rawness come out.”
Carrie Ann Inaba also gave some mixed feedback, adding that she should be careful to not “dance like a metronome.” While they sprinkled some encouraging notes in between, the world-champ gymnast used to CRUSHING her routines was clearly discouraged—and let’s just say, she wore it on her face.
Noticing that Biles wasn’t smiling (after just being critiqued for how fake it was), host Tom Bergeron said, “I was waiting for you to smile at some of the compliments—you didn’t.”
Initially a little taken aback by the comment after being picked apart by the judges, Biles briefly paused before sweetly responding with the Internet’s new FAVORITE six words…
“Smiling Doesn’t Win You Gold Medals.”
— caleb shaffer (@_calebshaffer_) May 9, 2017
Annnd the Twitterverse EXPLODED…
— Tomas Villarreal (@TomasVill16) May 9, 2017
— Balkîssa (@nathybarry18) May 9, 2017
Other Facebook users were infuriated that the judges told her she smiled “too much” just prior to questioning her stoic expression.
“You just told her not to,” wrote Tracy French. “Make up your mind.”
Whether the judges are on board or not, one thing’s for sure—America’s got Biles’ back.
And whether she’s criticized for “fake smiles,” tears or poker faces for DAYS, one other thing’s for sure—she knows her identity is NOT rooted in the expression on her face.