Someone sent this to a blog I follow and, well, yes! Very yes! I had a facebook friend for a while who would regularly message me and tell me how gorgeous I was. This man was a couple decades older than me, which made it a bit creepy, but the first time it was nice. It is nice to be called pretty. And if a stranger approached me and told me I was pretty, I would be pleased. I like my ego stroked as much as the next person.
But when you are acquainted with me, I expect you to know something else about me. A stranger cannot appreciate my intelligence or my personality, not at first. I am not offended if a person wants to get to know me because they find me attractive… but once they have learned something about me, I’d much rather be complimented on something that matters.
I am aware that I am attractive, and occasionally I dress up and do my hair and makeup, but for the most part, I take no pride in my looks. I was born with this face and this body and the metabolism that makes me skinny. I have put no effort into being attractive. I know that some women do— and for them, perhaps being complimented on it means more. For me, though, it’s like complimenting me on being white, or female. Should I thank you, or should I direct you to my parents, whose genes are responsible for what you are so enamored of?
But this man— who I have since unfriended— did not get it… after I told him, several times. I told him that I am much more proud of my intelligence and my accomplishments, things I have worked for and things that matter to me. I told him that if he truly wished to pay me a compliment, he would remark on something insightful I had said, or something noteworthy I had done. Tell me how funny you thought my commentary on something I had posted had been, appreciate how I was there for a friend in need. I am pleased that I am attractive… but I am emphatically not pleased that I am only attractive, in your eyes.
I am sure that he thought me a bitch unable to take compliments, or some other nonsense. The whole thing left rather a bad taste in my mouth. It is very hard not to feel somewhat objectified, when all that I am and all that I have done is neglected in favor of how attractive I am. You all know me, you know that I am not a social justice warrior crusading for the cause of feminism. But it is unpleasant to feel that way.