Once, I went to lunch with one of my friends, and she told me she didn’t find herself pretty enough, that’s why she felt obliged to wear sophisticated clothes. “I don’t feel comfortable enough to go out with just some pair of jeans and a white t-shirt, I’m not pretty enough to handle it” she said. Then, she told me that the most offending sentence a man could tell her is that she’s not pretty. She’s smart, and has a strong personality, but yet, this little detail is poisoning her.
When I was in high school, and talking with my girlfriends about the little things in life, this topic appeared in our conversation, and most of my friends said they would prefer to be told they’re stupid rather than ugly. I found it weird, because I thought (and still think) the contrary. Yet, many years later, I realised, as I grow old, that I do appreciate when a man tells me I’m beautiful. But it depends who’s saying that, and on what circumstances. The choice of words is also important: beautiful, charming, luminescent,… everything that sounds as if you were heaven sent, in fact. Don’t’ s are: good, fit,… everything that just reminds you you’re a body. Most of my friends agree with this. And most of them told me they liked when this compliment sounds genuine. If it’s someone insincere saying it, it doesn’t have the same effect.
Why is it important to feel beautiful and to be told so? I asked around me, and people replied this.
“It just comforts me when I’m feeling down. It’s shallow, I know, but it feels so good” L., 34, said.
“I don’t know. I guess I want to prove myself I’m still desirable and attractive” R., 35, said.
“Because it’s the easiest compliment you can receive. Beauty catches the eye, and the reaction is immediate to it. Intelligence and personality are much more complicated to judge. And these aren’t consensual” P.,36, said.
“Even if I don’t care, there are times when I need to be told so. Just because I’m getting old, and that it becomes challenging to hear that when you pass a certain age” U., 45, said.
“It’s my last resort before I yield to cosmetic surgery” T., 40, said.
And who can say that to you?
“Anyone, as long as it’s sincere”J., 35, said
“The man I love, or the man I fancy” H., 34, said.
“The men that count in my life” Y., 47, said.
“My friends, my family, my husband” P., 38, said.
So, do you appreciate when someone tells you you’re beautiful? And what are the words you don’t like to hear about yourself?