Not Just A Pretty Face

Why I stopped complimenting other women on their looks

About six or eight months ago I stopped complimenting other women on their appearance on the internet, or at least tried to. It’s a difficult pattern to break really, but letting glittering cosmetic flattery ejaculate forth onto the faces of my not-only-beautiful female acquaintances began making me feel empty, not just because I was guilty of mindlessly shitting out steaming hot applause to any female I encountered, but the compliments I received felt almost aggressively predictable leaving me feeling like a dried up husk. Participating in this mild circle-jerk no longer felt good, I needed out, and a hose down.

I wondered how this short burst of acceptance and adoration made them feel in the long-term, did it make them feel like an empty juice box on the side of the highway as they did me? Why was this a thing? How did I even become faced with this problem? Why is telling another woman she’s gorgeous all the blinkin’ time actually not a good idea? What do I do? Who am I?

You’re probably thinking wow, this person is really balls-deep into the thought process on all this, it’s not that big of a deal. You’re absolutely right, complimenting a woman on her exterior is not going to undo women’s rights progress or turn her into a vacant shell. Some thirsty poochies even love an automated OMG YOU GODDESS or two, don’t get me wrong even I’ve enjoyed it. But eventually you sit back after hearing and seeing these repeated cavernous commendations and wonder if these other humans even know anything else about your personality.

Do they even know who I am. Do they know where I live. I hope not. Do they know what vibes I’m laying down. Do I even know them. I am much more than disarming blue eyes and flawless hair — so are you. I see compliments on some photos or posts and it’s all the same, leaving me questioning the authenticity of those commenters, maybe they’re actually bots, real ones, human spam bots, turding up not only the internet with bullshit-laden face-kudos, but real world life too. Maybe this realisation was more about changing gears and projecting more of my own intelligence and creativity than my unconventional yet notable superficial features and bangin’ bod — no, I will never stop posting photos of my body, I am on a personal mission to always share pics of my body, that’s for another time. After all, do I want my nieces to only be complimented on their looks? Or what if I had a daughter and no one ever said anything positive about her apart from the great boobs she’ll no doubt have, what a tragedy.

Of course, this is all mostly hyperbolic, but I wonder, would it kill us to start learning something about the people, particularly the women ones, around us and tell them we think they’re interesting instead of hot — or both, that’s nice too. I guess I stopped spewing out feverish compliments because I firmly believe in treating other people how I’d expect to be treated, and I no longer wished to be showered in superficial glitter jizz. Telling someone they’re pretty is nice, but sometimes it can be like giving them a donut when you could have given them a fully rounded nutritious meal; yeah, the donut is way easier and makes you more likable, and the nutritious meal is more work, but you know which is better. Engaging with other humans in general on a deeper level than their skin, swapping ideas and experiences, valuing each other based on understanding our motivators and challenges. We would be richer for it.

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