January 02, 2013

January 2nd: On compliments

yeah, you guessed correctly. This is a totally unrelated photo.

I've always had this weird desire to tell strangers who complimented me to shut the fuck up, but little did I know why.

It's a weird thing we do and expect other people to do. Make a judgement based on one another's  appearance, without knowing anything about said person. It confused me as a teenager and I can finally put a name on it.

Unsolicited, unwanted judgement.

There is nothing charming about making a judgement on somebody's looks, whether it's a positive or negative comment. A random stranger's uncalled for appearance rating is not going to affect my self esteem positively on a long term basis, nor should it be something I aim to accomplish when I get ready in the morning.
It took me a long time to realise why I found this whole complimenting game so offensive, and I finally realise why: I could be the worst, most disgusting, dumb, sexist, racist, mean human being who takes pleasure in torturing puppies but being considered pretty makes up for all of that. Or even worse, being considered pretty makes people lack interest in everything else one does or believes in.
When boys used to call me pretty I always wanted to tell them about what I actually am. That I have a functioning brain. That there is a whirlwind of thoughts running through my body. That I am a creative soul and passionate about defending my opinions and that I am pretty darn hilarious. Oh yeah, I so am....
It seems more than contradictory that whenever I was called ugly, I felt like I could at least rely on all these other qualities lingering inside of me. It was never as big a deal as simply being called pretty. Another pretty girl in the pretty girls drawer. Do you get me?

Another big thing that disagrees with me is the steady decrease in use of  traditional adjectives (eg pretty, beautiful) and the triumphant and seemingly unstoppable introduction of sexist, degrading ones. Speak "fuckable, bangable"

Note to everyone: This is not a respectful way of talking about another human being.

I know a new years resolution for me is to base all my compliments on someone's achievements, creations, good deeds or eloquence and to steer away from complimenting on someone's defined cheekbones or massive thigh gap.

Food for thought.