"You are pretty," is a cheap compliment
Compliments and being pretty…..
It seems to be crucial to all of us that others find us good-looking.
The highest praise for a person seems to be a compliment for their body or their looks in general.
For some odd reason though, I have noticed that a comment on my Instagram pictures or a person telling me I look "pretty" doesn’t make me feel anything.
In high contrast though, a comment telling me I look ugly makes me feel something indeed. However, just a few seconds after questioning myself this is gone as well.
Don’t get me wrong every compliment is fantastic and valid and whenever you think something nice about a person you should definitely say it out loud!
Kind words are always something amazing, regardless of whether you say them or think them. They create a positive vibration that we can all feel when we are kind to one another.
However, for me, there are differences in compliments.
As mentioned before, it seems like we grew up being conditioned to believe that the essential value in our society is to be beautiful and pretty.
We even have created platforms where 99% of what you can judge people by is their looks.
Because of that, we naturally gravitate to judging people on their looks and then telling them when we think they are beautiful, or not. It is super kind and nothing wrong with telling somebody they are pretty, but as I said…a compliment of somebody telling me, they think I look good is not making me feel very happy or proud of myself.
Like... Thank you! But I didn’t do anything for that! My face, my skin color, my boobs, my hair, my eyes are all just features that I was born with. You can thank my parents or the amino acids for pairing a certain way, so I look relatively fitting to what you think is pretty. I look fit? Ok, fair enough. I guess I had my fair share of effort to look like that.
Anyway, it is only the skin I wear. It is NOT me, and it is NOT you.
It is painful to hear that the skin you wear makes people dislike you because you can't change anything about it. This body was given to you, and often it is shaped by your history. Isn’t it unfair to praise beautiful people and shame people that aren’t? Some get attention and success for something they didn’t earn, and others get depressed and excluded for something they didn’t choose?
As I said, it’s OK to like somebodies look. It is natural and fine.
However, I always try to see people for different things, and I try to define myself by something else than my looks.
Don't be fooled! This is not easy, and nobody has to be perfect in trying this practice.
Doesn’t it make you feel so much more proud and happy when somebody compliments you for something you worked for and earned?
It makes me feel happy when somebody tells me that I am kind, or hard-working, they feel inspired by what I write or they like my positive energy. I feel so proud of myself when somebody acknowledges personality traits of mine, or talents, or skills that I chose to learn and to practice daily.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all were judged by who we choose to be?
A person that is mean and bullies others is nobody you want to have in your life. But they are hip and pretty and therefore the cool kid in school? This is so odd when you think about it.
Somebody that has crooked teeth, old clothes (whatever) but is kind and loving?
YES MAN! This is the kind of person to praise! Because they choose to be kind and loving.
All of these character traits, talents, skills, etc. are attributes that you or I earned.
And I think a collection of these is what makes people attractive.
Therefore, in my world, you can choose to be attractive and beautiful! And it does not involve expensive clothing or plastic surgery.
We all have control over being kind or not, educating ourselves or not. We are in charge of what we say or do, whether we choose to be positive and lift others up or not.
We can learn to be confident and in LOVEEE with our bodies. Do you want to be sexy? Spread out that sexual energy and explore your body to love it fully!
Do you want to be glowing? Treat yourself with kindness and love and tell yourself that you deserve a mentally and physically healthy life.
Let us focus on people’s efforts and who they choose to be or not to be, instead of what they got given by nature.
Beauty and attraction are NOT about physicalities. It is the way people move, how they talk, how they own their bodies and the vibe they spread when they walk into a room. Beauty never fades, you can’t buy it or cheat your way to it. Grace is deep inner work, and it is a constellation of all the efforts and choices a person has made.
For me, this is what we should focus on when judging somebody else.
When you see a person, look one level deeper and find what makes them beautiful? Or maybe sad? Uncomfortable? Inspiring? Etc.
I know some people probably will think now:
„Oh, she can talk! She is pretty, and she has a hot boyfriend. She doesn’t know what it is like.“
I understand that.
However, just because others see you as pretty doesn’t mean you feel pretty. I struggle with that too. So I learned that shifting the focus from looks to personality and skills is incredibly freeing and so fulfilling.
I also know from first-hand experience that it is nice to have a partner that fits the standard of beauty which we preach, but this is not what makes you feel deeply in love with a person. I would never want to stay with somebody just because they are good looking. I also would feel cheated on if somebody only wanted me for my looks. What makes me want to be with him is his compassion, his honesty, his empathy, the way he moves and talks, his drive and the things he likes to do. It's the way he eats and what he likes talking about. It is the comfort to be myself that I feel around him. This is what makes a person attractive. And telling somebody that you acknowledge that is so much deeper than calling someone pretty,
In my opinion.
He doesn’t have to tell me that I am beautiful because the feeling that his focus is not on my looks but on that layer deeper gives me the peace to learn to love myself/ be myself and the confidence to try becoming better and better at who I am and what I do.
Does that make sense?
Let’s take away the pressure of making our bodies fit into a box and let’s open up the freedom of not caring about that, but focusing on our mental, spiritual and physical development to liberty, happiness, and health.
It’s hard in a social media world. But maybe we can try it.