The Curious Case of Compliments

6 Jul

Here’s the scenario: You walk into a room or establishment, minding your business then you lock eyes with a woman who gives you the head to toe once over, you smile, she looks away or even better rolls her eyes before averting them. Do you immediately think, what is up with that? Or perhaps, you’re the evil eye-rolling girl. Better yet what about the false compliments: Ooh, I love your hair (when you really don’t) or those pants are so cute (as you walk away laughing because you really think the pants are hideous)?

Here’s the deal: at some point we must all reach a maturity and security level where we can acknowledge the beauty in others and appreciate it. Instead of comparing your looks to another woman’s as a means of seeing how you measure up, be proud of what you look like and practice complimenting other women. The sneering scans and critical commentary just reveal a certain level of insecurity which is definitely not attractive. I love style and fashion and realize the work women put into their image, so I force myself to speak up when I notice an element of style in another woman who I admire because it’s the mature, healthy, and honest thing to do when I really do think she has beautiful hair or skin, or think she is really rocking a pair of shoes or piece of jewelry. It doesn’t take anything away from me to compliment another woman. And what if that’s the only compliment she received that day? It may very well encourage the confidence we all desire to possess.

In the July 2011 Ebony Magazine, in the Editor’s Letter simply titled “I Hate Haters”, Amy DuBois Barnett (Editor in Chief) described a similar observation when attending a party in Chicago,where an associate of hers provided unsolicited, scathing critiques of women at the event. She summed it up best, “the more negativity you spew, the worse you look. Not only is meanness an unattractive and unsexy trait, but it’s an obvious sign of insecurity. If you feel good about yourself, there’s just no need to tear anyone else down.”

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