7 Things You Think Are Compliments But Which Are Actually Insults

1. You’re not fat, you’re beautiful!

Aside from the fact that letting this gem loose at someone who is feeling particularly heavy is directly implying that being fat is mutually exclusive with being beautiful, you are also putting up a nice little fence around them in the process. “Don’t exceed these borders,” it says, “Because at a certain point, you’re going to go from ‘acceptably beautiful’ to ‘just plain ol’ fat,’ and you definitely don’t want to do that.” If you want to call someone beautiful, just do it, and don’t do it with the intent of dismissing an entire body type.

2. Ladies, don’t worry about what men think of you.

If I had a dollar for every shirtless dude in a snapback who took a picture of himself holding a sign telling all 3.5 billion women on this planet to stop worrying about men think — I suppose, of course, that this sentiment excludes him and his sign — I would have many, many dollars. So let’s just say it: reducing all of the millions of factors, external and internal, which go into any given woman’s insecurity every day to something a man could wave away with such a flippant sentiment is about as literal a definition of condescending as you could possibly get.

3. You’re not like other [insert group here].

“Hey, it’s cool, I’m really bigoted, but you are the sparkling exception to my ignorance. Continue to please me, lest you fall into my sweeping generalizations with everyone else of your group. Good luck!”

4. You’re so brave to be wearing that!

Oh, hey, I was just walking out of the house feeling particularly good about this skirt, I did not realize that I was making some kind of revolutionary statement about the state of every human who looks like me with my sartorial choices. Thank you for successfully making me humiliated and question just what exactly about my body or my style means that I am taking some incredible risk just by wearing clothes that I enjoy wearing! I feel really brave, being the object of everyone’s bizarre mixture of pity and admiration. It’s awesome!!

5. You’ve lost weight!

Excuse me while I spend the rest of the day obsessing over what I must have looked like before, as I was in no way attempting to lose weight and now have an unexpected level of approval that I will have to maintain, lest you begin looking at me with that sad, sad gaze of “You were losing weight and I liked you more for a while, and now you’re just getting all mushy again and I am disappointed in you much the same way your parents were when you brought home an unsatisfactory grade. Boo.”

6. It’s just so you!

If you have ever looked at a piece of clothing that is clearly not even cute in the least and told someone that it just seemed soooooooo them, I hope you step on a Lego every morning for at least the next year or so. You know that poor person went home and looked through their whole closet to find the offending articles which led a “friend” to believe that a dip-dye fringe vest would be something that they would willingly wear into open society. It’s just cruel.

7. You look so great today!

You just had to tack that “today” on, didn’t you? You had to isolate this day in time, so as to emphasize the fact that I am not usually at his level of aesthetic appeal. I’ll note this on my calendar as the day I looked good, and celebrate its anniversary every year! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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