To all the men out there who walk around telling girls they look hot, this one’s for you:
Stop bragging to your buddies that you have a ‘hot girlfriend’. She is more than her looks. She is more than a pretty face with a hot body and she should never be reduced to something as trivial as her appearance.
She has a name.
She has a mind.
She has a heart.
She is driven and smart and funny. Stop complimenting a woman by calling her pretty or hot or sexy. Compliment her by telling her what you love about her personality. Congratulate her for holding value in herself as a woman living in a society where she is perpetually seen as less than and unequal to man.
Acknowledge her unwavering ability to stand in a room full of men and know that she won’t receive that promotion because gender holds more value than what she brings to the table. Watch as she continuously tries to break the glass ceiling because she believes in a better world—an equal world—where she doesn’t have to prove herself to her male counterparts.
Don’t ever assume she made her mark in this world based on her looks, or presume that she used her sexuality to advance her career. How small minded of you to think that a woman only has success or a title behind her name because she “slept with the boss”. Assume that she got to where she is because she worked harder than everyone else. She deserved it. It’s as simple as that. Compliment her by applauding her efforts and hard work. Support her success and achievements, don’t bring her down by insinuating she did anything other than earn her place with dedication and resilience.
Don’t ask her to send you a picture or to come over in the middle of the night wearing something ‘hot’. Ask her what she’s passionate about or how she likes to spend her weekends away from work. Don’t call her to tell her you’re still thinking about her in that little dress; call her to tell her you’re still thinking about what she said, or what she made you think about, or how she made you feel. Tell her she looks beautiful, but don’t let that be the only compliment she hears.
Because she is more than a pretty girl.
She will always be more than that, and if you want to keep her, you’ll have to remind her of that. Stop saying that women have it so easy. Stop making jokes that being a ‘pretty girl’ means they get what they want. Stop assuming that girls and women only care about making sure you find them attractive.
Because in case you haven’t heard, it’s hard to be a woman in this society and we work ten times harder trying to show the world that there’s more to us than having long legs and big boobs. Yes, it’s nice to hear that you noticed how we look. Women spend hours dressing up and making themselves feel beautiful but make no mistake, we do it for us. Not to appease the general male population and receive shallow compliments that suggest an ulterior motive.
So the next time you want to compliment a woman you think is beautiful, remember this: Every day she walks around getting cat-called and asked out by strangers. She has girls talking behind her back and a room full of people judging her based solely on her appearance. Sometimes she feels like all she is is a pretty girl because that’s the only compliment she receives. Even though she’s a strong woman with a bright mind, sometimes she needs to be reminded that people really see her. She needs to know that she is seen for more than her tanned skin and long eyelashes. She needs to know that you see her and love her not simply because she’s a pretty girl, but because she is more than that; because of the person she is on the inside—because of all the characteristics that make her into a human being.
She has a name.
She has a mind.
And she has a heart.
Behind that pretty face is a whole person and if you stopped reducing her to something as minuscule as her looks, maybe you’d see that too.