Everybody loves compliments. Compliments are inherently said to make other people feel good. I will never refuse one if anyone wants to tell me I am pretty. Or cute. Or beautiful. But is there a way for someone giving a compliment with good intention, to actually do the opposite? You’re damn right there is. It happens to us big girls all the time. So let’s tackle some not-so-flattering-compliments and shed some light on this issue.
“You have a pretty face.”
How I will respond: “Oh, how sweet. I am glad to know that the rest of me is impossible to look at, but at least I got my face, right?” Probably followed by a soft smile.
Let’s break this down: I know you have zero ill-intent when you are telling me that my face is pretty, but think about how I will perceive that and think about the other times you have said that to people with slightly higher BMI.
What you should do: Be extremely specific — e.g. you have a glimmer in your perfect eyes that I have never seen before, your nose looks like it was sculpted by Donatello or your smile could make Beyoncé jealous. Or simply say, “you’re pretty.”
“You look good. Have you lost weight?”
How I will respond: “I haven’t been on a scale in months, but highly doubtful. I showered today. That could be the difference.”
Let’s break this down: I always look good. At any weight. You probably do too. If I was trying to lose weight you would know about it. I have tweeted every single time that I have been to the gym and good luck trying to find when the last time that was.
What you should do: Only make a comment if it is significant weight loss, you heard they were trying to lose weight from the pizzavine (like grapevine, but different gossip crowd), or they explicitly bring it up to you.
“Hey wanna get food? I figured you would be down!”
How I will respond: “Yes.”
Let’s break this down: That’s fair. I would like to go with you, yes. I do not think this has anything to do with my weight, but rather my love for food.
What you should do: Keep asking. Please.
“I watched Bridesmaids again and you remind me of that big girl.”
How I will respond: “Like Melissa McCarthy or Megan the actual character in the movie? Thank you if it is Melissa McCarthy, but please never speak to me again if you mean Megan.
Let’s break this down: Melissa McCarthy is a beautiful, hilarious woman who I would be honored to be compared to. Megan is a tragedy — who is hilarious on the big screen — but a terrifying human being if you were to actually meet her.
What you should do: Even if you mean Megan, tell me you mean Melissa.
Truth is, a compliment is a compliment. I understand that usually when people say these things, it is intended to be sweet and sincere. I really do appreciate them and I would love for y’all to keep sending them my way. I will try to reciprocate them if I can think of any.