Day 123- Tell her she’s pretty…today

I find myself amusing sometimes. Last week I was all about brown and this week I keep wearing these black leggings and flats. I did get this new dress though! Target for $14.00. This is the first new dress/skirt I’ve purchased in a loooong time. Mama’s got to get herself a few Merry Christmas presents πŸ˜‰

I have noticed a practice in our American culture that I’d like to briefly comment on.

It’s about praise and admiration.

It seems that the only way a woman can get any compliments anymore is if she changes her appearance. If she looks the same way she always does…silence.

Notice how everyone fawns all over the contestants on the Biggest Loser once they lose some weight? I mean, by everyday standards many of them still look heavy! But still they get the gift of hearing over and over “You look great!” “Wow!”

So what about all of the average people out there who continue to look average? Silence. They NEVER hear “Wow!!” “You look great!” So do they have to gain 20 lbs just to lose it again for anyone to pay a compliment? Or maybe they cut their hair, change the color etc… It’s the only time any praise comes! Men always wonder, “Why do women cut their hair after having a baby??” Well, I think that oftentimes it’s because our body has changed and we aren’t feeling particularly cute, so we cut our hair to feel good and get some positive attention!

What about the thin gals who have always been thin? They have no weight to lose so they’ll never get told “Wow! You look great!” So, many dye their hair blonder, get a tan, and (unfortunately around here) perhaps some new boobs! “Wow! You look great!” Finally, they can hear those words. Or at least feel in alignment with what the TV tells people looking great looks like, so they get that reinforcement.

What about ladies as they age? Wrinkles come. Sagging comes. A thicker mid-section comes. Who tells her she looks great or simply IS great? The television ads act like wrinkles are a skin disease for goodness sake. Hopefully her family tells her, but let’s face it, sometimes we take each other for granted. Also it’s nice to hear it from other people too!

Tell her she’s pretty today. Just the way she is. You think it all the time. I know I do. Some ladies aren’t especially pretty, but there is something pleasing and reassuring about the way they look. Tell them. Compliment something about her appearance. Or just something special about HER.

If we want people to love themselves just the way they are, then maybe we can all bolster each other by giving some positive feedback…without first requiring they change a thing.

[Note: I did NOT write this to get compliments for myself! You all have been super sweet to me already!]

Have a wonderful day!

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under A Year in Skirts, Thoughts on Stuff

5 responses to “Day 123- Tell her she’s pretty…today

  1. Shannon

    First things first – I find you amusing, too. πŸ˜‰

    It is an interesting thing about our culture that you point out here. Funny timing – as I was driving in to work I thought to myself, randomly, “I should mention to Karen (my coworker) that I love that she takes the time to switch her right-hand ring to match her outfit. It’s such a tiny detail, but something I’ve noticed and think is fun.”

    I think you’re right that we need to be encouraging one another regularly. It just plain feels good to have someone take notice of you in a positive way. The other day a woman came into the office to meet me. I came around the corner and introduced myself. She paused and said, “Wow, red is SO your color. It looks fabulous on you!” I have to admit – it was quite a nice compliment from a perfect stranger … but mostly because it felt sincere, rather than rote.

    However, one of the things I’ve noticed about our culture is that when it comes to women/girls, if there are compliments involved, they tend to ONLY be about appearance. Think of the way people talk to little girls in particular … “Ohhh, look how PRETTY you are!” “I love your sparkly shoes!” “Your hair looks so NICE!”, etc.

    Boys are much more likely to get a “What do you like to do/play?” “What’s your favorite sport?” “Do you like to ride bikes?” rather than a “I love your SHIRT!”

    Watch grown women when they gather … they tend to check one another out (even good friends) and start picking out things about appearance to talk about. “Love those shoes!” “I like what you did with your hair” … etc. (Or, the opposite … “Ugh, do I look awful in these pants? I feel so fat.” “Your hair always looks so cute – mine always looks so blah” … )

    So, though I think we should encourage those around us in more intentional ways, I like the “Or just something special about HER” suggestion the best. Or, at least, to consider when/how/why we compliment someone on their appearance. To be much more intentional about how we use our compliments, rather than allowing ourselves to be in the habit of ONLY commenting on appearance as a point of comfort, rather than challenging ourselves to really think and encourage the PERSON themselves.

    (Am I making any sense? Haaa. I feel like I’m not communicating this very well at this hour of the morning.)

    Great post. Good stuff to think about. I definitely agree that as fellow women, we need to be advocates in all sorts of ways for one another!

  2. I hope this doesn’t come across as confrontational, because that’s not my intent. Appearance issues are of this world, and a very big distraction when you think about life and how we should be living it. I offer a comment to your thoughts on plastic surgery – if someone lost a hundred pounds and had skin reduction surgery, would you begrudge them? What about a mom who nursed several babies and wanted her full (and large) breasts back because she felt like that was part of who she was? Maybe she still wanted to look pleasing to her husband. Society making unrealistic requirements is wrong, but I don’t believe that plastic surgery, in and of itself, is necessarily wrong. I know someone who just wanted her B cups back. We women tend to set up camp with our beliefs, but maybe we should be trying to understand and support each other in our journey. I wholeheartedly agree that the media sets stupid standards, and we have to ignore those images if we want to be happy. Maybe I see the other side of the argument because I’ve always been large chested, and there are image issues that go with that, just as there are with smaller breast sizes.

    • “Appearance issues are of this world, and a very big distraction when you think about life and how we should be living it.” I couldn’t agree more! I guess where I think appearance is important is more from the standpoint of appreciating the beauty of different flowers. The roses, daisies, daffodils etc… Not everyone needs to be a rose, or ONLY be appreciated for trying to be one. So this post is more intended to appreciate people AS THEY ARE. Today. As far as the plastic surgery issue, that is quite invasive and is for reconstruction purposes in my opinion. I think as a culture we are using it for all kinds of hyper-vanity reasons and I worry a lot about that and the direction we are heading. I think fewer and fewer people are in touch with the wide range normal and “think” they don’t look perfectly normal and lovely when in fact they do. A good site (in regards to breasts specifically) is 007b.com. You can see a gallery. As far as “wanting her B cups back” I’d just encourage any woman to accept the normal changes in life and buy a pretty bra, rather than opt for major surgery to “fix” what is already right. Certainly that is just my thoughts and how I’d council a friend or my daughter (or myself!) And I’d encourage any man to see the 007b site as well so that he can be in touch with what is normal as well. Thanks for your thoughts Mamabear!

  3. Thank you for saying this. I’m going to start telling my mother and grandmothers how beautiful they look. Because they do. I find aging gracefully beautiful and they all are. Again, thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s