You're Beautiful?

It occurred to me the other day that the word "beautiful" makes me uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong though, when my partner, or in fact my mother, say it I can kind of stand it- they are biased, they have to appreciate my "beauty" and they really know me. But when a stranger says it, it feels different somehow. Almost like my brain tries to fit my image of myself into the image of what society deems beautiful.

What I mean is suddenly there is this person who doesn't really know me, maybe they've only ever seen my pictures on the internet- but off all the words at their disposal the one they have chosen to use is beautiful. Why? My brain cannot, in that instance, make the connection between "beautiful" and my own self-image. 

It's for this reason (I think) that I am terrible at accepting compliments that are related to my looks. Tell me I'm funny, whip-smart, personable, talented, or a bit weird, and I will smile, thank you, and probably agree for the most part. Tell me I am beautiful, stunning or any other adjective used to qualify someone's looks, and I'm much more likely to tell you to shut up, or just ignore it completely. It's not that I'm not flattered of course, it is honestly just because I can't figure out the message. 

A couple of my friends said that for them it depends on the person saying it, and whether they can determine the sincerity behind the compliment. For instance they are less likely to feel comfortable if it comes from someone who is drunk, or simply trying to get their attention. On the flipside of that one of them said she'd be more comfortable if it came from a girl on the internet because it feels more honest. 

Is that why I struggle? Because I can't figure out the sincerity of the person saying it? Should I maybe realise that just because I can't look at myself and connect to the word "beautiful" that doesn't mean that other people can't, right?

You see, when I think of a person as beautiful it is usually because they have shown me who they are. Their humour can make them beautiful to me, the way their smile spreads across their face, even just having a uniqueness to them can make someone beautiful to me. The number one thing that I think of when I hear the word, though, is the way a person carries themselves, that quiet confidence, with a smile for everybody, and a certainty in their actions-that to me is beautiful. 

I'm not immune to looks of course, I appreciate a good looking person as much as the next guy, BUT my point here is, when I think of the physical attributes that I consider beautiful, or the ones society has deemed worthy of the word- I just cannot see myself. 

I asked Twitter (because of course I did) and whilst the majority that had been called beautiful did like it, it was nice to see that I wasn't alone in not being the biggest fan of this compliment. 

I know that for me this whole post has just been a stream of consciousness that suggests that maybe I should examine my own self-esteem a little bit more, but I want to know what YOU think? Is it just a compliment and I should learn to take it, or do you agree with my POV? 


  1. Different people find different things beautiful, my partner thinks I'm beautiful, but he also adores cucumber so I think he has pretty odd tastes. If anyone says I'm beautiful I likewise assume they have odd tastes.

  2. I love all compliments and love giving them too. Trying to analyse where something is coming from is counter productive and only makes you create problems that aren't there in the first place. If someone calls you beautiful, it is because they think that you are beautiful (and that could be inside or out!) and want to share it with you. :)

  3. I find it very difficult to accept compliments too due to ingrained low self confidence. It's something I need to work on.

  4. I totally get you. Compliments that focus on my looks really make me uncomfortable and its mainly because I'm not sure they really mean it. People tend to use these words very freely sometimes, and in some conversations online it seems to be almost expected. I like the sentiment- it comes from a good place- but I don't like it being directed at me! x

  5. I feel the same as you, I'm awful at accepting compliments from others, especially those who only know me online. I am guilty of calling others beautiful and gorgeous though, I just hate the alternatives of "hun" and "love".

    Ami xxx

  6. I also, cannot accept a compliment, at all, especially when it's from a stranger, or even worse one of my parents friends, etc. However, it is nice when a partner calls you beautiful as it, it makes me feel a bit better about myself. xo

  7. I think that being called beautiful is a massive compliment but it does depend on who is saying it. I call my kids beautiful all the time but then I guess that is natural

  8. I struggle with it too. I'd much rather, as you say, people comment on my other traits. Like my sense of humour or other talents.

  9. This is really a tough one. I tend to think of it as a compliment and one that is based on someone who has seen something shine from my personality and that shows on my face. Consider the source is a big way to help you figure out how to take the compliment, I think. x

  10. It's the old saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", isn't it? Perception is subjective after all. So I guess our own perception makes us biased (we might not like certain aspects of ourselves) but others may like them - or vice versa we might like certain elements and others might not so much. Also I'd be inclined to say that women have probably less self confidence in general (I know I do!).

  11. I find it awkward but have trained myself to say thank you and change the subject!

  12. I find it difficult to accept compliments myself. As they say though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder


Pinterest Hover Button

© AJ Loves

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig