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What Is A Compliment? What Is Accomplishment?

I have never been comfortable with what most women consider compliments. Whether or not my body or appearance is pleasing to others has never been of concern to me. I have never found my personal value or feelings of self worth arise from my appearance. In fact, my experience has been the more aesthetically pleasing my exterior is the worse people have treated me, whether it is through unwanted touching, jealousy, mean comments, etc. I don't now nor have I ever spent lots of time on my appearance and I don't like when people make a lot of fuss over it. I've worked too hard and have accomplished too many things that required hard work and effort that comments on something I have little to know control over and are as shallow as mere aesthetics is insulting. It's one thing if someone says something like, "I like your dress. It looks nice on you." and something like, "Oh my gawd, that makes you look like a Goddess."

Recently there was a person, another woman, who insisted on making very personal comments about the appearance of my skin and made comments about garments making me "look like a Goddess". She insisted on repeatedly making comments about how I had "gotten some color". I had not "gotten color". My skin looked as it always does. I do have hot flashes from time to time. They make me hot, irritable and uncomfortable and I don't need anyone reminding me of this in anyway. I explained politely to this person that her comments were not complimentary, necessary, or even accurate and they certainly were not welcome. I asked her to please stop making such comments to me. They are inappropriate and serve no purpose. This person became upset and insisted on trying to justify her right to say such things to me. If it had just been a stranger it wouldn't have been as big an issue to me, but this person was supposed to be a friend. She said I was just being "triggering" because I "have a lot going on". I explained to her that no, I wasn't being "triggered". I was simply setting a personal boundary that she was not respecting and that friends respected personal boundaries. She continued insisting that it was her right to say such things to me. I ended up telling her to not contact me anymore. The biggest part of being a friend is respecting personal boundaries.

All that aside...I think she was confused because women are culturally conditioned to desire such attention from both romantic interests and peers and derive self worth from them. This is why it is so hard for women to be recognized or taken seriously in academic, intellectual, or other professional realms. Even in those arena the woman's appearance is part of her value socially and culturally. Her aesthetic appeal ranks above that of her intellect, talent, skill, or accomplishment and any woman who rebuffs praise of her aesthetic appeal is just being "difficult" or "triggered.

I look around my Gallery at all the work I have produced and am even more insulted by anyone who feels the need to comment on any aspect of my appearance as a means of complimenting me. I don't give compliments to "purchase" friendship and I don't require compliments to offer friendship. I offer compliments when they are sincere and don't consider physical aesthetics of any kind an accomplishment. For the most part, it's genetics that decides and is based on a matter of opinion. Sexual attraction is something else all together and I, personally have no attraction to women. I'm not passing judgement. Women just don't "do it" for me. Over the years I have felt sexual attraction to different men for different reasons, physical appearance only a small part of the equation. Intellect, kindness and talent have a whole lot more to do with things. But that's not really what this post is about and I have also fallen victim to attraction to some huge losers at times. After 23+ years of marriage I still Love my husband and that says a lot...and like I said that's not really what I'm talking about here.

I'm just exploring the reality that other women are frustrated by me frequently because I don't play the pretty-pretty-princess or Barbie game. Whether or not I'm attractive to anyone means nothing. I'm the one that has to look me in the eye every morning and whether or not I have a husband I'm the one who must sleep with myself every night. Women that are so hung up on physical appearance do not trigger feelings of jealousy or inferiority in me. They trigger pity, and it's really hard to be friends with someone you pity. Pity is condescending and it doesn't make me feel good either.

I don't know what a girl's supposed to do. Do you?

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