“You’re not just a pretty face” and other compliments that aren’t compliments

March 10, 2017
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The cherry on top of my cynical-single-girl pie is the inability to take a compliment. While some might blame it on being humble, I prefer to point the finger at douchebag-induced-scepticism. In my first year, I remember being giddy when a guy called me “More than just a pretty face”, but recently fifth-year Dan didn’t take the same compliment as well. Let’s look at what these types of “compliments” actually mean – because it’s not looking pretty.

“You’re not just a pretty face.”

This is such a classic that the dictionary even defines it: “Used to emphasise when someone is not only attractive but also intelligent.” Coincidently, it’s also used to emphasise when someone is a condescending dingbat.

While it’s probably fair to say that most guys don’t mean for it to be insulting, it’s a statement better left unsaid. The equivalent is saying something like “For someone who wears Lynx Africa, you’re not such a douchebag”. One element about ourselves does not inform any of the others. So next time, don’t use that pretty face to say “Thank you” but rather to say “Thank you – I hope one day your GPA doubled will look like mine.”  #Wurk that #sass.

“I don’t usually date, but you’re different.”

Vodka made me think this was a giant breakthrough in a relationship. Reality made me realise it was not. This “compliment” comes in many different shapes, for example, “I don’t usually date/commit/get into relationships/get exclusive” etc. etc. but it all means the same thing: I am only used to casual flings so don’t expect to be treated any differently than that. And if you aren’t OK with that, prepare to be disappointed.

I’m convinced this is the nicest thing a fuccboi can say though. He’s saying he at least thought his adoration of you was comparable to his ego – which is actually quite endearing. At this stage, you can either play along and accept this allocation of commitment or get yourself off of his radar. Remember: you’re different so I’m sure there’s plenty more keen fish in the sea.

“You’re funny for a girl.”

Oh baby. This is a keeper. The only time the phrase “You’re ___, for a ___” is OK is when someone says “You’re walking really well for someone who is recovering from a recent knee operation”. Other than that, if you can’t compliment someone without a distinguishing factor, keep it to yourself.

Besides, I don’t understand why my gender means I deserve a different metric for humour. I get that guys find Yeah the boys memes hilarious and can be endlessly entertained by Shannon Noll (since when did he become a thing?) but girls can get around a Nice Gary post too. C’mon lads, there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between banter and femininity.

“Since we first met I always knew we’d hook up.”

Thanks? I’m glad you made that executive decision so early on. While I am genuinely complimented that you think our first interaction went so swimmingly, there is something you’re missing – it takes two to tango kiddo, and I might not be into it.

I’m not saying that having chemistry is wrong. There’s always that one person who gives you a flutter every time you pass on the way to the bus but God forbid they ruin the attraction by calling it out. Admitting you assume we’ll hook-up, while weirdly sexy in that you’re confident and assertive, is not a good move.

Honestly, at the end of the day a simple “Dayyyyyuuuuum guuuuurl” would suffice. At least I can’t overanalyse that.

Danica Lamb

Danica is a Laws Masters kid at UWA. She enjoys cheap coffee and 80s pop music.

Image: Giphy

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