Open Thread: How Do You Respond To A Backhanded Beauty Compliment?

“You have such a pretty face.”
Publish date:
November 7, 2014
self esteem, open thread, backhanded compliments

When was the last time you were on the receiving end of a backhanded beauty compliment? I have a gazillion aunts, and old ladies like to talk to me on trains and in department store lines, so I get them all the time.

It’s like, the more pleasant your disposition is, the more often you get stung by oldies but baddies like, “You have such a pretty face.” Oh, why thank you, one day I’ll get around to doing something about the rest of this [gestures downward from neck].

But seriously. It stings. You feel paralyzed for a second or two. And then what? Do you say thank you? Not really.

So what do you say without totally waffling and just accepting the s*&t pie you’ve been fed? Especially when it’s NOT coming from a little old lady or a family member. What if it’s someone at work? Or one of those all-too-helpful (like, TOO helpful) sales clerks at Sephora? How do you stand up for yourself/show them the err of their ways without making it weird(er)?

I made a list of some of the backhanded compliments I've received or overheard or read on the Internet. You tell me: WHAT DO YOU SAY?

  1. You should wear your hair like that more often.
  2. What are you using on your skin? It looks soooo much better.
  3. Do you know who you look like [insert person you look NOTHING like, but share one, ONE physical trait with]?
  4. But you look good with roots.
  5. That haircut is so slimming.
  6. You look great for your age.
  7. You could look really pretty if you tried.
  8. Photos just don’t do you justice.
  9. You’re so pretty. Have you ever thought about plus-size modeling?
  10. You’re so skinny! Eat something.
  11. I would love to give you a makeover!

And what's the worst backhanded beauty compliment you've ever received? How did you respond? How do you wish you'd responded?

We've reached our cruising altitude and you may now move about the thread freely...

Cover image courtesy of AMC