My problem is seeing how paying a person an off-the-cuff compliment can be taken, in every instance, to be encouraging a negative or obsessive behavior.
Are we supposed to now approach all people in paying compliments as if the default personality type is obsessive/compulsive?
In other words that if we pay a compliment to someone, there's a better than average chance it will trigger or encourage an obsessive response to that specific aspect of their appearance?
Why would this be so? Do you think it's because physical appearance has come so much to the fore in our society that that's all that younger people ever think about?
If so, instead of stopping the paying of compliments, maybe we should change other aspects of our society - for instance, the overwhelming media presence in the lives of young people today.
I can tell you it's changed since I was a young adult.
I am a very fair-skinned person. I almost never tan. I was embarrassed at the beginning of every summer to put on shorts or a bathing suit because I felt so white.
But my attitude toward it was 'hey, them's the breaks'
I would have loved to have had my older sister or brother's skin - they both tanned beautifully- but I didn't. What are you gonna do? You were thankful for the things you like about yourself and you do the best you can with the things you don't.
I never felt the need to go lie on a tanning bed or get my skin permanently pigmented or whatever.
I mean, with this sort of reasoning, should we not say to someone who gets contacts, 'Oh, you can really see how beautiful your eyes are now,' because someone else in the room is wearing glasses?
I wear glasses myself, and I would be nothing but happy for the person who could wear contacts and felt happier about their appearance.
Would a young person today who wears glasses develop lower self-esteem because someone else could wear contacts?
There's something really wrong there that cutting out compliments is not going to help.
And if we don't encourage healthy weights and lifestyles as an ideal - and we allow people to believe that they're just fine the way they are - even if what they do to themselves is highly damaging to their health - how are we going to deal with the resulting health issues in our society?
This reminds me of the way that some communities approached sports - everyone got the trophy. No one ever lost. Everyone always had to be a winner.
That's not the real world.
In terms of different skin pigmentations: if I say someone has beautiful dark skin, it doesn't mean I don't like light skin. In the same breath as I tell someone I think they have skin like polished ebony, I might say someone else has skin like porcelain. And if I say I like red hair that doesn't mean I don't also like brown hair.
People are allowed to find more than one thing attractive.
Do people no longer understand that?
Maybe that's why all the girls I see these days seem to look alike.
This whole thing just seems a little crazy to me.
Because I don't think telling someone they have a good figure or pretty hair or lovely skin is wrong. It's kind.