Want to know something I’ve never been fond of? The back-handed compliment. You know the ones, the little gushing phrases that come out all lilting and appreciative in tone but leave you wondering just moments later if you weren’t just vocally bitch-slapped instead of given praise. Those thinly or even not even veiled compliments with that insult tucked right inside for convenience in shipping? Still not ringing any bells? Wikipedia does a fabulous job explaining but how about some examples? Maybe even some seasonal favorites to mark the coming of (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) of the season of OMG Beach Weather!?
I was going to list a few and then detail how they are offensive but feel that any reader here would likely be very apt at pulling apart the oh-so-subtle nuances hidden beneath such gems as “Black is such a slimming color on you” or “That top does wonders for your figure!”
So perhaps instead you’d like to add to this list of “Please don’t ‘compliment me’ in this way because I’m totally ON to what you really mean” phrases that I’d love to post this time of year as a reminder to friends and family that YES we are all each aware of the little (or large) ways in which our bodies do not conform to that of the Perfect Person. We don’t need these snide little reminders in the “guise” of helpful little hints (Hey, if I wore more black clothing people might one day not think I’m so FAT!). No one is fooled; we know this game and have played it for soo long that the record is worn through. So. Let’s be clear here: NO MORE back-handed “compliments” please. I can has REAL compliment or silence from you please? K tnk bai.
What else have you heard and would like to add to this list of “no-no”s?
- You clean up pretty nice!
- The cut of that top (dress, bathing suit, etc) really works with your shape
- Oh I love that outfit! I wish I could wear such baggy things.
- Ooo that looks so good on someone your size/shape/color
- I think it’s so cool that you’re comfortable with how you look.
- You look so nice today, I almost didn’t recognize you.
- You’ve got some make-up on today! You look nice!
- Wow, you’ve lost all your baby weight!
- Your hair looks good (insert long pause) today.
- Hey, you look really cute today.