Monday, April 26, 2010

#49 Compliments from Strangers

I was washing my hands in the ladies' room at a restaurant one evening when a girl walked in and complimented my outfit: a black strapless mini-dress (Jean Paul Gaultier for Target), cinched by a studded belt (Forever 21) and topped with a bolero-style leather jacket (H&M).  Black four-inch satin platform pumps (BCBG Max Azria) completed the look.  While she was examining me, she revealed herself to be a fashion editor.  I gave myself a mental high five.

The other day, I was running through Santa Monica in my usual short shorts (Nike) and some guy yelled out his window, "Nice butt!"  Hearing an endorsement like that is one advantage of working out without an iPod.  I got home and checked out my ass in the mirror.  Lookin' goooood.

We normally don't like to admit this, but single girls can feel a bit insecure of ourselves from time to time without the constant warm fuzzies and attention that our non-single counterparts receive from their significant others.  This is why single girls are compliment whores. It's not enough that we try to surround ourselves with people who adore us and flatter us, nothing validates our existence more than compliments from an absolute stranger.

Growing up, some of us were placated with faux praise from our mothers who assured us that we were too pretty AND smart to be dating the silly boys from high school.  (I was a fugly teenager and THE ultimate single girl as I never went on a date until college.)  Now, we're still skeptical of approval we receive from friends or family members since they're morally obligated to tell us we look "cute" or "nice."  ("Nice," but not "amazing"?)  Worse, we're especially wary of "compliments" from a frenemy.  (Do these jeans really make me look skinny or is the bitch trying to sabotage me again?)  And compliments from the dude(s) we're dating?  Don't even get me started on what some guys will say to get laid.  ("You look like a supermodel."  Puh-leeeze.)

How can we measure the integrity of a compliment?  This requires some high-level training to obtain the powers of clairvoyance, and we obviously have better things to do with our time - like eyebrow maintenance.

On the other hand, compliments from a stranger (especially a good looking one) are the best kind of affirmation because we know this unsolicited act of admiration is clearly genuine and the universal truth.  From the stranger's lips to our ears (and everyone else within auditory range), it is a FACT that we have gorgeous eyes, beautiful hair, et al.  After all, why else would this person completely unknown to us with no ulterior motive tell us so?


  1. This may sound dumb, but a girl won't think I'm gay if I compliment her shoes will she? I'm very observant of shoes and appreciate good taste in footwear.

    1. I don't think so I believe that it shows that you are aware of her changes and admire them as well.

  2. now the whole internets think you're gay.

  3. I never believe a guy who compliments my shoes...unless he is gay. The vast majority of men don't care about shoes. Although we know they think high heels are sexy, that's usually about it. Stick with compliments about hair, eyes, lips, etc. Things that we can't take off. Much more flattering :)

  4. Ok anonymous. thanks for the tip. No compliments on shoes.

  5. We, humans, are so mean! Why is it that the word gay shows up in all context when discussing about a guy's compliment to a girl? Is there no other word to describe this or is this a moral to acknowledge? I advise these adolescent people to get a dictionary or thesaurus and choose their words more wisely. If you don't own a dictionary or thesaurus, go to - it's free. Stop choosing words that makes no sense and educate yourself. You should be very ashame if that's the only word you know how to describe something. Even I am embarrass for those people who only knows how to define everything as 'gay.' Good luck with your future.