Beauty Is in the Eye of... 

Dear Minerva,

I have noticed a lot of people who compliment my appearance have recently started saying, "You're as beautiful as ever." I keep trying to tell myself they are giving me a compliment, but it doesn't exactly feel like it. I have struggled being comfortable with my appearance, and this sounds almost like a back-handed compliment. Am I wrong? What do you think?


—Sleeping Beauty

Dear Sleeping Beauty,

This is a tough one because, as social creatures, we have sort of rehearsed our go-to greetings. This extends to compliments, sometimes. For instance, if someone asks us how we are doing, we usually say "Well" or "Good" because "OK" or "Fine," though absolutely conveying contentment and nothing to complain about, are often met with replies like, "Just OK?" Frankly, "OK" is good enough sometimes, but I digress. My policy is to take any compliment at face value. While I can understand your concern about "pretty as ever," it does neither you nor your view of a well-intentioned person any good to try and pick it apart. We are our own worst critics, so if we have never felt pretty, we can feel like they are giving us a 50-cent insult all tarted up like a two-dollar compliment. Just thank them for the pleasantry, and go one step further: Feel pretty. You are worth it. Whether they meant it shouldn't matter to you. Beauty is too subjective to fret about, loverdoll.

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