“You have a beautiful face.”
“You have really pretty eyes.”
“God, I love your breasts!”
“You’re so beautiful, you know that?”
“You’re just so dang cute!”
I’ve been hearing comments like this pretty regularly lately. I still haven’t gotten used to it though.
Before six months ago, I never would hear things like this. I always heard comments about my sense of humor, and sometimes people would remark about my long eyelashes. But I never, ever heard positive praise growing up. From anybody. So it’s hard for me to take a compliment.
I’m like my mother, and she’s like hers. I’m sure my daughter will be like me too. Nothing is good enough. We demand more and better. We don’t give praise lightly. Hugs and kisses are rewards (actually they weren’t even that with my mom; I never got hugs and kisses from her), not just a regular part of life.
I crave male attention. My dad was the kissy, huggy one in our family (not saying much) but he was hardly ever around. He was either at work, at the temple, home teaching (or some other church related thing), or he was reading the newspaper in the living room. Sometimes he’d humor us when we’d pester him to come outside and watch us play. He spent many summer evenings lounging on the front lawn. I loved those times! I actually liked Sacrament Meetings because I got to snuggle with my dad, and I'd play with the veins on his hands.
My brothers were all busy with their own lives to pay any attention to me. I looked for that attention elsewhere. I think it was as early as 8 years old. But the problem is, when you’re seeking attention from males that aren’t related to you, it most likely will be sexually natured attention you get. And it was.
So for me, compliments equate desire. Beauty precedes acceptance. And the funny thing about all of it, is that I can give compliments without them meaning desire. I can appreciate someone’s beauty and not have that be criteria of my acceptance of them. In other words, the standards I hold myself to do not match the standards I hold everyone else to. I’m a fucking hypocrite.