More Than Pretty

The first time a random guy walked up to me, said I was pretty, and proceeded to ask for my number, I was 21. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. Back then I couldn't really figure out why it agitated me, after all, it was a compliment. Despite all the quirks I know I have and my aversions to conformity, I don't think anyone wants to be seen as not-attractive, myself included. So I wondered why it should bother me that this guy would say such a thing. Shouldn't I be all giddy and excited?

Photocredit: ShutterStock/Dustin Dennis
Pretty is subjective; everyone has different tastes and preferences, but more importantly pretty is by chance. He didn't think I was pretty because of something I did or something I said. My value at that point stems from the happenstance of how my parents genes interacted with each other. It's completely disjoint from me as an individual. What bothered me then and bothers me now, is that he showed no interest in who I was. He asked for my name—given to me by my parents—told me I was pretty—again, given to me by my parents—then insinuated I looked "interesting" or "cool" and asked for my number. Basically, he said that all he needed to know about me to hang out was that he was attracted to me. I could have been psychotic for all he knew.

It's shallow, of course, but in a way it's also demeaning. It reinforces the idea that a woman's purpose and worth is solely tied to sex. From our conversation he gathered no personal information about me. Not what year in school I was, not my major, not what I like to do for fun, nothing. So, what about my looks could possibly be interesting and cool enough to hang out with? It's not like I was wearing a jersey representing my favorite team or standing in a location that stated my likes... I was walking across campus from one class to another. I've found it's always like that; I'm standing in the grocery store, or on an elevator at school. Perhaps because when I'm somewhere of interest it occurs to the guy to bring that up first: "oh so you like jazz, who's your favorite artist?", "oh you like basketball, did you play in high school?", etc.

What's even more astounding, is that my natural reaction is to snap judge the person who is judging me. Which in most cases means I'm looking at him like, "but you ain't cute..." Of course, that makes me a bad person, because women are supposed to be flattered by compliments. It's perfectly logical for a man to ask out a woman simply because she's pretty. It's shallow for a woman to reject that man simply because he's not attractive. Well, if all you can say to me is "you're pretty" (that goes for on the date too) you're gonna illicit one of the following reactions in my head: "cute but not too bright, nah" or "not cute, not bright, nah." #MoreThanWhatILookLike #AskMeBoutMyPersonality #TellMeSomethingAboutYou #AnythingButPretty

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