Is It Important That He Call You Beautiful?

December 5, 2012  |  


If you ask me, “beautiful” is not a word to be thrown around lightly. Sure, I think beauty can be found in a lot of places; but when it comes to people, beautiful is just as much about a person’s actions and thoughts as it is about the outward, physical appearance, people are often referring to when they use the word. I guess I’m of the same mind as Italian actress Sophia Loren, who had this to say about beauty:

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”

But maybe everyone doesn’t see it like that.

A few months ago, I started dating this guy and from our first date, until now, every time we’ve seen each other, he’s made a point to tell me that I’m beautiful. The first time, I appreciated it. Maybe even the second time too. But eventually, I started to resent it a little bit. And not because I didn’t believe him, or thought he was being insincere. I’m not being conceited when I say beautiful is not a new word for me. I’ve heard it from my father, my family, my friends, strangers who meant it and strangers who just wanted something from me. I’m comfortable with the word. I just wondered why he was using it so frequently, when he really didn’t know me yet. If he had been calling me pretty that would have been easier to stomach. But to me, the use of the word beautiful required knowledge about me he just didn’t have yet. So one evening, after he’d said it again, I had to tell him: “You know I really don’t know how to take that. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say ‘thank you,’ when I really had nothing to do with how I look.”

His answer was perfect. Essentially, he told me that our definitions of beauty weren’t too far off from one another, that beauty, and my beauty in particular, was more than just my physical features. And I believed him.

So my question to you ladies, is this: Do you have a problem with a man commenting exclusively on your physical features? What is your definition of beauty?

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  • Paola

    I think that I wish my boyfriend called me beautiful. I want to know that he is attracted to me. So I feel like there is nothing wrong with this guy saying it alot. Once he gets to know you maybe he’ll compliment your personality. But honestly I would never complain about something like this.

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  • you raise a very interesting topic in this blog post. i use the word beautiful in many contexts. sometimes i see something that i respond to in an incredibly positive way and find that beautiful is appropriate. i also would use beautiful to refer to someone’s inside and outside qualities. i’m one of those insecure types, so if i were in your shoes hearing it from a guy, i’d be wondering why he’s saying it at all since it hasn’t been a part of my life experience. glad you addressed it with him head on and came to a better level of understanding. again, great post!

  • Kaori

    Yes, I do have a problem with a man commenting exclusively on my physical features. For a lot of men, they don’t see women as whole human beings, but only as how attractive or unattractive they are.

    I think the fact that a lot of the women here who seem to be upset that another woman would like to be complimented says a lot about how they view themselves as women.

    • Drew Smith

      Really, Kaori? “You’re beautiful” only applies to your physical features? Expand your horizon; it’s the intelligent thing to do. Your limitations on a message’s intention are a reflection of how YOU think a man views you; thus, the essence of how YOU think you should be viewed. I’ve certainly told a woman she’s a beautiful person — for being nurturing, supportive, selfless, etc. — and she didn’t even approach the remote boundaries of what I’d deem physically beautiful! Perhaps it’s an internal job for you, and you should think it’s a possibility for your beauty to exist beyond the realm of your physical being. Notice how the emphasis is on YOU (i.e., Kaori). Godspeed, ma’am.

      • Kaori

        Drew, the article specifically asked “So my question to you ladies, is this: Do you have a problem with a man commenting exclusively on your physical features?”

        So, I haven’t got a clue what you are talking about.

        • Drew Smith

          Yep — thumbs down. It’s just that some of these articles are SOOO long (and stupid), but I always enjoy the comments. Please forgive me, ma’am. I’ll take it on the chin. Also, I truly dig the touché of epic proportion you administered — sans twisting of the knife. I can’t say that I would’ve behaved as graciously. That’s awesome, chica. Please accept my apology.

          • Kaori


  • relationshipdna

    I had a friend who most would consider “beautiful”. Men and women would tell it to her every single day as if she didn’t really know it. Unlike the author of this piece, she actually “needed to hear” that she was beautiful. Like, she became dependent on it. She’s about to turn 40 and she’s still single!! She gets plenty of compliments though!!

    Screw being told I’m beautiful. I want a man to make me “feel” beautiful and my husband does that through his actions. When he tells me Im beautiful, I’ll take it as well…but at least I know he’s talking about beauty beyond the physical. Physical beauty fades. What will you have when it goes? Real beauty ages gracefully.

  • Dawnn

    No. I don’t have a problem with a man telling me that I am beautiful. Black guys and other men don’t have not one problem calling white women and women of other races beautiful, based on my observation. But when it comes to black women, they don’t even hardly call a black woman beautiful even though she has beautiful personality. Beauty is inside just as on the outside.

    • beauty85

      What black guys do you know? Because I don’t know these guys that you are talking about? Stop spreading lies, most black guys love black women and that’s all I have ever known! PLEASE DON’T GENERALIZE, BECAUSE THAT IS A BIT ABSURD!

      • Dawnn

        These people I know on a personal basis that has actually done this and I correct the individuals.

        • beauty85

          Well maybe you need to stop hanging around those kind of people, its bad for your psyche! A lot of black men are not like that!

  • Okay, you sound like a crazy person. Would you feel better if called you ugly or didn’t compliment you at all? You kind of sound like a b*tch. You seem to lack gratitude, and the ability to accept a harmless compliment. It’s really not that serious.

    • jferthefab

      Not that i like a man to call me ugly but there are just times when a man saying you are pretty or beautiful is just another form of game. I’d rather not get compliments at all. I don’t need a man telling me sweet things to build me up because he can just as while knock me down with his rougher words.

  • Numero Uno

    Ummm ok. So now we’re complaining that a guy is complimenting too much?

    • bluekissess

      Lol it’s always something. I think instead of writing an article they need to be on Iyanla change my life because they have serious issues.

  • Say What?

    Damn you can’t even compliment people anymore…smh…

  • bluekissess

    Well if a guy said that it will be a confirmation of what I’m doing. Just say Thank You. Women over think things.

  • sabrina

    I think it so much more of a compliment for someone to say you have a beautiful soul. Beauty fades, but that right there? That lasts forever.

  • sabrina

    I think it so much more of a compliment for someone to say you have a beautiful soul. Beauty fades, but that right there? That lasts forever.

  • jjac401

    I like this definition of beauty! It’s so much more than looks.