Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Being Cute Sucks.

You've just spent hours getting ready. Your legs are smooth, every hair is in place, your make-up is applied perfectly. You actually like your reflection in the mirror and you can't help but admire how well this dress is fitting you. You might just turn a few heads tonight...

You're feeling super confident until you hear this...

'You look cute!'


How old am I, anyway?
I suppose 'cute' is better than ugly, but no woman really wants to hear that they are cute. Do they...?

I don't know if guys really realize how different words can take on different meanings in the female mind (especially for those of us who over-analyze), but here's a little heads up:
  • Cute: When you tell us we're cute, it makes us feel childish. That our attractiveness has suddenly been minimized to pigtails with bangs, wide-eyes and toothless grins. We giggle now, because that's what girls do. Cute is very much a word for girls but not a word for women. Once we're 13, no girl really wants to be told their cute. 
  • Lovely: When you tell us we're lovely, it makes us feel like a Victorian possession that is delicate, fragile, elderly...or almost like we're right out of Downtown Abbey (which may not be a bad thing for some ladies). Lovely often feels more like a personality trait than it does a commentary on our physical appearance. Lovely isn't terrible, but it isn't awesome, either. Men- you can do better than lovely
  • Sexy: When you tell us we're sexy, it makes us feel objectified. Well, some might argue about that. This is one you need to tread carefully with, as different females will take it different ways. I personally wouldn't mind being called sexy every once in a while, especially by my significant other when that's the look I'm trying to achieve. From a random dude on a sidewalk? No thanks. 
  • Hot: When you tell us we're hot, we get confused. Do you think that I'm physically overheated, or do you think that I look good? Some girls hate to be called hot. Some girls love it. It has somewhat of a trashy feel to it though...like no boyfriend should really ever tell his girlfriend that she's hot. There are much better adjectives to use that will go over a lot better. Let's keep this one reserved for the celebrities. 
  • Nice: When you tell us we look nice, we tend to think that you have nothing really good to say about our appearance so this is what you'll resort to. A "compliment" for when you don't actually have a compliment. It's apathetic, it's a place to settle. This is one of the worst things you can say to us. 
  • Pretty: When you tell us we're pretty, we're mostly just wondering why you didn't say we were beautiful. We're wondering what we could have done to achieve a 'beautiful' comment instead of just a 'pretty' one. It's like one step down...like getting second place. No one ever wants to come in second... 
  • Beautiful: When you tell us we're beautiful, we can't help but radiate. Somehow, when you tell us we're beautiful, we know that it goes deeper than outward beauty but simultaneously includes it. When you tell us we're beautiful, we feel like women who are cherished and admired by you. We feel like we won the prize. You can never tell us we're beautiful enough. 
I realize it's silly and that it's mostly a matter of semantics. Sometimes you may feel bored telling a women she is beautiful every day and so you try to spice it up by telling her she's lovely and, before you know what hit you, you're having to console her because she doesn't feel like you think she's beautiful anymore.

We're crazy.
This happens.
To women alll over the world.

In the end, it's not up to you men to make sure your women know they are beautiful. You can't ever do it. No matter how often you tell her that she's the most beautiful person in the world, she won't fully believe you. There's something deeper than you can't fulfill, and she can't expect you to.

But, despite all that... it's much appreciated when you do make the effort, when you do constantly tell us we're beautiful, when you affirm us even when you feel like we won't hear you. Keep it up... and know that somewhere in us we do hear, we do receive, and we need it!

Ladies- I know it may be disappointing when men don't say the exact right thing to you at the exact right time. I pray that we can be women who can see the intention behind what they are saying and let that mean more to us than the actual words they use. That we can be women who aren't insulted when a man calls us 'cute', but that we are thankful for his willingness to put himself out there. And, ultimately, that we would be women who are seeking our validation and worth from the Lord and not from men. That we wouldn't expect men to be the ones who sustain us and how we view ourselves, but that our confidence in our appearance (both internal and external) would come from the One who created us. The men can only do so much, so let's not make them feel like complete failures in their quest to dote on us!

Men- thanks to those of you who try, who care, who make this a priority in your relationships. Most women need these words of affirmation and need to know that their men think they're beautiful, even if that doesn't fulfill them in the end. Keep pouring out, pouring out, and pouring out...

And ladies... let's not be so demanding, so needy, so desperate for men to validate us. Let's not be so confined to making sure they do and say things the way that we think they 'should'.

We're a complicated mess, unfortunately.
Thank God we have been redeemed.

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