Dear Aunt B,
I met a really attractive and intelligent woman at a party a few weeks ago. It was a public event at an art gallery. She was a high school teacher in her early thirties. We had been talking for a good half hour and really seemed to be hitting it off. We had even made tentative plans to meet for coffee sometime.
Then, things suddenly went downhill. I commented that she had a “nice, full, hourglass figure”. I thought she would take it as a compliment but instead she became deeply offended. She snapped, “Oh really….well perhaps I should do some plus size modeling!” I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but I think I only exacerbated things when I used the term “healthy”. With a look of complete disgust, she slapped my face and departed.
I will never forget those agonizing moments in the immediate aftermath, as I was standing there alone rubbing my cheek, drawing some judgemental stares from onlookers. Needless to say, it was not my proudest moment, LOL.
She had the classic figure of a 50’s pinup - large bust, narrow waist, shapely hips/legs. I guess she had interpreted “hourglass” as meaning big/overweight/full figured. I just thought it meant shapely and well proportioned.
When I told a female friend about this she shook her head and said it was never a good idea to comment on a woman’s figure, even if I thought it was complimentary. What do you think about this?
Lol.. i feel for you, I really do.. but I’d listen to your friends advice for sure.
Women are very self conscious about their bodies (men are too, but I am only talking about women for now) and any comment could make a woman who was normally very calm and strong into a basket case if they perceive things incorrectly.
I can’t tell you *why* that is, but it is. I was reading your question, and I was thinking in the back of my head “oh dude, NO!” when you wrote your comment on the hour glass shape. And yes, the remark of “healthy” likely set her into rage...lol... and all I can say is we have all heard the PC way to comment on a person’s shape, and those two are used a lot to describe larger women..lol... so your perception and her perception were very very different.
Typically sticking to comments like “you look beautiful” or complimenting something non-threatening like a smile or an outfit (that dress looks amazing on you, not your shape looks good in that dress!) is better than commenting on factual specification of shape.
There really wasn’t anything *wrong* with what you said, but I’d stick to the regular form of compliments.... at least until you have known a woman for more than an evening .
Good luck, I hope there are less red cheeks in your future ;)
Personally, I see nothing wrong with your compliment. In fact, I even looked it up in an effort to possibly understand why your gal pal might have taken offense. And from everything that I have read, it (your statement of her having an hour glass figure) can be considered the epitome of beauty to some women who were even asking how to get it. I don't quite understand where she may have taken offense.
It occurs to me that there in lies the answer; She "CHOSE" to take offense. But in giving the benefit of the doubt, it's possible too that maybe she does not know the meaning or the true context of the compliment.
So, I take your side on this one. However, I would hope that you'd steer clear from making any sort of comments in the future. It's just not necessary. I mean, let's say you want to convey that she's pleasing to the eye. And let's just say, you know, just for shitz-n-gigglez that you tell her that she is "Robust." Well, the word robust is defined;
While someone such as myself would not take offense by being called this, another woman may feel that you are implying that she's built like a brick shit house, for better terms. And it all boils down to the fact that we as women have real hang-ups about our weight. Obviously your friend has these hang-ups and nothing you could say would be interpreted as anything but an attack.
- Full of health and strength; vigorous.
- Powerfully built; sturdy. See synonyms at healthy.
- Requiring or suited to physical strength or endurance: robust labor.
- Rough or crude; boisterous: a robust tale.
- Marked by richness and fullness; full-bodied: a robust wine.
It's almost humorous, isn't it? I mean, you told her she looks healthy, right? And she may have processed that as healthy like an ox, huh? Her comment to the effect of, “Oh really….well perhaps I should do some plus size modeling!” says I'm right about that. So, I'd say there would have been no recovering from that no matter what you'd said to try to appease her and the situation.
Live, Learn & Laugh Like Hell About It Later..
The thing that spoke to me and really really got under my skin was her Scarlett O'Hara moment when she slapped you. WTF is that???
In this day and age, women have fought tooth and nail for equality in every aspect of our lives. In our quest for this elusive equalness we often times send out mixed emotions, mixed signals as well. In example, the chivalrous act of opening a door for your date can, for some be a patronizing affair. Some women love it, expect it and want nothing less. Others however, may not be so "old school" and may take offense.
In other words, I do feel for the modern man today as he doesn't know whether to shit or go blind. He doesn't know what's acceptable and what's not when it comes to those moments when chivalry might be due.
Long story short; I've stated to all my boys that they are to never ever lay their hands on a woman and if they did/do, they've known for years that I'm coming for them.
But But But...I've also stated to them, my sons (and I may get some real heat from this commentary) that if a women steps up to bat, steps up to them and strikes them like a man would, they have every right in the world to put her on her lil' ass!
Now, I do not encourage my boys to hurt women, allow me to make that perfectly clear. But in the event that a women wants to punch you in the face as did in fact happen with my youngest son and his wife at the time, I have no problem with him, as I said, putting her on her ass.
I also told my sons that if a woman wants to treat you like a punk, wants to step up and slap you, you have my permission to slap her back. And she'll think twice before she smacks you again. Am I right or wrong in thinking this?
Having said this, I do not condone violence between couples but it is got to be made clear that if you hit a man, you'd better expect that you just might be put in your place.
The days are long gone when a woman can act offended and strike the man. They left at the same time as we made it clear we wanted to be treated as equals. Maybe your gal pal didn't get the memo?
So, when it's all said and done, I commend you for keeping your cool. Allow me to point out that this woman is not worth the time of day and certainly not worth your worrying about her feelings.
Yes, as far as I'm concerned, she did you a big favor by setting the standards from the get go. You didn't waste any time playing games or dealing with some chick with super hang-ups, screwed up rules and regulations and mixed emotions, to say the very least.
As I said, "live, learn & laugh like hell about it later!"
Keeping It Real,