My mom used to think it was helpful to tell me that “I have a beautiful face, and if I could just lose a few pounds. . .”  She would often reinforce that sentiment by telling me how she had shown people at work my pictures and they had said the same thing.  I know she meant it to be encouraging, but in the end I found myself resenting these people I didn’t even know. 

Now I rarely believe it when someone tells me I’m beautiful. It’s just a word to me – not specific, not genuine, lacking a certain ring of truth.  This is especially true when it’s a random stranger – especially someone on a dating site.   When I get an email that says “Hello Beautiful” I automatically think “Nigerian Money Scam.”  I can’t help it.  If someone says I’m beautiful, they must want something from me.

As a plus-sized girl, I’ve had my share of losers who think that I owe them extra because they are willing to talk to a fat chick or even ask one out on a date, etc. I should be grateful that they call me “beautiful” or “pretty” or “not half bad in a certain light.” I know I’m better than that.  In fact, I even know that I have moments of pretty and can be vivacious and attractive and yes, spank bank worthy.  What I prefer is something more specific.  Like – “I love your hair today” or “your eyes are so blue” or “you have a great smile.”

About 6 years ago I was chatting with a guy.  He kept pushing for a full body photo, because most of my profile photos were headshots.  When I sent it to him, he told me that he didn’t usually go for heavier chicks but there was something about my personality he liked.  I thanked him, but told him that I wasn’t interested in starting a relationship where I would constantly be wondering if my personality was still overcoming his issue with my size.

He was shocked.  I guess he figured I should take it as a compliment and be falling all over myself to date him.  In fact, he started calling me quite often to chat and ask me out again.   To my delight, most of his calls usually happened as I was on my way to a date, which seemed to amaze him.  How could I, the fat girl, be getting so many dates while he was sitting home alone?

The mind boggles.

Back to my point, it is not my life ambition to be called beautiful by everyone.  In fact, I rather wish they wouldn’t.  But someday, when it’s right, someone is going to look me in the eyes and tell me I’m beautiful and I’m going to know that it’s true – not a scam or a pity compliment. Or like that one singer, because he’s high and everything is beautiful.

It won’t be tomorrow.  It probably won’t be you.  And that is fine with me.  I prefer it that way.