How to compliment a woman in the 21st century

Remember those ugly days in history when a woman’s only value was her beauty? Fast forward to 2019… and we still didn’t get more creative in the way we compliment women: “You’re beautiful” is still the most common compliment women get all around the world.

So? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with appreciating the beauty of a female? – you may ask.

Absolutely nothing.
Or absolutely everything.

You see, it depends on the woman.

There are women who are delighted about the attention they get for their physical features and will rejoice every time someone compliments them.
There are women who will bite your head off, either literally or figuratively. (Let’s hope for the latter.)
And there are women who won’t think much of it and will move on with their lives rather quickly.

If there is one thing we can learn from this confusing variety of potential reactions, it’s this: women are diverse. And it seems like the real issue derives from the societal attempt to put every woman into one category, one box.

We use one benchmark, Beauty, to measure all women regardless of their age, ethnicity or profession. And while women are beautiful, acknowledging a human being for her beauty only, reduces her holistic value. Because there is so much more to a woman than what can be seen on the outside. Women are:


Let’s start complimenting each other for these traits, too.
Let’s start making each other feel like we are more than just our looks.

And maybe, when we start doing that, we will also have fewer discussions about what women should and shouldn’t wear; and more conversations about things that actually matter. For instance, what she is saying, or what she is doing.

Oftentimes, we overlook both words and deeds because we are so caught up in what our eyes are socialized to see.

When it comes to women, it’s their appearance. It’s their beauty.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but if we take another moment to look more closely, we’ll find that it’s actually not their looks we admire about them. It’s everything else.

You want to compliment a woman in the 21st century?

Tell them you admire how brave they are for facing hard times. Tell them how strong they are for allowing themselves to be vulnerable. Tell them you’re fascinated by their willpower and perseverance to travel around the world when everyone else said it’s too dangerous. Tell them you appreciate their humor. Tell them you’ve learnt something from them. Tell them how inspiring they are when they speak up for each other.

Of course, they’re beautiful too. Duhh.


Photo credits: mentatdgt from Pexels

Share this post

About Tünde Tarnoczy

A big fan of TED Ideas Worth Spreading from a young age. She got invited as a Tedx speaker in Seoul, later joined the team as a TEDx blogger in Vienna. Skilled writer and language teacher, with a strong interest in design and beauty. Born in Vienna. 4 nationalities. 5 languages spoken. Find out more about Tünde through her articles.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *