A few months ago, I started talking to a boy who was cute and nice and all those things. But, he had a bad reputation of being a huge player. With this in mind, I proceeded with caution, never intending for it to go anywhere, and accepted all the compliments he gave me. I even flirted back sometimes to keep them coming because I really liked the attention.

However, about a month into this endeavor I realized something. He only complimented my looks and it seemed like he used the same five lines on repeat, saying things like “You’re so hot,” “You’re gorgeous,” heart eyes, et cetera et cetera. He never once said anything about my personality or anything that can’t be seen by the eye. Now, I know that this may be because he didn’t really know me and didn’t expect to get to know me* so all he could genuinely compliment was my face or my body, but it still didn’t sit right with me.

This caused me to do some reflecting and it hit me that my looks are mostly what boys who want to date me compliment in order to win me over, and each time they did, it worked. I felt sick. I asked myself, am I really just a body, just a face? Is that all people really see when they look at me? Am I not intelligent or kind or funny or compassionate or anything else?

I know that someone’s looks can be the easiest thing to compliment, especially if you don’t know them. Also, as I said before, getting called pretty can be a really nice ego boost. But there comes a point where we have to stop and ask ourselves whether we really want to be viewed and valued for our looks and nothing else. Now you might be satisfied and that’s perfectly okay if that makes you happy. But I know that if my looks are the only thing about me that people really see and value, then something is wrong. Whether it’s just me not opening up enough or if it’s society as a whole teaching people to only value girls for their looks, or a sad mix of both, something needs to change. We are more than our looks. “Pretty” has become monotonous and stale. I want something original.

*I found out he had a girlfriend while he was trying to get with me, so I assume he didn’t expect this    to go anywhere either. Yikes.