Monday, December 3, 2012

"You're Gorgeous": Invited Post

Claire Napier is a midlands-based, commissionable illustrator and comic artist whom I met through the now-defunct Feminist Fashion Bloggers group. I saw bits of her visual work on her blog, but was largely struck by her thoughtful writing, whether that be things like her musings on conventional femininity, or something out of our shared sphere entirely, like her awesome gift guide for the unemployed. So when she reached out to me about my series on compliments with some ideas about visually expressing her own complex feelings toward unsolicited compliments from men, I jumped at the chance. Enjoy!


  1. Brilliant metaphor and astute explanation of the trouble women face in public life. Plus, skillful drawing.

    I'm saddened at how hard it is for women to navigate situations caused by men. My attitude is that men, usually clueless and often rude, are owed nothing when they behave this way. Making another person anxious is arrogant and forfeits all right to courtesy.

  2. This resonated with me. I've been the recipient of these kinds of "compliments" from strangers often, and it feels like such a minefield to respond sometimes. I usually give a brief, unenthusiastic "thanks" and try to move on but those guys who won't disengage are so creepy. Anyway, I never mind a physical compliment of this sort if it is given lightly enough by someone who has some connection with me, but the strange men who approach with flattery and pressure always get my guard up.

  3. It's not just men that do's women. The compliment is often harmless and comes from a good place. But what do people expect you to say in response? It's totally fine when close friends and family say it -- they know you. But it's different when strangers say it, there's pressure to respond...