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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!

Lucia is over, finals are over and Christmas is over. The past few days have been spent in a horizontal position on the couch, together with my good friend Ipad and my even better friend Netflix. And with family and friends, just as Christmas is supposed to be.
I just wanted to post about a thing that happened to me after our second Lucia-concert. It’d gone really, really well, and everyone was exuberant because of large amounts of sugar and adrenaline. Several people came up to me and told me how beautiful it had been, what a great concert, and so on.

Nothing odd about that, it had been a lovely concert. Easy compliments to accept.
But then two women, ca 25, 30ish came up to me and said:
“You’ve got a beautiful voice.”

And my first reactions was that they must’ve mistaken me for someone else.

Perhaps getting better at accepting compliments should be my New Year’s resolution this year?

Much love to all of you.

 

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When I became interested in feminism, one of the things I found hardest was that remarking on appearances is bad.

Of course, not everyone believes this, but still. It was a very novel thought and it’s still weird, to be honest.

Most people are sensible enough to not go around and insult other because of how they look. We might secretly laugh at an old lady with purple hair, but we wouldn’t ever say it to her face.

(Or most, wouldn’t, at least.)

Except for the magazines and newspapers and online forums.

“Lady Gaga’s fat!”

“What has Katie Holmes done with her hair?”

“The worst dressed at the Cannes Film festival!”

Why is that acceptable?

Remember that old proverb: “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

But compliments, nice things, they are a different matter, right?
But if I tell my friend “Oh your hair looks so nice today!” doesn’t that imply that her hair doesn’t look good? And basically, what I’m doing is passing judgement on someone else’s looks. I’m rating her.

What right do I really have to comment on how someone else looks? Don’t I value my friends for a lot of other things than how they look? In fact, that’s the least important thing in a friendship, right? But we so really give each others real compliments.

“Thank you for being such a good listener.”
“You know what, you’re great at PowerPoint presentations.”
“You write so well!”

Instead, we talk about looks, as if they were the essential thing. And it’s almost always aimed at women.
But it’s so ingrained and it’s so deeply, too. That the nicest thing you can tell a woman is that she’s beautiful.
It’s going a step beyond “everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like” and asking: “why is it important that everyone be beautiful?”