Be Kind, Or At The Very Least, Be Silent

I have a friend who makes it their business to comment (privately) with “constructive” criticism on photos I post of myself on Facebook.  I’ve gotten several about how the photo would look better if more of my neck showed (most recently “you’re prettier with a neck  everyone is” [sic]), and at other times, comments like “do you really think your hair looking like that is to your best advantage?”.  You get the idea.  (And before you ask, I did tell that friend I was going to blog about this.)

The last time but one, I returned the comment with something like “thanks, but I’m fine with the picture the way it is” (in response to an offer to “fix” it), but the most recent time, I kind of lost my temper.  Politely, I hope.   The details aren’t important – as much as I kind of want to share the entire Facebook message thread, that would actually be doing the opposite of what I’m trying to do – but the thoughts following that conversation are.

To put this in context, I have another friend who had called me out one time for commenting negatively “all the time” on their posts – and those were not even personal photos.  While I did not completely agree, I stepped back, and gave it some thought.  That situation came to mind in this more recent conversation.

What is it about social media that undermines common courtesy?  When did being kind rather than bluntly honest (especially about looks, FFS), become okay?  I often see photos of my friends that I think are less than flattering, but so what?  Who am I to say it’s not a great photo for some other reason than looks?   I generally assume they want to share a moment they were enjoying, and who can argue with that?


It’s probably unsurprising to y’all that comments on my looks are upsetting to me; I’ve certainly written about my issues with looks and body image more than once.  But even if I were not so reactive, does that make it okay?  No, I’ve decided, no, it does not.

So, I’m going to stop, and think, and think again, before commenting publicly or privately on anyone’s looks.  For me, at least, it’s time to return to that old adage “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  I’m going to try kindness.  Who’s with me?

But don’t worry, I’m only talking about looks.  Your opinions (and your clothing choices) are still fair game.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Suzanne
    May 26, 2015 @ 17:48:21

    I vote for kind over “constructive criticism” when it comes to people’s looks. I love to compliment people when they’re looking especially good, but anything negative? No.


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