Right and wrong compliments.


Last week I was talking to a friend who I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. With me moving to London, and my friend changing her relationship status, we touched all the possible topics, from weather in each of our locations, to how noticeable cultural differences are when dealing with men. As we see things differently, and have very opposed ideas about the “men-women” relationship, we couldn’t come up with a structured justification for that statement. However, we did both agree on something. We have come to the conclusion that western men are a lot more “reserved” towards women, compared to what we’re both used to, being born and raised in Eastern Europe. That got us into another discussion about ways men approach women, what they do, what they say, and why they say it, or why they don’t say what they need and want to.

A few days later, AVON contacted me and challenged me to discuss a very unusual, but quite interesting topic on my blog, as a part of their ANEW Reversalist line campaign, the “right and wrong compliments”. Though a little skeptic at the beginning, my inner feminist Doina got me into thinking. Since I’ve been wanting to discuss more personal topics regarding our lives as women with you, why not? It is something I have been discussing with my friends, and it is a topic I’m sure many women have something to say about.

From my experience, I can say that there is no such thing as a general “right” or “wrong” compliment. (now to be clear, i don’t count “oh you look so round like a donut” or “you look so skinny like a skeleton” as being compliments). The same words can be as sweet as they can be bitter for various women. It is crucial to understand a woman’s personality in order to seduce her heart. I am a living example of that. I’ve often found myself in the situation when after a long intelligent conversation with the opposite sex, they’d turn around and say something like “Oh, did I tell you how sexy you look tonight?”. Really? We’ve just discussed Nietzsche’s Ubermensch, the Great Schism, Astrophysics, and all you want to say is how attractive my body, dress and make-up look? I’m sorry, but we’ll have to end our evening here.

Sometimes adjectives like “smart”, “intelligent”, “impressive”, bring a woman a lot more satisfaction than complimenting her appearances. However, you have to know when to switch to discussing her beauty. I know, how complicated are we! But unfortunately for you, dear men, that’s how we are, so either love us like this, or don’t.

From what I’ve discussed with my friends, they do not mind such words as “hot”, “babe” or “sexy”, on the contrary, they are very flattered to be called that way. While someone with more “classical” views like me, would feel a little offended and underappreaciated, desiring to hear something as simple and fascinating as “beautiful”.

I touched a similar topic a while ago in my “Confessions of a Woman”. As strong and confident as we want to appear,  every woman needs to be shown admiration and affection pretty often. The lack of attention makes us sensitive and anxious without any particular reason. Therefore, a man should understand a woman well enough to know what and when to say.

But regardless what anyone else says, you are there to love and appreciate yourself. Always remember to treat your body, skin, health, heart, mind, with all the attention you need. Love yourself, and those around you will love you too!

Doina x

P.S. Avon & I look forward to your opinion on this topic! And maybe even suggestions on what we can talk about in the future!

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Photos: Daniel Dykes

  • haha great post !!! i totally understand and get you !! nice pics


  • Great topic, the funny thing is if I spent the evening discussing Nietzsche’s Ubermensch, the Great Schism and hmm, Marcus Aurelius and the Stoics, with a man and then later on he said ” oh I think you look really sexy tonight” I would think I had died and gone to heaven!

    Whoops, forget to add my name, I never go by ‘Anon’.

  • Well I for one agree with you and it’s so refreshing to hear a fellow blogger express a real opinion on a blog, so kudos to you. You just got major brownie points from me! 🙂
    As the topic on hand, you’re right that there are no such things as wrong compliments, but often the interpretation of them is wrong. You can have a man say something quite offensive, but he was under the impression he was coming out with a compliment that somehow got lost in translation. But I’d say it’s more likely that people just want to be snarky.
    Either way, I often find the people giving the worst kind of compliments to be women and not men, which is a shame we feel the need to put down our own sex.
    Those are just my opinions.



  • Stunning pictures! You look stunning!

  • Wauw such a nice photos! You look gorgeous!


  • Martina

    You’re such a beautiful,smart inspiring young lady!Gorgeous photos!!

  • Interesting topic. I have to agree with you, I appreciate it much to hear compliments for my work/compliments referring to my intelligence and talents. But on the other hand, isn’t it nice to hear positive feedback on you dressing, body and general appearance as well? I think it always comes down how somebody tells it: “you’re beautiful” or “wow, you look so trained” or whatever means much more than tacky words like “hot, sexy or babe”

  • tres jolies photos!!

  • So natural and pure. Very nice <3

  • Sara Tsang

    Wowww this is so incredible,i adore it!

  • Great post…I couldn’t agree more. And I think that the most important is to love yourself first.


  • great piece and great photos!

  • Lovely, feminine, pure perfection!

  • extremely beautiful!!!!

  • Cristina

    Frumoasa ca intotdeauna! Dar ce te-ai mutat la Londra?

  • Awww so very cute!! Love these pictures <3 <3

  • so nice!


  • stunning!


  • Ольга

    Дойна,ты такая нежная и красивая!Фотографии просто супер.

  • I completely agree with your opinions. Compliments regarding outwards appearance, although fairly satisfying, are not as appreciable as those praising deeper talents/values a girl has. I once almost(luckily I dodged that bullet) dated a guy who, as you said, appeared very intelligent, but he rarely gave me compliments which were worth while (telling me that I have a nice body and collarbone were not exactly things I wanted to hear from a guy I was just chatting with on SNS).

    When it comes to compliments, they can be very tricky. Many times even when I am the one giving the compliment (to both men and women), for example “Oh, you look great today”, I am faced with the retort “oh, so I don’t look good on other days, just today?” That is why you not only have to know the person you are extending a compliment to, but also be careful how you compliment.

  • you look so beautiful, love this post!


  • very gentle photos dear Doina!


  • hanah

    Overall I’d say your remarks are pretty credible and I can relate to some of that you say but some of the points above sound sexist, and I don’t consider myself inner or outer feminist in any way…

  • for me every woman needs a compliment in order for them to get inspired and will inspire themselves to be better and there is no such thing as negative compliment otherwise it will call as an opinion and everyone is entitled to do it as long as it will not hurt someone.

    Hoping you will post some inspiring posts so that many of your readers will inspire more coz you are such an inspiration.. 🙂


  • fer

    Hey, a feminist post! I like it. This is my 2 cents on this subject. I think the reason complimenting a woman is so complicated (for men) is because it’s usually a VERY invasive comment. To compliment a man, people will usually boost their ego and bring up their accomplishments. But since we’re women, and people make invasive comments, of course we’re touchy about the way we’re addressed, and what aspects of ourselves are brought to light when we’re having a conversation… a person calling you sexy out of the blue is unwarranted and it’s a very personal thing to comment on! (I’m sorry that happened to you :/ ) Men don’t realise this because, as a demographic, they’re never the target for such callousness – they’re not used to being creeped on.
    Greetings from Argentina <3

  • I found at random, your web site.I am a frenchman , of Romanian origin and
    with respect would like to ask you whether you are an artist? Are you a musician?
    My gaze met at the right side of the word “newsletter”, the symbol of the russian
    flag; as well as I am french, could it be that you are russian? I meant to write this as
    a compliment, under the sheer impulse of curiosity.Admiring your phtographs I wish
    you a happy and prosperous summer of 2014! Romanians are nice people,and you can
    reply to me in Romanian, I speak it like my French mother-tongue.I beg your pardon
    if I mispelled any English words. Vorbti dumneavoastra limba franceza,si ati putea va rog frumos, sa-mi rezumati cariera artistica a dv-stra? La revedere, cu stima si respect,
    Ciobanu Alexandre.