10 compliments that women actually find insulting

James Dean and Ursula Andress

Friend, girlfriend, wife or lover – they all love a compliment. Well let’s be honest, who doesn’t? Just as we advise that they should never be given out too often or too freely for lack of sincerity, there are a certain few that you may not even realise most women will actually take as an insult.

And whilst we understand that you are just trying to live by the fundamental life rules, women, the curious creatures they are, have an unrivalled ability to turn the simplest compliment on its head. The outcome? Her free pass to be angry at you for any given amount of time that she deems appropriate. So let us spare you the agony, gentlemen, and shed some light onto those innocent compliments that you should probably be avoiding from now on.

1. “You scrub up well”: Female Translation: You normally look a total mess

The Alternative: Whilst we understand you probably meant to suggest on this particular evening or at this particular party she looks exceptionally stunning, try a simple: “Wow, you look stunning.”

2. Anything followed by…”for a girl”: Female Translation: You’re not actually that funny/cool/witty/clever compared to all my male friends

The Alternative: You’re so funny. (FULL STOP)

3. “You’re so bubbly”: Female Translation: You’re fat, loud and in my face

The Alternative: You’re so confident and fun to be around

4. “You look like someone who knows how to have a good time”:

Female Translation: You look kind of slutty and if we went on a night out together it would probably end up in some kind of X-Rated movie style finale.

The Alternative: Can I take you out sometime?

5. “You’re looking really great at the moment”:

Female Translation: (Similar to #1) You used to be fat/unattractive

The Alternative: You look great

6. “You’re so cute”: Female Translation: You’re innocent and young looking and have zero sex appeal

The Alternative: There isn’t an alternative – just don’t say it.

7. “You have such a pretty face”: Female Translation: You have a terrible body

The Alternative: You’re so pretty

8. “I love a girl that’s a good eater”: Female Translation: You’re fat  

The Alternative: Let’s go out for dinner

9. “You look so pretty without make-up on”: Female Translation: You look like a drag queen when you wear make-up (which you wear everyday)

The Alternative: You look just as beautiful with make-up as you do without

10. “You’re so cuddly”: Female Translation: You’re chubby/fat and squeezable – not dissimilar to a stuffed toy I had as a child

The Alternative: I love holding you

Main photo: Jimmy Donelan // Styled: Holly Macnaghten



Holly Macnaghten is the Fashion Director at The Gentleman's Journal

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