Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You're Surprisingly Nice For A Pretty Girl

Last Thursday I headed to Starbuck's on my lunch break for a much needed caffeine boost via an iced passion tea.  The barista (or would it be baristo as the server was a male??) struck up a casual conversation with me regarding work, weekend plans and our shared disdain for the current heat wave in late September as I waited for my tea. 

After about three or four minutes of friendly conversation, my drink was served.  As I reached for a straw and prepared to exit, the barista made an offhand comment that took me by complete surprise.

"You're surprisingly nice for a pretty girl!  Hope you have a great day and enjoy your tea!"

My mind went momentarily blank as I let his words set in.  Surprisingly nice for a pretty girl??  What in the world does that mean?  Wait - he thinks I'm pretty?  Well, that's flattering.  Never really considered myself to be one of the "pretty ones" - but does that mean that I can't be friendly as well?  What the....

Knowing my hour long lunch break was almost up and not really knowing how to respond, I simply smiled and said, "Thanks - I think."  Then I walked out the door.

But his comment has been bugging me ever since.  Again, I've never considered myself to be pretty by any means.  I have on the other hand, always prided myself in being a pleasant, "people person".  I always smile at strangers or hold the door open for a stranger.  I offer to help the elderly lady at the grocery store with her bags or let a person with only a few items go ahead of me at the grocery store.  Not tooting my horn or saying I'm an amazing person (because believe - I'm not!)  Just simply saying that I was raised to believe that showing kindness to strangers is a virtue and a great way of showing Christ's love to those around us.

But is it impossible to be both attractive and kind?  Is this a common perception in society?  If you're beautiful on the outside you must be ugly on the inside?  Have we become so consumed with looking our best at all times that somehow common courtesy has gone right out the window?  What in the world did that comment mean??

And still - I have no idea.  I wish I could just take his comment as a complement and go about my merry way.  But it raises so many troubling questions. 

In today's society - what is valued more?  Beauty or kindness?  Sex appeal or compassion?  The finest cars, clothes and homes or a desire to help those less fortunate than ourselves? 

And if I'm really being honest - what do I value the most?  If I could either be pretty or nice - but not both - which would I choose?  I pray that my choice would always be nice as I pray that my heart will always reflect the Be Attitudes that Christ calls me to live by: gentleness, mercy, thirst for justice or righteousness, humbleness. 

But again - what do I truly value?


Katie F said...

You are so pretty and so nice! Maybe that guy has only meant Mean pretty girls!

Amanda Leigh said...

The comment he made was really strange... but sadly, that is how a lot of people perceive "pretty" people.
I know its not true.. not one bit, but its just part of the stereo-types that make this world go round. I know that you CAN ben pretty... and nice, and smart. And I also know that you can be ugly, and mean. Ive seen it every which way, so I dont understand it.
For somebody to say that though.. (outloud) its almost kind of ignorant to me. He could of simply said, "you are a really nice person". But for some reason he had it be let known that he hasnt had much, if any, experiences where the girl can be pretty and nice.
This world definitely needs more people like you to kick that stereo-type to the curb.

An Inquiring Mind said...

First off, you ARE pretty! :) And nice! I agree, though, what a strange comment to make! It sounds like he's had some encounters with some not so nice women, which is sad. I don't understand sometimes where common courtesy and decency have gone. I always try to be a nice person as well and I think when you're nice and good on the inside, it really shines through on the outside.

Kelsea Gunter said...

I think pretty girls get that stereotype forced on them quite often. Maybe because other people think they're pretty, they think the girl KNOWS she pretty, too. That's our culture's mistaken view...that you're BETTER if you're attractive. It's sad because I think sometimes pretty people either ARE the way that they're stereotyped or they're the exact opposite - self-conscious just like the rest and their quietness may come off as stuck-up.

Aubrey S. said...

The comment is kind of disturbing, but I think you get to take it as two compliments. You're pretty AND nice.

ty said...

I think a lot of people feel that pretty people can't be nice, probably because a lot of pretty people AREN'T nice. I know some very pretty friends that have very ugly attitudes at times.

I definitely don't think it's any fault of the kid that said it to you. Chances are, he's been kicked around by some of the "pretty" people. I think he was trying to pay you a double compliment, but you weren't sure how to react to it. It's sad that people are so surprised that attractive people can be nice.

Makes you want to reevaluate your definition of pretty.

Kelly said...

Interesting post!! I would definitely choose to be nice rather than pretty... I think being a good person lasts forever, whereas looks will eventually fade. I strive to be a nice, friendly, and helpful person... but I'm sure I have a ways to go as well! ;-)

He has probably been burned by girls in the past and he's just jaded... thinks that all pretty girls are just mean girls trying to get by with their looks rather than being nice, genuine people.

Hope you have a great day, pretty {NICE} girl!! ;-)

Rebekah said...

Goodness, that's a really strange thing to say! I know whenever I'm talking to anyone, I try to be nice regardless of what kind of mood I'm in. You can always brighten someone's day!

Ashley said...

hhmmm Well first off, I think you are beautiful, girl!! seriously!
Second, that is a very strange thing to say, though it's not the first time I have heard of this happening. That guy was pretty bold. Maybe all the pretty girls are mean to HIM so his general perception is skewed?
They kind of touched on this in Grey's Anatomy with Izzy and her sad story. There was an episode where an unfortunate girl (patient) was really mean to her and then found out what Izzy's story was and said "I guess pretty people don't have perfect lives"...it's a little different from your situation but I think it goes along with the pretty-people-have-it-better-and-can't-empathize-because-their-life-is-perfect.
Still it was strange for him to say it to you like he did, he could have just said you're really pretty or your're really nice but not both.

Meg O. said...

Well, first of all, you are very pretty! It is a weird comment the barista made, but I really do think he was trying to be nice. I guess some very pretty girls don't give everyone the time of day and these generalizations have been made. Who knows? All I know is that being nice is a good thing and it got you a compliment... regardless of how odd it was ;)

THE Stephanie said...

I think it's a wonderful compliment. There may be a stereo-type that pretty people are snobby, but you broke that down in one trip to Starbucks! Good for you!

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

Yeah, I think that stereotype is somewhat based in reality, but obviously not the case all the time. I think you can definitely be both. Unfortunately, a lot of the times, those "pretty ones" grow up knowing they are pretty and use it to their advantage, and sometimes to the disadvantage of others, thus making them not "nice", you know? I never really had to deal with that growing up, ha, so I'm with you, I've always been a "people person" and tried to be nice.

I've heard people say "they can get away with that because they're pretty" as if good looks means you don't have to be polite. I do not agree with that!

Well, either way, you are pretty, and I'm glad you are both nice and pretty. (-:


Anonymous said...

unfortunately we are becoming a society in general who does go for looks and sex appeal more than helping others. The finer things mean more to people than helping the less fortunate. My husband's ex-wife is a prime example of that. She thinks she IS entitled to EVERYONE'S money (my husbands, her mom's, her husbands) it goes to show in the way she spends the money and cries b/c she doesn't have any but won't get a job. Anyway I won't go there... but she thinks that if you have money, you are classy. You ARE NOT class just b/c you have money. To me, from what I see on your blog posts, you are a classy woman! I like to think of myself that way, hopefully I am!

Mrs.Vid said...

First off, I think you are very PRETTY! You should start believing it too because it's true.

His comment however, was strange.. I do think that most people in society are stuck in this stigma that pretty means stuck up. I am not simply because I have gorgeous friends and family surrounding me and I know that all of them are far from stuck up. They're all very nice people.

I do know though that it is possible to be pretty and have an ugly personality. It's also possible to be unattractive and have an ugly personality too.

Mateya said...

What a strange comment! Unfortunately it is the way most people are starting to think.

Thankfully there are people like you who are gorgeous and NICE :)

Karen said...

I remember when I started getting to know the teachers here at school toward the end of my first year, one of them said, "You're a lot nicer than I thought you'd be." haha... I'm not sure what she meant by that either, but I was afraid to ask!

Anonymous said...

That is a very strange comment, but I really enjoyed your post :) thanks for sharing!

Melanie said...

Yeah unfortunately people (for some reason) gets the notion that a person can't be both pretty and nice. Its just suprising he made that comment out loud!!! In my high school alot of girls that were in the 'popular' crowd and thus deemed 'pretty' were often the mean ones..so I'm not sure if thats a stereotype everywhere or what! But you definately are nice and pretty..I wouldn't let the comment bother you..cause you know who you are in Christ. :-)

Jessica said...

The things people say sometimes just blows my mind!

Unfortunately, our society has made beauty somewhat of a standard and it's really sad.

Ms. Emily Ann said...

Definitely a common question in society, although I am quite surprised the Starbucks barista threw it out there so lightly! He must have some sort of grudge against pretty girls, however, because I know millions of gorgeous, kind hearted women, and you are without a doubt one of them!!

Michelle (michabella) said...

Love this. A humble and kind heart go a long way and is something I would choose too.

In Fl I know a lot of girls who are gorgeous but shallow and rude. I think thats probably why that guy said that comment because most "gorgeous" "beautiful" girls are that way and it is rare to find truly kind hearted women. I believe THAT makes them beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL <333

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the above commenters so I won't repeat what has already been said! Unfortunately, there are many, many stereotypes in today's society and I doubt that will ever change. At least you can rest assured that you are pretty AND nice and it's perfectly acceptable to be both. And everyone is pretty in their own way, anyway!

p.s. to answer your question on my blog, yes, I belong to an online book club! It's so much fun. Erin and Rachel are fellow bloggers who started the book club, here's the link, you should definitely join in! http://bookendbloggers.blogspot.com/

Kristin said...

Hmmm...good thoughts to ponder. Thanks, as always, for a great read Amber. Hope you're having a wonderful day so far!

Anonymous said...

I suppose he really ment to be nice and pay you a compliment, though it came out a bit weird.
As a barista he probably meets a lot of women who look good, but don't treat him as nice as you did. Whaterver their reasons may be.

Kelly said...

The sad part is that it's usually not that the pretty people are not nice, it's the small mindedness of others that they just "think" that the pretty people are not nice. Does that make sence?

For example..my sister in law is a model. She is beautiful..really beautiful. At Cam's 10th birthday she came, stayed about an hour and had to leave because she had a job. Well my dad and I were talking several months later and he made the comment that she was stuck up. I was shocked...Did you even talk to her? No..

It's THEIR issue not yours.

And you are one of the pretty people :)

Kelly said...

The sad part is that it's usually not that the pretty people are not nice, it's the small mindedness of others that they just "think" that the pretty people are not nice. Does that make sence?

For example..my sister in law is a model. She is beautiful..really beautiful. At Cam's 10th birthday she came, stayed about an hour and had to leave because she had a job. Well my dad and I were talking several months later and he made the comment that she was stuck up. I was shocked...Did you even talk to her? No..

It's THEIR issue not yours.

And you are one of the pretty people :)

Kelly said...

I think it was his way of flirting.

Sorry I forgot to add that.

OneCraftyFox said...

Umm, hello!! Have you seen yourself?? You are beautiful!! I think that is a really great compliment, I'd be flattered for sure.

I am having an interactive "Style Me Pretty" blog giveaway... I would love it if you joined!

Stacey said...

Well most of the time I thihk the southern girls get it both! You should know you are beautiful...remember that song..HA HA - you know what I am talking about!!!! And I will try and take credit for the nice - you were raised to be polite, so know you know it WORKED!! GREAT JOB...Now being nice is something that I have to work on, I know my mother raised me well, but I have something inside of me that wants to rear its ugly head! You really should have been offended, you are not pretty - you are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

haha. I'm sorry, but this situation just made me laugh out loud. Stinkin men ;)

You are gorg, and super friendly! That's why Steven and all of us love you!

At least your intelligence wasn't brought into it, too.. I've had comments made towards me that contradict on whether you can be pretty AND smart... I'd much rather have a pretty AND nice comment... I think.

Hmm. Oh well. Just take it as a compliment and smile ;) haha.

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