Disproportionate rage response

Dammit Karen feels a disproportionate rage response at certain so-called compliments

Related image
Proportionate growth in animals: different parts of the body grow at approximately the same rate.
Quote and image credit here.

I sometimes get compliments; everyone does. On days that I actually take the time to style my hair (once every 34 days or so), I like to hear somebody tell me it looks good. If “dressed up” to a level higher than “Canadian casual” (ripped jeans, t-shirt, scarf), I want to hear someone tell me that I look nice.

(For both of these, of course, the “for a change” is implied, and usually unspoken.) (It only hurts a little.)

But my Least Favourite Compliment, which is (hopefully) always meant sincerely, feels so backhanded that I can’t even. I am an adult, coherent, articulate person, and I. Can’t. Even.

Are you ready?

“You’re so proportional.”*

This is usually followed by a reassurance of the “cuteness” of my body, which, also as a grown woman, I still can’t even. My arms! My legs! They are all in perfect proportion to the rest of my body!

What — why — ??? Why is this considered a compliment, and/or why would you say that to someone?

I totally get what they’re saying, though. It’s true, I’m short. And, to go with my (short) self, I have (short) arms and (short) legs and (tiny) feet. For some reason, I have “normal-sized” hands, which, because my fingers are slender, don’t look freakishly large, but this often surprises others. I joke about having man hands (they’re not) and being able to palm a basketball (I can’t). Because everything else about me is little and cute, though, it’s funny, I guess?

I know there are far worse things to be, and be told, and I guess I’m happy that I am “proportionate”**, though being tiny-but-with-nice-long-legs might be even better.

But I have never, ever stood beside a tall person and said, “Hey! Your legs are long! And look! Your arms are also long!”*** Nor would I do that to a fat person or a muscly person or — gasp — someone who isn’t proportionate. Like, “Wow, you have big biceps, but you don’t seem to have calf muscles.”

How, also, am I supposed to respond to something like that?

Anyhoo, I forget what I’m complaining about, but now I’m all worked up.


* and ** Proportionate or Proportional?  Discuss.

*** Although I do make fun of my friend’s tall mom who has tiny feet – how does she not tip over?