Body Image Question from17-year-old Kevin

My name is Kevin and I’m 17 years old. I discovered your website and thought you might have some good insight on an experience I had involving a girl’s image of her body. She was a girl I had just met at a dance a few weeks ago. We talked for a good half hour and seemed to be hitting it off. Then, things suddenly went downhill. I commented that she had a “really nice, hourglass figure”. I thought she would take it as a compliment but instead she became deeply offended. I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but I think I only made things worse when I used the term “healthy”. With a look of complete disgust, WHAP!, she slapped my face and departed. She had a classic hourglass figure – large bust, narrow waist, shapely hips/legs. I guess she had interpreted “hourglass” as meaning big/overweight/full figured. Why can’t girls embrace their curves?

My response:

I don’t know Kevin. It’s mystery to me as well, why girls can’t just love what they’ve got? I, personally, have always striven for an hour-glass figure. But, I’m not in your generation.

Evolutionarily, scientists use the hip to waist ratio as a measurement of beauty and attractiveness. Hour-glass is the evolutionary ideal.

Perhaps, though you misread why she was offended. It’s possible – and I wasn’t there, so I can only guess – that she wanted your focus and interest to be on her self, the whole package - brains, personality, mutual interests, shared values, and body – rather than on the shape of her bod or her physical appearance. Especially, so soon in your interaction.

Next time, save the hot body comments for a more intimate moment, when you know each other better and she’s sure you’re not just in it for her shapeliness.  Focus on a new girl as a three-dimensional and interesting person, a friend you share things in common with. What did you discover about this girl in the 30 minutes you chatted? Did you both enjoy history or love to watch Sci-Fi films or enjoy the same literature? Were you both going to the same college, or have a similar family background or religious affiliation? Do you both love to swim, golf or fish?

Focus on those things next time.  Ask a girl out on a date, doing something of mutual interest, and you most likely won’t get slapped in the face.

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#1 Kevin Mitchell on 02.03.10 at 1:07 pm

Tracee, this is Kevin, the original poster. Thanks for your great advice! I think you’re right. I really should have stuck to more neutral topics where there was no way she could misinterpret what I meant. Lesson learned.

I do have her email address. Do you think I should send her an apology note?

Otherwise, I do feel ashamed about getting slapped by a girl, but at least I provided some entertainment value to my friends, who were standing nearby and saw it occur. They teased me about the red mark on my cheek during the whole ride home! LOL

#2 Tracee on 02.03.10 at 1:15 pm

Oh Kevin, thanks for writing again!

Now you’re thinking. I think you should send her an apology. If it goes well maybe you could even ask her on a non-threatening date. That’s a great idea.

Friend her on Facebook and complimenting her genius comments will probably help too!

#3 Respect Pays off for Kevin — The Girl Revolution on 03.16.10 at 7:02 am

[...] maybe the girl wanted her self to be acknowledged before Kevin got all into her curvy bod. Click HERE if you don’t [...]

#4 Anonymous Guy on 07.21.10 at 6:11 pm

Just stumbled across this in a random Google search, this is great advice and a good case study for guys, thanks!

#5 Stephanie on 01.19.12 at 8:38 pm

Tracee, my son is 16 and just started dating girls. Do you think I should have him read this story? I thought it might be instructional for him regarding the do’s and don’t's when talking to females.

#6 Tracee Sioux on 01.20.12 at 9:19 am

Can’t hurt. But, I would use it as a bridge to a discussion with you about what you expect of him in his treatment toward girls in general and toward girls he dates especially. You’re his mom – the most influential woman in his life. Wield your power wisely Mama!

My goal with my son is to do my best to mold him into a man that my daughter-in-law will be ecstatic to be married to. Which is why he knows how to clean toilets already.
Tracee Sioux recently posted..If This is Progress Where the Hell Are We Going?

#7 Stephanie on 01.20.12 at 12:06 pm

Thanks Tracee :) I guess I’m just fearful that one night after a date he’ll come home with a red hand print on his cheek, lol, and I’ll feel like I could have done/said something to prevent that from happening ;)

#8 Stephanie on 01.25.12 at 3:53 pm

He read the story and thought it was great and said he learned a lot from it :-) Perhaps it was quite timely too in preventing him from saying something inappropriate. He showed me a picture of the girl on facebook that he asked out to the movies. Very pretty girl, and wow, quite buxom. Is there is something in the water?! Maybe it’s just my imagination, but girls today seem to be more developed than in the past.

#9 Tracee on 01.25.12 at 5:08 pm

Good job Mama. Your sons future girlfriends thank you!

#10 Stephanie on 01.25.12 at 5:58 pm

Thanks :-) Also, he laughed when he read about the boy getting slapped, and Iold him to contain his laughter, as it very easily could happen to him someday if he does not conduct himself like a gentleman.

#11 Valerie Parker on 01.16.13 at 6:24 pm

Oh goodness. I’m sure the young man meant well. We women can be extremely sensitive and have a tendency to over-react. I’m certainly not alone in that regard. I once slapped a guy I had just broken up with because he was not the least bit upset that I broke up with him. How crazy is that?! The story doesnt end there. He actually sent me an apology card and flowers. I often wonder if that young man truly understood what he was apologizing for. lol! We ladies can certainly be a handful ;-)

#12 Slapstick Romance - Tracee Sioux, Law of Attraction Coach — Tracee Sioux, Law of Attraction Coach on 11.21.13 at 4:58 pm

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