I broke one of the only rules I ever set for myself the other day. At a party, someone said something nice about my appearance.
What did I do?
Absolutely categorically said no, no, I wasn't pretty, I was big and heavy and lumbering. Look at all these thin people - I feel like a monster next to them. Or in similar words, with a slightly tipsy bent.
What the hell was I doing? The one rule - the main rule of being a woman. One I realised around age 13, when after many years of really bad bullying (which little did I realise, wasn't quite over) said I would never give anyone any ammunition with which to judge me again.
Why not: "Why thank you. That's very sweet of you to say"? or "Haha - thank you. Not sure I agree, but thank you anyway"? Why instead: "No, you are wrong - I am a troll."
Not only did I humiliate myself a little by doing this, but I also basically told the person I was speaking to that she was wrong and her opinion invalid. Whether or not she honestly believed it, she felt moved enough to say it (apropos of nothing, by the way - it was not fished for).
How can I stop doing this? I don't know. Perhaps it's good to do it occasionally, to realise what a thoroughly twattish thing it is to do.
And that's not breaking the rule, incidentally. Sometimes I am a twat, but I hope that it's a temporary state. Unlike, say, the shape of my body (which though changing, will never be waif-like).
Ladies - learn from my mistake! Let's stop doing this to ourselves and recognise when we do it. It is WRONG. Good on you if you don't need this reminder. I think every woman I know does. Maybe you are all paragons of not doing yourself down. In which case - write to me and tell me how you do it.