Okay, this is going to be a little bit ugly, but it needs to be said . . .
I've noticed something over the years that really irritates me, and it's this: when I see people I haven't seen in a while—old friends and family—they often tell me how good I look. Yes, I know I should be happy when people say this, and I also know that people usually sometimes say these things out of obligation. But I can almost always tell that when they say it to me it's genuine because it's an utterance that is repeatedly delivered in an incredibly surprised tone of voice:
"WOW, you look good."
Translation: "I honestly cannot believe how good you look because the last time I saw you, you looked like complete crap."
I got this a lot when I was younger. Back then I think people had the false sense that I was bigger than I was because I wasn't stick thin (though I was thin). And now I get it all the time—probably because I post my weight on the internet, and unfortunately no one in our society can fathom that a nearly two-hundred pound woman can look good.
No matter how you slice it, it's a backhanded compliment, and I hate it.
Really, the person saying it might as well have called you a fat-ass for how good it makes you feel to hear those words delivered in a completely astonished tone of voice.
So if you're going to tell someone they look good, please do us all a favor and don't act like it's the last thing you thought would come out of your mouth when you saw that person.