Tuesday, October 7, 2008


"Miss, you look good for your age."  We get this a lot. And it never feels good and certainly doesn't sound like a compliment. And since we have manners, we never return the compliment. 

Earlier this week The New York Times published an article on the subject of seniors and the silly things people say to them. They call them, "sweetie" or ask them, "How many years young are you?" The list goes on and on.  We would like to add, "You look good for your age." 

When you see a well put together, attractive older person, there's no need to point out to them that you think they look good for being that old. An age, any age doesn't have one look or play by one rule. We all carry our ages differently. Some young people don't look so hot and some do. We understand that there are  people well into their 70's, 80's even 90's who still may have beautiful skin or are in great physical shape.  If you feel the need to compliment them, go for it but don't insult them and point out that they're not supposed to look so good. "You look good for your age," is exactly that.  And whatever you do, don't drag your parents or grandparents into it. One woman said to Yvette, "I wish my mother would take some fashion tips from you."  

Compliments are nice at any age. And there is an art to giving them and accepting them. Like anything, think before you give one.  Is it a compliment that you would like to receive? Or is it a compliment that you wouldn't mind if you were the receiver? Be careful. If you think that aging means becoming dowdy and tired, then you're more apt to give an unsavory compliment. If you think that at any age a person can put themselves together well, then you'll probably have a winning way with compliments.

Receiving a compliment graciously that may not make you feel so great is not always easy. If you know the person, there's nothing wrong with saying, "I know you meant that as a compliment and thank you but age has nothing to do with it." They'll get the point.

The next time you pay a compliment, don't show your age, show your style.


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