I have no idea how to react to statements about appearance–generally my thoughts are either “what am I supposed to say?” or “no shit.” Because either it’s a compliment–which means the default answer has to be “thank you” even though there’s no real reason to tell me that you think I look nice in this thing today–or it’s a pointless statement of the obvious. The latter happens a lot with people who have just met me and are my age or under.
What I’ve come to expect is either “Wow. You’re really pale,” and a statement about getting out in the sun more despite my obvious freckles and the clear conclusion that if I did go out more I would get skin cancer and die; or “You’re kind of short, aren’t you?” This tends to come from a younger crowd. All I can say to this is: Well, I would know, wouldn’t I? Considering I’ve been living with myself my entire life and often get to experience looking up and someone when I’m trying to talk to them, and trying to reach things, and nobody could have possibly taken notice and mentioned it just the way you do.
I could complain about compliments, but there’s already a comedian named David Mitchell who can do it for me.
Commenting about someone’s physical characteristics is often pointless and sometimes obnoxious–and sometimes detrimental to a person’s ego. While I admit that some people do like to be complimented or taken notice of, and some people actually demand it, it is difficult for others who are insecure about themselves and that peer feedback can put them on edge–trust me, I, like many humans, have been insecure about stuff.
There is no real moral to this. I don’t expect everyone to just stop complimenting people. You have the right to. Just don’t compliment my physical appearance. Even though you don’t know me.
P.S. On another note, noting people’s appearances is also a creepy thing. Especially if they don’t know you or you somehow make a mistake with your tone or expression. It’s happened to everyone. Be careful.