You Look Tired

This weekend we met up with friends and the first thing that was said to me was, “hey, how are you, you look tired.” Not a question, a statement. To my credit, I didn’t start screaming and smash a bottle in the person’s face. In case you needed to be explicitly told because you don’t know how to interact with other human beings, let this be a lesson: Don’t tell people they look like something they have no control over.

Similar things not to tell people:

  • “You look like a jarred fart.”
  • “You look better than I have ever seen you look.” Where does one go from there?
  • “You look like you were in an accident.”
  • “What’s that thing on your face? Oh, never mind, I get it now.”
  • “Oh, wow, this is your look? You’re doing this now.  I guess that’s cool.”

What is the upside to telling someone they look anything other than perfect? What is the upside to telling me I look tired? The best case scenario is, “Really? I had no idea, thank you for pointing this out, obviously flawless person. Here, look after my child and teach her calculus whilst I get well earned rest. Blessed be thee who grants the weary rest, right?”

Is it okay to tell someone that they look like they have 7 types of cancer and the tumors are manifesting as Steve Bannon after he went on a bender after contracting leprosy and it is now manifesting itself on that person’s face like Kuato from Total Recall?

Of course I look tired. Is there anyone between the ages of 30-and-retired-who-has-a-child that feels fully rested? On top of that, I was born looking stoned. If I get pulled over, I’m guaranteed to do a sobriety test, Mom always called it, “bedroom eyes,” that generous optimist.  Tired is my general state of being.

The only acceptable epilogue to telling someone they look tired.

Don’t tell people they look tired. It’s like when you say you saw someone’s doppelgänger, it’s never positive, even if it’s the most beautiful person you have ever seen. “You look like Brad Pitt now, you know, after he was accused of child abuse.” We all have that part in ourselves, that echo of self-loathing that rings louder and truer than any any compliment. That bit that when you hear, “you look great today,” all you hear is, “you usually look like hot garbage.”

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’d rather no one comment on my appearance unless it’s hyper-effusive-yet-obviously-sincere compliments. Is there a reason why people feel compelled to assess others’ appearance? Am I alone? Aren’t we all self-conscious to a pathological degree? Being aware of yourself is fraught with consequence.

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10 Comments

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  1. I agree – I find comments about peoples bodies weird. (“Hey, you’ve lost weight!” Thanks?)

    I remember telling my friend she looked tired in high school. Quite a bit of screeching at me later, I learned NOT to do that.

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  2. Everyone who so much as encounters a child looks tired, so those of you who comment on it, shut yer freakin’ yaps. I had a really cute outfit that I wore to a dinner the night before my sister’s wedding: white pants, white vest, red-and-white striped blouse. I wore the same outfit to a board of directors meeting for a company with which I used to be involved. One of the big male asshats (I was the only woman) said to me, You look like the umpire for a soccer game. WHAT? I spent actual money to buy this really cute Ann Klein outfit and I’m told I look like an umpire? Shut up. Just shut up. If you can’t say anything nice, then shut the fuck up.

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. abeerfortheshower April 3, 2017 — 10:39 am

    I’m between the ages of 30 and retired WITHOUT kids and I’m just permanently exhausted. Frankly, I don’t trust anyone who’s over 30 who has a bounce in their step and looks like they get a nice, solid 9 hours every night.

    Also, that should be its own no-no: “Wow, you look like Steve Bannon. Are you getting enough rest?”

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  4. I’m over-retired if there is such a thing. I guess having an autoimmune disease qualifies about the same as having a child. Both make you tired, keep you up at night, and make you worry about the future.

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  5. I agree. When I walk into a room, I assume that there’s an unspoken agreement not to talk about my appearance. I mean, I can’t control what you do behind my back, but I don’t want to hear it.

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  6. Yeah being told I look tired sucks, I know I look tired, also being told that my hair is grey is annoying I know I am grey I am fine with it so deal, same goes for being told I am fat, I own a mirror I know already move on

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  7. Way back in college I asked a woman if she was in the latest theater production as she was wearing a lot of colorful makeup. “No,” was the answer. I’ve kept my mouth shut ever since.

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  8. Bhadra Sreejith May 13, 2017 — 5:50 am

    Oh I get it all the time! It’s cos of my eyebags. I get it even when I’ve had eight hours of sleep!
    Remember me btw? the cricketfreak.

    Like

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