Why “You’re Secret Hot” Is An Insult, Not A Compliment

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Last week, a man told me I was “secret hot.” What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means that I look pretty average until I put on makeup and a fancy outfit. Then I look hot. He explained that I look normal when I’m at work (in my dining hall clothes), but then I put pictures on Facebook of me with more makeup and tight dresses, and then I look hot. I think he was expecting me to say thank you, but mostly I was offended.

Here’s the deal: I don’t need random friends of mine to validate my looks. I’m perfectly fine with my boyfriend being the only guy to tell me I’m hot. Apparently when I wear jeans, converse, and a t-shirt, I look pretty plain. SHOCKER. When I’m working at the dining hall, I’m not trying to look good, I’m trying to do my job.

I truly think the guy who told me this was trying to compliment me – but honestly, I’d much rather be complimented on my ideas, my work, or my writing than on my appearance. Sure, it feels nice for people to tell you that you look good once in a while. But just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I need to be reassured about my appearance on the daily. And telling me that I’m “secret hot” is a very backhanded compliment. But you know what? My boyfriend fell in love with me wearing a nasty purple baseball cap, black nonslip shoe covers, and a gross green apron. So I’m not “secret hot.” I’m just hot.

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