Author Topic: Unflattering Change in Appearance  (Read 3896 times)

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JoyinVirginia

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Unflattering Change in Appearance
« on: December 17, 2012, 03:45:50 PM »
Question: when you see an acquaintance who has made a very dramatic change, in this instance in hair color and style, which is not at all flattering, is it best to not mention the change at all,  or to say something neutral like ” you changed your style”, or comment on something else?
Once in a while, when shopping or just out around town, I run into acquaintances that I used to work with, or know thru a club, or even was in a class with.  we usually say hi, how are you, chat for a few minutes, then go on our way. Recently I saw an acquaintance who now has a very dramatic hair color, actually several very different colors. On a younger person it would have been more flattering, on this lady it was quite unflattering. I thought I was safe asking about her children, when she asked what I thought of her hairstyle. All I could think of was to ask how long it took her hairdresser to do it, and to say that I could tell the hairdresser had spent a lot of time getting it to look just right., I hope with the right amount of enthusiasm.
Anyone have any better suggestions?

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 03:54:50 PM »
A 68-year-old acquaintance recently showed up with fire engine red hair.  It looked awful on her, but the color itself was actually nice, which is what I focused on: "Wow, that's an incredible color.  When did you do that?"  I also asked her where she got it done, because it was very professional looking. 
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poundcake

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2012, 04:06:59 PM »
No, especially not if it's an acquaintance and not a close friend. Just because you find it unflattering doesn't mean they aren't thrilled with the results, for whatever reason.

chigrrl1

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2012, 04:14:15 PM »
Question: when you see an acquaintance who has made a very dramatic change, in this instance in hair color and style, which is not at all flattering, is it best to not mention the change at all,  or to say something neutral like ” you changed your style”, or comment on something else?
Once in a while, when shopping or just out around town, I run into acquaintances that I used to work with, or know thru a club, or even was in a class with.  we usually say hi, how are you, chat for a few minutes, then go on our way. Recently I saw an acquaintance who now has a very dramatic hair color, actually several very different colors. On a younger person it would have been more flattering, on this lady it was quite unflattering. I thought I was safe asking about her children, when she asked what I thought of her hairstyle. All I could think of was to ask how long it took her hairdresser to do it, and to say that I could tell the hairdresser had spent a lot of time getting it to look just right., I hope with the right amount of enthusiasm.
Anyone have any better suggestions?
If you don't know the person asking your opinion well enough to tell if they want an honest response, I think that you can generally extricate yourself without perjury by stating the obvious "Oh, I see the stylist used several different shades of green in there!"  You don't have to say how you think it looks.  I think your approach was fine.  That said, if I knew the person well enough to know that they truly were looking for feedback, I would probably say something more like "You know, I just think that you looked so great as a blonde so I guess I'm a little biased."  If it was truly a hair catastrophe and it was a close friend, I'd probably be more frank and offer the name of someone who could fix it.

DottyG

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2012, 04:33:17 PM »
Quote
A 68-year-old acquaintance recently showed up with fire engine red hair.

Actually, you're safe on that one.  Red mutes very quickly.  The hair shaft doesn't hold a red very easily, so even a "fire engine red" will fade into a subtle color fairly quickly as long as it's not touched up to recreate the color immediately.

My hairdresser explained the science of it once.  It was a long explanation, but suffice to say that your friend my look more like her age the next time you see her. :)


katycoo

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2012, 05:20:11 PM »
Deflect.  "Its quite a striking change!  You must feel very different! Do you love it?"

veryfluffy

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 05:49:33 PM »
I would doubt that anyone who gets an dramatic or outrageous dye job is really expecting everyone do love it. They probably do expect everyone to notice it, and asking what you think is one way of being sure you noticed it.

"It's certainly dramatic! How did you decide on the colour?" or some such thing would be fine.

(Note that I speak from the perspective of someone who put in purple streaks at what many, possibly including the OP, would regard as an inappropriately advanced age.)
   

Eden

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 09:54:08 AM »
If someone specifically asks your opinion, I see no reason not to tell the truth. That said, it can be done without being overly hurtful. E.g., if friend went from blonde to brunette and asks what you think, you can just say, "Oh, I just love you as a blonde! I think that's my favorite on you." That way you communicate the other looks better without specifically saying the brunette looks bad.

Biker Granny

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 11:36:04 AM »
Question: when you see an acquaintance who has made a very dramatic change, in this instance in hair color and style, which is not at all flattering, is it best to not mention the change at all,  or to say something neutral like ” you changed your style”, or comment on something else?
Once in a while, when shopping or just out around town, I run into acquaintances that I used to work with, or know thru a club, or even was in a class with.  we usually say hi, how are you, chat for a few minutes, then go on our way. Recently I saw an acquaintance who now has a very dramatic hair color, actually several very different colors. On a younger person it would have been more flattering, on this lady it was quite unflattering. I thought I was safe asking about her children, when she asked what I thought of her hairstyle. All I could think of was to ask how long it took her hairdresser to do it, and to say that I could tell the hairdresser had spent a lot of time getting it to look just right., I hope with the right amount of enthusiasm.
Anyone have any better suggestions?

You were fine..I might have started out with....Oh look a new hairdo!  I'm not that brave....then continue on with what you said.

Secret

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 11:39:29 AM »
I chopped my waist lenght hair OFF and hated it.  I was well aware it was unflattering.  I didn't need anyone to point it out.

Many people liked it though- I'm assuming they were all lying becasue you can't say you didn't notice I lost 2 feet of hiar.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 12:38:07 PM »
A coworker of mine once dyed her hair raven black.  Considering her normal skin tone was something akin to snow (verging on albino) she looked quite like a vampire.  I managed to say "It's very dramatic" when she asked if I liked it.  She took it as a compliment and I didn't have to sputter trying to find something that I could say that wasn't "CRUD MONKEYS!  Why on earth did you do THAT?!".  I was thinking it though.

cicero

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2012, 12:51:07 PM »
I think you did fine. it's tricky - she may *love* it, and not really care or consider that others think it's less than flattering.

the thing i hate is when people say something like "oh. you got a haircut" and leave me hanging. ummm, yes i know i got a hair cut (i was there!). just say "it's great" or say "it looks great on you" or "it's different". say *something*

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lilfox

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 10:16:50 PM »
I think you did fine. it's tricky - she may *love* it, and not really care or consider that others think it's less than flattering.

the thing i hate is when people say something like "oh. you got a haircut" and leave me hanging. ummm, yes i know i got a hair cut (i was there!). just say "it's great" or say "it looks great on you" or "it's different". say *something*

Worse is when you automatically say thank you because you were accustomed to (if not necessarily expecting) a compliment.  Best to use one of the suggested replies that isn't a compliment if one can't be made sincerely, but still inspires a response, like questions about where they had it done or what made them want to make a change.  Not just "oh, that's different.  Same thing works in situations where someone asks "should I make <dramatic change>?" when all you can think is, probable train wreck.

LA lady

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 08:54:34 AM »
I chopped my waist lenght hair OFF and hated it.  I was well aware it was unflattering.  I didn't need anyone to point it out.

Many people liked it though- I'm assuming they were all lying becasue you can't say you didn't notice I lost 2 feet of hiar.

I cut a foot and a half off my chair-seat-length hair, and no one noticed, not even my own mother.  She noticed that something was different, but thought I had colored my hair because so much sun-bleaching was cut out.

Celany

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Re: Unflattering Change in Appearance
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 04:37:14 PM »
I think you did fine. it's tricky - she may *love* it, and not really care or consider that others think it's less than flattering.

the thing i hate is when people say something like "oh. you got a haircut" and leave me hanging. ummm, yes i know i got a hair cut (i was there!). just say "it's great" or say "it looks great on you" or "it's different". say *something*

Because I can be a cheeky monkey, I usually follow "you got a haircut" with "nope. I got 'em all cut"  >:D

As to the original question: It sounds like an appropriate answer. I might be tempted to ask if there was any particular reason she got her hair done that way. I do think it's really considerate to pick out some qualities worth mentioning without actually saying that you don't like it, if you don't like it.
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