I've never taken compliments about my appearance well. When I was younger (and occasionally nowadays) it was because the words felt like a pair of too-small pants; they didn't fit. I just didn't accept them because I didn't believe it to be true.
Now that I've grown into my skin a bit and made peace with the mirror, I can accept compliments like a piece of gum right after I've just brushed my teeth. I don't need it, but I appreciate the gesture. But lately (most specifically in relationships) constant comments on my appearance tend to bristle. I do appreciate the comments, and who doesn't like to be told they are lovely... but only being complimented for my outside makes me feel as if the inside is not important or even worse, not appreciated. A Lana Del Rey song croons, "will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful?" It's the cry of every woman's heart. Tell me that I'm loved for more than my exterior... I am more than decor and accessory. It has taken me years and lots of time weeping in the arms of my Savior to learn that I am worthy beyond my sexuality and femininity and the last thing I need is to have my progress reversed by verbal classical conditioning from my brothers in Christ. I still struggle everyday in this looks-driven society. The Bible talks of the Proverbs 31 woman who is made lovely by her hard work, her good deeds, and her love rather than any outward adornment. This beauty will never fade. I had a patient tell me about his wife of 60 years and how she "used to be a real beautiful girl." "Used to be? You don't still find her beautiful ?" He then proceeded to ask me to dinner.
Physical attraction is important, but I believe love needs to be based on seeing something unique at the very core... the strings and fibers that make up the heart-of-hearts of your beloved... and knowing you can't live without that heart tied to yours. Admire her courage. Compliment her generosity. Notice her perseverance. These will last when figures fall, faces show lines, and gray knits its way through brunette/blonde/red tresses. To my brothers, encourage your sisters not to over-emphasize appearance. Compliment our godly behaviors, use that classical conditioning for the greater good. And search not for the most beautiful, but the most godly woman in your circle. Because when all of us have grown old and ugly, you will still have the godliest woman... and in that, she will be the most beautiful woman. You win.