Are Some Compliments Too Personal?

Alexandra Owens, Allure magazine

As Pippa Middleton once wisely stated, "It is a bit startling to achieve global recognition before the age of 30 on account of...your bottom." But she's not the only Middleton sister to have her private anatomy publicly discussed-and admired.

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In an interview with The Sunday Times this week, Cheryl Cole commented on Kate's nude photos, musing, "She does have a great pair of boobs, though, right?" Which reminded me of Brooklyn Decker complimenting Rihanna's body in the press recently, telling Us Weekly, "We decided that I'm going to borrow her butt for a day-and she's going to borrow my breasts."

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While it's certainly nice to receive flattery in any way, shape, or form (who doesn't like their ego stroked?) I think it's a little awkward to praise someone's "private parts" (as my grandma would say), especially if you don't know them all that well or you're doing it for the world-or room-to hear. At a party the other week, someone I had just met complimented my behind. And though I appreciated the sentiment, the attention it got, plus the chain of butt-related remarks it started, weren't so welcome.

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So I'm sure Cole and Decker's words were completely well-intentioned, but it's good to remember that drawing attention to areas that people tend to be sensitive about is much more personal than saying, "I love your new haircut," or "Where did you get those shoes?" After all, I'm pretty sure that after the whole topless scandal, Kate is sick of hearing about her boobs, period.

Would someone complimenting your lady parts make you uncomfortable? Or is a compliment a compliment?

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