One of my New Year's resolutions (and likely one of my lifelong policies now) is the following:
I will not comment, positively or negatively, about physical appearance of any person save my wife and children in an effort to reduce the focus on physical appearance in our culture overall.
I've been adhering to this policy since the beginning of the year, and I'm here to report that it is not difficult to follow.
It's fairly simple, in fact.
Other than a handful of times that I have wanted to point out the oddity of a person's appearance to a friend or family member, the elimination of comments related to physical appearance has been blessedly easy.
And in those cases when I have wanted to point out the oddity of someone's appearance, I reminded myself, "Who am I do judge how that person presents him or herself? People can be whoever they want to be. I left middle school behind a long time ago."
One of the more amusing aspects of this policy is how I am occasionally required to generate a compliment that isn't related to physical appearance when a simple comment on physical appearance would do just fine.
Though I haven't been forced to research possible alternative compliments yet, I have always loved this list and offer it here as an alternative to the standard comment on clothing, hair, or shoes, which in my experience are the most common (and frankly least meaningful) compliments offered in the world today.