Deano’s answer to: “Is Shannon Larson correct that saying ‘You’re really pretty’ to a stranger ‘would be harassment under most circumstances’?”

No.

Beauticians, for example, are in part paid and appreciated for their ability to boost the mood and reinforce the self-esteem of their clients:

Person A "I look terrible!"

Beautician Z "Nonsense! You look very pretty, we just need to adjust your look to transition better from work to play."

A stretch example, maybe, but one which highlights that it isn't the words but rather the context which imply or imbue harassment. Personally, I think harassment occurs at the intersection of three factors:

  • Interest, that is
  • Expressed, while
  • Undesired by the recipient

While it may be hard sometimes to measure all three accurately or objectively, I would submit that a lack of even a single one of these factors would render any interaction free from a reasonable definition of harassment.

Given that the expression is assumed in the question, and the desire on the part of the receiver may well be unknowable, then my advice for those who would like to share their feelings of another's beauty do so in a manner that does not display specific intent, or desperation.

Is Shannon Larson correct that saying "You're really pretty" to a stranger "would be harassment under most circumstances"?

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