Artist illustrates boss comebacks to backhanded compliments

Apr 5, 2015 at 9:29 p.m. ET
Image: Vanessa Papastavros/Tumblr

We've all been on the receiving end of a backhanded compliment. It's difficult to know how to respond to something that's actually an insult but with a couple of appreciative words thrown in, just for confusion's sake.

Australian artist Vanessa Papastavros created a series of illustrations called "Backhanded Compliments" to give us all the perfect comebacks for those not-so-complimentary compliments.

The idea originally stemmed from 19-year-old Papastavros' own experience of backhanded compliments, and her own friends and Tumblr followers soon joined in to contribute their own sugarcoated insults.

"Backhanded compliments are disproportionally aimed at women, and that's hardly a surprise," Papastavros told the Huffington Post. "The body-shaming culture perpetuated by both men and women links back to the belief that a woman's worth or value is found in her appearance or desirability. Often, people are trying to put down or subtly control a woman's decisions about her appearance through a backhanded compliment. They want to make you into what they? consider acceptable and attractive.

"Unlearning this way of thinking starts with educating oneself about body positivity, feminism and basic human decency," Papastavros continued. "It's all about broadening your view of beauty and where it can be found, and embracing that with confidence."

Check out Papastavros' work on her Tumblr page and, in the meantime, here are six awesome responses to backhanded compliments: 

Backhanded compliment

Image: Vanessa Papastavros/Tumblr

Backhanded compliment

Image: Vanessa Papastavros/Tumblr

Backhanded complimen

Image: Vanessa Papastavros/Tumblr

More: #DropThePlus: Is being called plus-size empowering or an insult?

Backhanded compliment

Image: Vanessa Papastavros/Tumblr

Backhanded compliment

Image: Vanessa Papastavros/Tumblr

Backhanded compliment

Image: Vanessa Papastavros/Tumblr

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