Being called "beautiful" is something that, at times, I have wanted more than anything. There have been moments in my life where being called beautiful would've been the best compliment I could possibly think to receive. It seems to me that it can mean different things depending on the context or who it's coming from. Sometimes it can simply mean that you're nice to look at and at other times it can be a compliment to you as a person, as a whole. It's a word that I think has lost a lot of meaning. Everyone knows that everyone else wants to hear it. Plenty of girls will simply melt at the word, whether it's genuine or not. It feels like such a cliche, like it's such an easy thing to say and people seem to think it's the greatest compliment to give a girl and I really just don't understand it.
I'm not saying that I don't appreciate a compliment on my appearance, because I do, just like everyone does. I'm saying that the greatest admiration I receive doesn't need to be based on how I look. I understand that "beautiful" can be a compliment to more than just someone's appearance. It can appeal to them as a person, but from my experience, it's the easiest word to come to someone's mind when they need something nice to say. It requires no actual thought about the person it's being said to. It's easy to call someone beautiful because anyone will appreciate it and it can apply to anyone.
Easily the greatest compliment I have received is that I'm brilliant. It's a compliment to my mind, my talent, my presence, me as a person. I've been called brilliant a couple times, at most, in my life. It actually means something to say that someone is brilliant and it appeals to so much more than physical appearances. Being beautiful is something that everyone wants, but if you ask me, it's much more valuable to be brilliant. I'd rather be seen as smart or talented or interesting than just beautiful. I don't strive and work at being beautiful like I strive to be successful and educated and good at the things I do. I'd much rather be noticed for the traits that make up my whole self than be noticed for the way I appear.
Beauty seems to be valued above most other things that a person can be, but it seems to me that it's a fairly useless thing to be. Everyone wants to be beautiful in some way or another, and it's not at all a bad thing to want to be. I just think there are so many more valuable and desirable qualities to have or to want in another person.