NO, THAT IS NOT AT ALL FLATTERING, YOU JERK.
In case you’re wondering, yes, this is an ACTUAL MESSAGE I got (though the fellow’s name was not “Animal4U”). The full text:
Him: I’ll get around to reading your self-summary eventually, but I just wanted to compliment you on your 10 adorable photos…
Me: I hope you enjoy the part of my profile that will be relevant to having a conversation with me, then! Cool.
Him: Aw, give up writing. Anyone as cute as you doesn’t need talent :0)
I’m beyond disgusted when someone expects me to react positively to the supposition that I “don’t need” THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF MY LIFE that brings me THE MOST PERSONAL FULFILLMENT OF ANYTHING I DO, or that my interest in pursuing it would be eclipsed by WHATEVER OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT MY LOOKS.
Me: This is not an appropriate conversation. My self-summary makes it very clear that I am not a match with anyone who believes my photos are the most important aspect of my profile.
Your suggestion that I should give up writing because I’m cute, no matter how much of a “joke” you meant it as, is dismissive and disgustingly offensive to me. Writing isn’t something I do until or unless someone succumbs to my cuteness and decides to take care of me. It’s not funny. It’s not flattering. And I recommend in the future–if you do not want to alienate and/or offend more people you’re trying to hit on–that you read at least part of the profile BEFORE sending a message of any kind. You had fair warning about the kinds of interaction I’m here for and what sorts of comments I appreciate, and you would have easily been able to tell the way you approached me is not cool with me if you’d imagined what I SAY is probably more relevant than what I look like.
So off I go to talk to people who won’t consider my talents and aspirations so much less important than my looks that I might as well not even bother.