Why is this a big deal? Because I, like other females of my age, are women. We stopped being girls more or less when puberty hit, and most certainly when we entered the adult working world. Calling us such girls now makes us sound inferior. We are not. We are equal. We are to be listened to and respected, not to be ordered around and taken with a grain of salt. Now, I make a small exception if you're using it as a shortened form of the world girlfriend. Because while it still involves the word "girl", it's become a colloquialism, and "woman-friend" just sounds kind of odd. While I prefer the term partner - not only does it neutralize gender and orientation but also indicates equality - I realize that not everyone uses this and I've gotten accustomed to it. But used in cases like "oh bring that to the girl that works in the mail room", unless she's actually under the age of 18, is demeaning. Period. As for "chick" or "broad", it makes you sound Fonzy (regardless of your gender), and generally indicates a flippancy. A characteristic I don't want present in describing me, or any other woman. I think "bitch" is self-explanatory, and Dude and Bro, well, I've discussed above.
So now, Beautiful. Yes, I am beautiful. Regardless of what you think of my external appearance I am beautiful. I am not cute or hot or tight or any other slang. If you're commenting strictly on my looks, something that indicates maturity and femininity, like gorgeous, is just fine. I'm on the fence about sexy, because it makes me feel like an object to be used instead of a person, but maybe this is because I'm an old boxers and tank type kind of woman, not a lingerie kind of woman. I understand that some people feel that sexy is a compliment. But it shouldn't be the only compliment you are given. You are still beautiful. Beautiful refers to a whole person. Or it should. Their mind, their body, their soul. As well as their appearance - however they look.
A beautiful person doesn't have to look like they'll grace the cover of the next fashion magazine or Victoria's Secret runway show. There are plenty of people who may never look like super models, but everything else about them makes them beautiful. Their heart and soul and goodness shine through. So even if at first glance you don't think they're beautiful, or even mildly attractive, you do once you get to know them. Likewise, there are plenty of people who may turn heads when first encountered, but their lack of heart and goodness also shines through, and they no longer appear beautiful.
So go ahead - tell your wife or partner or friend or whoever else you'd like that they're beautiful. But make sure to tell her why. Not because you like her stomach or the shape of her butt or her toned arms. Not even because of what she can do. Tell her about the beauty you see in her heart and her soul - those things that truly make her who she is. Because she, like me, is a beautiful woman.