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Doubting Physical Attractiveness: Feeling Unpretty


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Hi everyone,

 

First off, I just want to put it out there that I'm not in any way trying to toot my own horn, nor is this a narcissistic post.

 

Just something I've been thinking about and I want to be comfortable with.

 

Last night, I attended a benefit dinner and there was this random old man in attendance who just came up to me and told me, "Honey, you are so beautiful."

 

Now, this is not the first time this has happened. I've had random people come up to me and tell me, "I think you look beautiful. I just wanted to tell you that." or "You look really cute." I respond with "Thank you, I'm flattered." but deep inside me, I think that they're just saying that or they don't really mean it. Or when random people look at me, I always check the mirror to see if I have something on my face. I always think to myself, "What the heck are they looking at?" or in the case of people complementing me, I always think, "What do they see in me? I don't look THAT pretty."

 

The thing is, growing up, I was an ugly kid. I mean, at least I felt really ugly. In high school I had A TON of acne. I still have a little bit of acne, but my face has probably cleared up by 90%. I never felt really pretty or attractive until I started plucking my eyebrows and putting on a little make-up. I've always felt unpretty.

 

The thing is, my boyfriend keeps telling me I look beautiful or I'm so cute or I'm so pretty, but I feel uncomfortable being called that. Obviously, we've slept together and I had to take my make-up off. Then he goes, "Oh wait, I've never seen you without make-up on...let me look" and then he did, and he told me, "You look beautiful, babe. Without make-up. I like it better...wait, let me take that back...you look good with make-up, I like that, but I like you without make-up too. And then I felt so beautiful, because underneath it all, he still thinks I'm beautiful. But at the same time, I doubt it and I feel like he's just saying that.

 

I don't know if I can take the ugly girl inside me...has anyone felt this way?

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Some of the most attractive people in the whole world think they are not all that. Then you have these people on TV shows that think they are and for the life of me I don't know what mirror they are looking in!

 

There is pretty (outside) good person (inside) and then there is beautiful (both combined) I bet your bf thinks he isn't all that handsome but you think he is gorgeous. We all do it. Make up or not when a man loves a women he sees only beauty when he looks at her........

 

lost

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Confidence is beautiful. Just take their compliments and say thank you. Of course they think you're beautiful. You're his girlfriend. He's with you. Why would he be just saying that? When people compliment me I smile and say thanks. That's all. after calling someone beautiful, no one wants to hear "Thanks, but I feel ugly today."

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you have low self-esteem.

ask yourself what would happen if you actually decided to think 'they are telling the truth' instead of doubting it.

my psycologist called it the 'critic'

in a few sessions i was able to kick the critics butt out of my mind and now i am able to absorb and accept compliments instead of saying 'they are just saying that to make me feel better' or 'they dont mean that'

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With you 100%

 

I was at a Hallowe'en party recently and the place was filled with women with hot bodies in sexy costumes. I am at the high end of normal sizes, sometimes plus size to give you an idea (I need to lose about 50 lbs), This blonde twiggy type came up to me and said "I remember you- you're the classic beauty" The last time I saw her, she went on this thing about how I was a "classic" beauty, "Like the ancient sculptures you see from Italy or Greece". She started pulling others aside to ask their agreement. It was surreal....To be honest, I think she was just a really nice girl who took pity on me, recognizing that I didn't look "hot" like the rest of them and wanted to make me feel less "different". But it was a total backfire. I was embarrassed by the whole scene. All I could say was "well, I DO have a Roman nose, I'll give you that...."

 

I have always been the plain one. My sister was the beauty, I was the brains. But you know what? I'm actually ok with that. Sure, I'd love to be the hotty, but I have friends who are, and personally, it's always a lot less complicated when you know people are interested in you because of who you are, not just because you are "hot"

 

But most importantly. I have learned that I like WHO I am, what my values are and what I contribute to the lives of others. So I accept my average looks, I am grateful that I have not had to deal with disfigurement, and just try to be the best "me" I can be. Plus there's the added benefit of not having to worry about keeping my "beauty" as I age...Can't keep what you never had....

 

DH tells me I am beautiful, and I never believe him fully. However, I think he is looking at the WHOLE me, not just my face and my butt- he sees a beautiful person...and that's more flattering and real to me. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and your boyfriend finds you beautiful- accept it- I am sure it is true to him at least....

 

But yeah- I never believe it and I find it weird when others compliment my looks. But hey- at a minimum it means they like be enought to try to find something nice to say...

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So what? Either way, whether you're pretty or not pretty, you shouldn't define your self worth by what others think of you. And pretty is in the eye of the beholder, so you will be pretty to some and not others.

 

Given that you will spend more than half your life as an older person where looks are fading and you won't get any attention at all based on looks, i wouldn't dwell on this kind of thing too much... work instead on learning to develop other parts of yourself and character rather than worrying about/focusing on looks and whether you may or may not have them.

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"Erm... just believe them. Why would strangers come up to tell you if you weren't. Just accept it. "

 

 

Well- because some strangers in this world are still nice people who believe in finding something nice to say to someone who looks uncomfortable in their own skin....

 

I can appreciate their efforts without believing it...

 

Personally, I find it inspiring that such people continue to exist.....

 

Besides, "pretty" is only one way to measure a person, and IMO in NO way is it the most important. The real truth is we cannot all be supermodels. I'm ok with being plain- it is what it is...I have other strengths.....

 

I'm more of a "Dove-Campaign for real beauty" beauty, I guess.......

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This is always one of the saddest things I have ever heard. My last 2 girlfriends were absolutely gorgeous, but they certainly didn't think so. The most recent one was anorexic, and she was basically a younger looking Jessica Biel. Most people who have not experienced the feelings that you have will simply not be able to relate. But it is understandable, at least the reasons for you feeling this way are understandable, the only thing is that it is NOT because you are not pretty. Of course this stuff is insanely complex and it self image is hard to pin down. I am sure that you realize that this sort of thinking is COMPLETELY irrational, but I understand that we cannot always control our emotions or self image. I feel like that understanding is a good thing. One can take a rational look at things and try to separate yourself from the negative emotions that you have anchored to your own self beauty. The cold hard truth is that people don't get random strangers tell them they are good looking or stare at them in that way unless its their wedding day.

 

Just to give some perspective: when I would tell my ex how beautiful I thought she was and she didn't believe me, it REALLY hurt my feelings. I wouldn't punish her or get upset or anything because I knew that would just make things worse and that the real issue was her self image. But it felt like she didn't trust me. Even worse was that my compliments didn't seem to add to her happiness or self image, which made it seem like my opinion really didn't matter to her. It was like, who cares what everyone thinks, I'm your boyfriend, why do all of their opinions come before mine. Granted I would never express this because that is really not the issue, but I tell you this in hope that you can understand what the reality of things are. It really doesn't make any sense to assume that people are lying to you to make you feel better when they really have no reason to do so. It would be nice to think that people felt that they had to compliment every girl that looked like she put some effort into looking nice that she was beautiful, but usually people that you dont know will have a motive besides random kindness! To be horribly insensitive and non pc.. If you could spend a year in a bad looking persons shoes I think you would notice the difference.

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Yeah, I pretty much agree with BeStrongBeHappy.

 

In the scheme of things, how important is this stuff? Not very. At times in my life, I've had people seem to flock to let me know how attractive they have found me. At other times, not so much!

 

At some point, I don't know, I just realized that the one in control of how I see myself is ME. You get the choice - every day - to see yourself the way you want or the way that is dictated by others and/or doubts about whether you actually make the 'grade' so speak as far as attractiveness.

 

But it really comes down to you. If you don't feel or believe you are pretty, no one can convince you otherwise. You have to decide for yourself. Funny thing is; it's often found (that feeling of feeling beautiful and believing it) by not focusing on the outside stuff - think of times you've felt most beautiful. What was going on?

 

Have I had times where I don't feel very pretty? For sure. Yes. And other times I feel like a million bucks and gorgeous. It changes a lot though there is a constant in me now (that wasn't there before when I was say 18) that regardless of it : it's pretty small beans.

 

I'm not saying that it isn't important, because having a healthy image of oneself is important and if it isn't there - it can cause a lot of trouble.

 

But one of my favorite ways of getting myself out of those funky "god, I feel ugly" moods or doubts is just thinking of this worry in the bigger context of things.

 

Every single day on this planet, folks are dealing with tragedies and huge amounts of suffering.

 

My thinking is sort of "Out of all the suffering I'll probably have to go through in this life, and that surrounds me looking for some help and relief, is this an issue worth suffering over?" . Not really. It comes down to that sort of decision, as simple as it sounds.

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Yeah, I pretty much agree with BeStrongBeHappy.

 

In the scheme of things, how important is this stuff? Not very.

.....

Every single day on this planet, folks are dealing with tragedies and huge amounts of suffering.

 

My thinking is sort of "Out of all the suffering I'll probably have to go through in this life, and that surrounds me looking for some help and relief, is this an issue worth suffering over?" . Not really. It comes down to that sort of decision, as simple as it sounds.

 

 

I couldn't agree more. We can't be everything, have everything, do everything. So I choose to accept this isn't my area of strength and not dwell on it. I don't think I am insecure, I'm just a realist. It is, what it is.....

 

To me being happy is about wanting/liking what I have/am, not having/getting what I think I want....Otherwise, I'd just be chasing rainbows and getting depressed that my life isn't perfect....

 

It's not, but it's pretty darn good......

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Again, so what if it matters? You can't change how you look short of extensive plastic surgery and that certainly isn't something most people can afford or want to do unless it is a job related necessity (like actresses or models perhaps).

 

There will always be someone more attractive than you in this world, and always some less attractive than you. And what is considered beautiful varies accross time and cultures.

 

So why are you even wasting your time worrying about this? You cross the high side of 35, and if you're not over this need to be considered 'pretty', you're going to be miserable for the rest of your life as you watch your looks fade.

 

And worrying about looks is the privilege of the pampered really. There are so many other concerns in life like feeding and housing oneself, developing a career, taking care of family and friends, that if you spend a lot of time worrying about this, it means you don't have enough to do in your life to become like Narcissus staring at himself in a pool of water all day. Worrying that you aren't pretty enough is really a narcissistic concern, whether you know it or not.

 

How about you start worrying whether you are kind enough? or happy enough? or contributing to society? or developing your career? or taking care of your family/friends well enough?

 

Don't let the Hollywood culture turn you into a narcissist who sits around thinking it is good to worry about your looks. It really isn't a good thing, and if you are healthy and otherwise productive and have people in your life who care about you, you are doing fine, and how you look relative to others is really a non-issue, and shouldn't be.

 

Believing you are prettier than everyone else won't contribute to any lasting happiness or achievement on your part. It's really a silly quest to be honest... find something better to strive for than that.

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