The Dark Side Of Attractiveness
I was reading a post by Thought Catalog [click here to read it] about how life changes when you get more attractive, and it really got me thinking about my own life.
This is hard for me to write without sounding shallow, but I want to try. I’ve been typing this over and over trying to find the right way to say it, and I hate that I’ve been tip-toeing around the subject. So here’s what I’ve experienced. I’d love to hear other people’s stories.
Growing up, I hated myself. I wasn’t overweight or anything, just extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. I had frizzy, curly hair and braces. I never thought much about my body until I was about 11 and a friend told me that I had kind of a big butt. I’ve never been able to get past the insecurity that comment has caused me. A decade later and I still remember. I work out, I’m in pretty good shape, and I now do pole dancing. It makes me feel sexy and strong in ways that nothing else ever has.
And yet… despite my boyfriend telling me how much he loves my body, especially my butt for some reason, and despite being confident enough to be a pole dancer, I still hate myself some days. I look at the bump on my lower abdomen that pretty much every woman has, or I’ll look at my backside in the mirror, and I remember that comment that was made when I was a kid. I feel like no matter what, I’ll never be good enough.
If you look at the picture on the home page of my blog, you might say “she’s pretty”. I’ve heard it before. And no, I’m not fishing for compliments. I get hit on by guys every once in a while, and it serves as a reminder that people don’t see the awkward, insecure teenager that I was. I once had a guy change the oil in my car for free because I was out in the parking lot failing to put oil in my car myself. It was nice of him to do, but even when it happened I was wondering if he would have helped me if I was 30 pounds heavier or hadn’t straightened my hair that day. I’ve had men buy me drinks or try really hard to be my friend when I knew exactly what they wanted. But when you tell a new acquaintance that you don’t really want to “be their new friend”, you come off as a bitch and they turn on you very quickly, feigning it was truly only friendship they wanted all along.
Is life easier if you’re attractive? Maybe. Men certainly treat women better if they’re attractive, and are more willing to help you. Sometimes you get the pleasure of watching people make an ass of themselves when they’re trying to act normal. Like the guy at the coffee shop who accidentally threw cups everywhere. Or the guy at the electronics store who threw a heavy box across the room to kill a spider. His friends were as embarrassed as I was for his impromptu display of strength.
You might not realize this, but although men treat attractive women better, other women treat attractive women much worse. They assume you’re either a complete fake, or that you’re somehow trying to take something they have. Attractive women are less likely to be hired by other women, possibly because they’re seen as some sort of threat. I’ve seen girls talk behind the backs of girls they don’t even know. And I’ll admit, I’m very critical of other women as well. I don’t know why, but I just can’t help it. I keep the comments to myself, however, because I like to think I’m classier than that.
You never “outgrow” who you used to be. If you have a dark past, it will haunt you for the rest of your life. Even now, I don’t have many female friends because I know how catty and awful women can be. There’s a lot of really great ladies out there, but it’s hard to trust that someone is really just nice when you’ve been hurt by someone you called your best friend.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that life isn’t actually easier if you’re attractive, it’s just different. You’re presented with a new set of problems. Most of which are problems you’ve created for yourself by how you view the world, yourself, and everyone else.