How does an unattractive female find value in herself and find a place in this world?
I've written about this before briefly and thought I had dealt with it but I have not. Today the same thing happened to me again as it has done since I was maybe 10 years old: I walk past two guys together who look me up and down to decide whether or not they think I am attractive then one says to the other 'she's ugly'. Loud enough for me to hear. The other one laughs. As a result, I just feel hurt and unfortunately end up crying (even though I try not to). I just do not know how to deal with this. It sounds stupid to be affected by it but it's not a one off occurrence and there is this constant social pressure I feel telling me that I am supposed to be attractive. When this happens I feel really low, rejected and lonely. I go into a kind of 'depression' for days where I don't want to eat, I don't want to work on my goals, I don't want to do anything with my life. In fact, I don't really want to live. I am affected by the fact that they feel the need to tell me how they feel about my appearance and they feel that because I am not attractive I have no value and deserve no respect. I've had adult men insult me and teenage boys. It's not only outward abuse in the street but also coldness by guys serving me (when they are extra nice to others) or by guys who try to avoid me because they do not want their friends to think they are with 'an ugly girl' or they don’t want to ‘lead me on’. I have had guys tell their friends (the ones who have liked me in the past) not to go out with me because they 'could do better’. I have been told I am not pretty enough etc. Usually the thing to 'lift' me out of this is if a man shows a positive reaction to how I look or a smile - some kind of warmth towards me. I feel ok for a while then I get another comment.
I want to be able to pick myself up without having male approval or even to not have to pick myself up in the first place because I am not affected by it. I feel so ashamed of my face and I hate to see groups of boys together because I know exactly what they will say to me or about me. I usually hide my face in some way when I pass them or look another way. Every time I see a group of boys I want to cross the street. I constantly feel rejected (as an example I look at every guy I pass in the street just to see if he's looking at me or not - it's usually 'not' and I feel really bad about myself). I want to feel strong, valuable and as if I have as much right to life as these cocky boys do but in situations like this, I just don't. Today I tried to tell myself 'it's not personal: to them you're just a face, an object as is anyone they pass on the street' but I was still hurt. I have accepted the fact that this is going to occur throughout my life so I need a strategy for self-protection.
I guess my questions are:
.If you were insulted in the street on a semi-regular basis, how would you deal with this? How would you for example, still feel valuable as a person? How do you not go home and cry like a child (which is sadly what I do)?
.Would you 'accept' that you are generally not attractive or would you try to make yourself 'hot'? I have tried putting make-up on (eyeliner) and heels etc. but it doesn't do much.
.I have had the odd day (not any more) where guys have checked me out. The way I feel when that happens is I feel really valuable, uplifted and worthy but above all I feel 'safe'. I feel that I am 'ok'. How do I feel that way regardless of how much approval I receive?
.Do I just only hang around with girls for the rest of my life? Do I shut out guys/the mainstream completely? How?
I really want to be strong about this. I've seen some PUA stuff with coaches giving guys pep-talks and building confidence in them. I might need
something like that. I need some confidence and self belief. I think i'm confident and then this happens and I fall to pieces.
What features do you feel make you most unattractive? It's not always the case, but a lot of the time they're in your power to change (i.e. losing 100 lbs).
With more detail, I'll be able to give you better advice. :)
The thing is, I actually don't feel I am unattractive myself. I would say I have an 'awkward' nose but I think for the most part, I am just plain. I am cute when I smile but that's it, really. I'm not fat, no. In fact I have a friend who is and she's adored by men but she is facially beautiful.
You actually might have a very distorted perception of your looks.
Is there any possibility for you to post a picture or two of yourself here?
This way you could get some objective feedback, because it's most likely that you simply have this idea that you're ugly and then you interpret everything through that lense :)
I also think you can post few pictures here and then delete them, because I believe you have 24 hours to edit a post in any way you want (correct me mods if I'm wrong).
I believe the main problem is that you consider yourself to be unattractive.
I believe that you're familiar with the concept of the Law of Attraction, which states that like attracts like. When you have such a strong belief that you're unattractive, you're broadcasting a very strong vibe "I'm unattractive". Your physical reality always matches your dominant vibe by bringing you the situations and people who reflect it. Therefore, when you believe so strongly that you're unattractive, you look at the mirror and see yourself as such, you meet all kinds of jerks who call you ugly and men don't seem to notice you. This only reinforces your belief that you're unattractive aka strengthens the "I'm unattractive" vibe you're broadcasting, which results in even more jerks and even less positive attention from men. It's not an "objective reality" though: you've created a monster that is torturing you yourself. I suggest you to start reading as much as you can on LoA: you can go to Deliberate Receiving.com and download the free e-book/audio book, it's really nice and LoA is explained in a way that makes sense as promised. Then, watch motive "The Secret". Then, read Abraham-Hicks books. Once you get the way LoA works, you'll realize that you have created these unpleasant experiences with all the "I'm unattractive" thoughts. The good thing is that once you understand the Law of Attraction, you can start consciously creating your reality, which is awesome :)
Also, even from a simple psychological perspective, events by themselves are meaningless, it's our interpretation of the events that makes them positive or negative. When you're so convinced that you're unattractive, you will see proof for that everywhere simply because you'll interpret an event this way. You walk down the street, guys aren't looking at you, you think "I'm so ugly that they won't even look at me!", then a supermodel walks down the street, guys aren't looking at her, she thinks "I'm so pretty that men are intimidated by my beauty!". It's the exactly same situation, yet interpretations of it are direct opposites because the beliefs of you and a supermodel are direct opposite. How do you know that those guys that won't look at you aren't drooling over your ass once you walk past them? You don't.
It's up to you to choose whether you believe you're beautiful or ugly. It might seem that there are subjective measures, but really it's all in your head. There are fat girls who think they're the **** and guys are chasing them and there are girls who would fit the conventional concept of beauty but they think they're ugly and guys don't seem to notice them. Think about, if there's really no objective reality and you can choose whether you think that you're ugly or you think that you're pretty, well, what do you want to choose? I can tell you that life is much more fun when you think that you're pretty ;)
In reality, there will always be people who think that there's something wrong with you. There will be people who think that you're either too fin or too fat, that your boobs are either too small or too big, that your hair is too long or too short, etc. They have a right to have their personal opinions. You have a right to ignore them.
Think about it: even Hollywood stars who are voted as the sexiest people on Earth are not attractive to everyone. I bet that there are a lot of people who think that Jessica Alba is ugly. I certainly know that there are people who think that Nicole Sherzinger from Pussycat Dolls is ugly: one of my friends thinks exactly that and another friend refers to her as "that vulgar gipsy". Even people who perfectly fit into the common concept of attractive are not attractive to everyone. Why? Mainly because it's impossible to please everyone and the sooner you realize that, the better.
Also, c'mon, it's very difficult for a woman who wants to be attractive remain unattractive. I mean, get in shape, get nice clothes, get a nice haircut, get a tan, whiten your teeth, etc. I have a strong belief that all women are beautiful, it's simply that the beauty is either in them as unexpressed potential or expressed potential.
Someone asked you why you think you're unattractive, your vague answer simply shows that you don't really know yourself. Try it, describe to us why you think you're unattractive. There are very few things that can't be improved nowadays :)
Also, c'mon, you're saying that you have an awkward nose, you know, Penelope Cruz have a very strange nose. She's also hot as a stove! There are a lot of people who are considered to be very attractive worldwide although their faces are not typical "Hollywood Barbie/Hollywood Ken" faces.
HeartfulColourful, first of all, I am so sorry that people have been so cruel to you. There is really no excuse for ever doing that to anybody. EVER.
This is going to sound like a platitude, but it is totally true: the things that complete strangers say to you are NEVER about you. They are ALWAYS about them.
And another thing: there is absolutely no law, it is written objectively nowhere, that your worth hinges solely upon how f***able random men consider you to be. I think almost every woman has struggled with feeling as though it is imperative for her to be able to produce a sexual response in any given man she passes on the street. It is not. It's not even important.
And another: I'm going to edit a quote from John Green here, and I don't think he'd mind because he seems like a really cool dude: the Venn diagram of men who call you ugly and men you do not want to date is a circle.
So now that all that is out of the way... on to your questions.
Here's another thought, though. I think I largely escaped the body-obsession that many girls had as teenagers because I was a ballet dancer. I never wanted to be professional, so I didn't have the "I must be super thin" thing that a lot of ballet dancers develop. I just had the "I can train my body to do really cool things" thing. I didn't think I was pretty. I wore unfortunate glasses and had unfortunate hair and only a couple boys ever liked me. But I felt like I could do beautiful things -- like my body could move in a way that was beautiful. Even though I was too heavy overall and my breasts were too big and I was too short and I just wasn't good enough to ever be a professional ballerina, I could still do something lovely that most people couldn't do. Have you thought about taking up dancing or sports or something that would make you feel like you're more than just something to look at?
What Agota says is spot on. I used to be like you - thought I was ugly and no one could possibly want me. It was my own perception. At this point in my life I am still 35 pounds over weight. I can tell you when I was 50 pounds overweight I'd see guys kind of look my way but pretend they were looking at something else as soon as they'd see my body it was like "oops she's fat - lets ignore her " And I would be hurt and upset.
I think just working on myself ane acknowledging my feelings and accepting myself as I am helped me to care less what men think. Now that I am down 15 pounds I get more attention from guys but there are still guys that I know find me too fat. I just pass them by.
I think you are putting too much of your value on how other people see you. If a guy seems to respond positively - you have a good day. If they respond negatively - you have a bad day. Don't let other people have so much power over you.
Next time you overhear someone say "she's ugly" I'd go right up to them and say "what did you say? I'm ugly? How rude!" They'd probably be totally embarassed.
Western society is looks-based, but I think that nobody needs dating/relationships to be contented in life. Secondly, find a passion, something you enjoy doing and can do well. This may get your mind off of feeling unattractive.
Lastly, I don't believe you're truly confident, since if so you wouldn't care a jot what these people say and think. You perhaps need to work on filtering out what people say, and perhaps not seek validation from others as much. True confidence comes from ourselves, ultimately.
Celibate people get by without relationships, as do nuns. To say then that having romance is required is not absolutely true.
I think it varies. I think Islamic and African societies aren't looks obsessed. Islamic society is very desexualized and women have to cover up. Latin societies are worse when it comes to looks-obsession and sexualization of girls.
HC, this is horrible news. I feel very bad for you. I don't know what to tell you, other than to foster gratitude because it could be a lot worse. When I was auditioning for a club, I worried about my looks, so I put it in perspective by comparing myself to women in wheelchairs and 80 year old women and obese women who don't stand a chance. It made me feel more at ease and I was able to land a gig and now I like my body.
It would be helpful to see what you look like to see if makeup would do the trick. But that's no excuse for people making mean and hurtful comments. Makeup is for you to feel good about yourself and get into touch with your feminie side. It's not to attract guys.
You've internalized the idea that you're unattractive. How do you know? Different guys have different tastes.
This audio might help you to get some perspective:
What if you're a lot more beautiful than you think you are?
Whilst this is a tangent from the OP's points, sex is not as promoted in everyday culture in most societies in the world (bar the West). I moved over from the UK several years ago, and I've noticed the difference in my new country. Little sex in advertising, not as risque media outlets, etc. Most societies in the world are conservative in form.
If I can make a suggestion, maybe you could try going to a local night dance club with a good girl friend?
Usually, places like these (bars/dance clubs) are overcrowded with guys, and their number one goal is to meet a girl for the night. Most of them are very desperate and they'll settle with just about any girl that accepts them.
Although you may not find any long term relationships in these places, I find it's a great way to raise your self-confidence, at least for the time being.
Just make sure you don't go along, act flirty/fun, and get tipsy! (between drunk and sober)
So if you want to stop feeling unattractive, you must stop seeking the approval of men, which means not seeking the good feelings you get from approval. In order to be free of feeling rejected, you must also give up feeling 'safe' and valuable. That's the only way to find some new way to be that doesn't involve the acceptance of men.
Let's say you notice that a guy looks at you.
If your immidiate reaction is that you relax and a smile appears on your face the reaction is attractive.
If your immidiate reaction is negative than you will appear unattractive.
It's really amazing how much other people simply mirror your own emotional state when you start interacting with them.
thanks so much for the comments. I really appreciate the time you've taken to respond.
I wouldn't feel comfortable posting a pic. I think it also detracts from what I feel I need which is to devalue external opinions of my appearance. I would love to know how to do that. If 1 million people say 'you're ugly' within a society that says 'your value as a woman depends upon your physical attractiveness' then how do you feel good about yourself? Do you actually try to make yourself 'hot' so you get left alone and others value you or do you devalue popular opinion? 'you're ugly' to me doesn't mean 'I don't like your face', it means 'you have no value'. I don't actually want the men themselves - i want their approval. I think I feel that men with negative opinons of me hold enormous power over me. it comes down to the status they hold and the respect they have from other members of society. I don't have much faith in people and I kind of imagine being 'ganged up on' by everyone. I feel that if a guy says i'm ugly - everyone will think i'm worthless too.
I have accepted that I will deal with obnoxious guys throughout my life but I want to know how to handle this. Do i make their comments meaningless? do i thump them? should i be angry? should i take a more spiritual approach? i want to do whatever would make me feel less pain.
I don't need to feel beautiful. I need to feel valuable regardless of how I look.
The Cloud - yes I completely agree with everything you have said. How do I get out of this game? My need to feel safe is so strong. As an example, when a man looks at me as if he appreciates me, my mood is seriously unnaturally elevated like i'm on a drug. it's not healthy and with any high comes a low. I feel as if I am very addicted to this approval. I cannot imagine an alternative reality within which I do not feel like i am 'seeking approval' nor feel 'safe'.
I feel positive because I feel that deep down I have this enormous strength and if I overcome it, I will really be able to 'own myself' but the question is... how do I get there? any strategies you can offer so that I don't fall apart when it happens? some kind of self-talk? I feel I need to somehow separate the comment 'she's ugly' from the follow-up belief 'I then have no value'.
If you continue to recognize the negative value of those actions and feelings, eventually your brain will start recognizing other things that you didn't know where there before, and you should then be able to make a decision to act differently. So this practice won't make you immediately popular with the boys or with yourself. Your desire for acceptance may be so ingrained that there is no way you can change it in the present, but no action is so ingrained that you cannot recognize it for what it is.
What the cloud said. I would add with when someone makes a comment about your looks - tell yourself. "They must not like themselves very much." or "I feel sorry for them, they must be very unhappy." At first your mind will tell yourself "this is bull* " etc. But keep at it, eventually you will assimilate these thoughts until it comes up naturally.
As for reacting to those comments. It's up to you how you react. The funny thing is when I was feeling poorly about myself I would get a lot of negative reactions. I was too afraid to say anything or do anything except hide. Now that I feel better about myself, I actually have hardly any negative reactions so I never get a chance to practice what I want to do in the situation!
Apart from that, maybe find some really good friends who value you truly as you are. That can do a lot to make the opinions of others unimportant.
Thankyou both TheCloud and Rawxstasy. Both of your comments have been really helpful. So I see this as a spiritual approach then - kind of watching what my mind does and not identifying with it but rather seeing it for the game that it is. Devaluing the 'drug-high' is an interesting approach and makes sense. Self-talk seems like really good advice because on some level I am doing that anyway (although now it's 'subconscious' it happens so fast) but in a way that is not good for me. I will try your suggestions. :).
Andrew Gubb and brutha, I do smile but it's not something people do walking down the street, crossing the street or when they're busy listening to ipods etc. I guess it isn't a bad sign that once guys get to know me, they are interested but it still stands that I would like to rid myself of this need for approval.
The word attractive can also mean, inviting, pleasing, magnetic, engaging. It does not have to be physical.
Do things that you like, that please you, that engage you, and you will be the embodiment of attractive.
Being interested in different things shows that youre focused. Hobbies, etc.. When you have your mind focused, concentrated (as opposed receptive, waiting for others' approval), people will be interested and attracted to you and wonder what you're thinking about.
The secret is to be interested in something because it draws you in and not because you want others to notice you.
You believe that you may be attractive but that you're unattractive in the eyes of men. I agree with you that the issue here is less about your attractiveness than your need for approval/admiration from men. You could look like a model but if you believe you need admiration from men to feel worthwhile, you won't feel happy.
Something that struck me here is that each negative experience is making you retreat into yourself more. What men/teenage boys are picking up on is the way that you feel about yourself. By trying to hide yourself, you're actually making yourself stand out more and it's attracting their attention in ways that you don't like.
If I were in the same position as you, I'd explore why I felt the need for men's approval at all. Do you feel like the reason is clear to you or is there something hidden? If you find the reason, bring it out into the open and deal with it, you may find that it helps.
I like what was suggested about turning around to these boys/men and pointing out the rudeness of their behaviour. People will have a tendency to behave towards others in a way that they feel that they can 'get away with' and will feel puffed up for a few minutes. Exposing them for what they are will tend to deflate these kinds of people.
In terms of changing the way that you look, do what pleases you. If you change your make up and hairstyle and feel that it makes you look more attractive, do it. Don't take the stance that men's opinions won't change anyway so it won't matter.
Also, I've noticed an interesting point which you treat like a side note. You've said that sometimes guys have checked you out and found you attractive. Do you think that every guy who finds you attractive will openly check you out or comment on your appearance? It's doubtful. Some guys fear rejection just as much as you fear not having their approval/admiration.
So it seems to me that you need a two-pronged strategy. You need to work on going out and being fearless so that you're less likely to attract these comments in the first place. In terms of dealing with it when you get home. Cry. Just sit there and cry your heart out. Feel all of the pain, the rage and whatever it is you feel. Decide how long feels right to you to do that. Afterwards, do something that creates the opposite reaction in you. Find the funniest movies or friend you have and be amused and happy.
Don't get so down on yourself nobody ask to come here looking the way we do. We have many options to change our appearance. Sometimes it is not an outer thing but an inner thing. Beauty comes from within. You should try to love yourself more. This will help offset some of the negative comments from others.
Who cares what rude guys have to say? If they are that negative to call you ugly to your face then why feel the need to impress them? They are nobody. At least they should be to you. No matter how ugly you may think you are there is always a guy out there who will be willing to love you. Just continue to find the real you. The Real You! Not a false sense of yourself you created to feel pretty or fit in. Once you find out what you care most about and what you truly feel about yourself you will get through it.
To learn how to find that deeper aspect of yourself you have to learn to quiet the constant negative chatter that goes on in your head due to the treatment you have received over time. This may be the most difficult part of it all. You have to learn how to let go of the negativity that you feel towards yourself.
You can do this by:
.meditation- this will help you quiet that constant chatter that always goes on in your head. It will take some time but stick with it it will pay off. All you have to do is sit quiet somewhere without being disturbed. Close yours eyes if you feel comfortable and just breathe in deep through your nose and slowly exhale. Relax your whole body and just sit there and try not to think about anything. Thoughts will come but just let them don't try to pay attention nor try to ignore them just let them drift off as they come. Do this for 15 minutes everyday for 3 months. If you miss a day don't worry just pick up where you left off.
.When you look in the mirror every day say to yourself, "I Love You"!
Say it everyday with excitement!!! be exicted about it. If you have to scream it just to feel it deep down inside you then scream it to the top of your lungs.
.Affirmations will help you overcome the self-defeat mindset. When you hear a subliminal thought pattern over and over it will help affirm the belief and you will begin to take notice of the changes you will be making towards over coming your problems.
.Self Affirmations is a good way to deal with low self-esteem. I think brain wave technology and affirmation software are the new self-development tools that will help people create a new mind state quicker in the individual.
Instead of chanting it over and over to yourself you have the affirmation fed to you via your computer and since you are on your computer that affirmation is flashing in your in your eyesite and being picked up by the brain quicker. This helps speed up the affirmation's effect on the sub-conciousness. This effect then causes you to become a whole new self-guided person!
I think the Mind Zoom software is the best when it comes to affirmations. If you want to know more check my sig.
I hope I helped in some way If I have come back and let me know. I would love to hear your success story and how you overcame your problems.
If they fire negative remarks at you, that is a reflection of THEM, not you. It shows their character and their lack of love, compassion and consideration for others. It says nothing about YOU.
Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen if others do not approve of me? Will you still be alive? Will you still be breathing? Yes you would! The only thing that's taken away from you is your sense of self. However if that sense of self can be taken away, then it's not a very stable one in the first place. Therefore I would say its a good thing it was taken away from you. Allow that false sense of self to be shattered. Your true identity is that which is beneath every idea or concept of yourself in your mind. It cannot be taken away by others "not approving" of you. When you dwell in that knowingness of who you are, your self-worth and confidence will be unshakable.
The idea is not to change who you are in order to get approval from others. It is to BE who you are, no matter how "unvaluable" society may deem you to be. Because that is just the OPINION of society. It has nothing to do with the truth of who you are.
Perhaps the underlying issue is not about others, but about you not approving of yourself. You set yourself against the standards of the culture that you live in, which has a very narrow definition of a person's worth and value. If you don't look a certain way or have certain things etc, you have no value. Why would you set yourself up against such standards? You will never win, and if you do its only temporary. You will be struggling your entire life to meet these standards and to find value and approval.
Well, the joke is on you. You are already wonderful the way you are, whether or not you realize it at the moment. :)
Sending you lots of love,
Those people who say that about you are worthless, even as they say you are worthless. I mean, as far as you should be concerned. I get men every day hitting on me while I ride my bike down the street... it's this particular part of town I just moved into, there are men who sit there all day every day just hitting on women... it's getting increasingly annoying. These men have no lives, and all they know how to do is bother every woman on the street they find at all attractive. I don't have time for these men and wish they'd stop trying to talk to me. The men who look at you and say you're ugly are these same men.... I don't value them any more for hitting on me. I wish they'd go away!
The people I surround myself by just aren't like that. They'd find that very offensive! You have to associate yourself with the right people. Mature people just aren't like that.
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