Did Madeline Albright and Elena Kagan waste brain energy this way?
July 15, 2010 10:58 AM Subscribe
I'm an accomplished 20-something female who can't seem to get over my average looks. Have searched the archives and spent some time in therapy, but not finding the answers I'm looking for.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (61 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I have been fortunate to have an accomplished and interesting life: graduated from an Ivy, worked at one of the most selective/prestigious companies out there for a few years, spent time abroad, etc etc. I know I have a lot going for me. And yet I can't seem to get over the one area in which I don't excel -- my appearance.
I'm not exactly unattractive. I'm quite thin but still have curves...pretty great body except for being very short (just over 5 feet tall). I also dress well and take care of myself. Given my small size, I'm often referred to as "cute" and given my body I become "hot" when wearing tight/revealing clothes. At the end of the day, though, I'm never beautiful. My features just aren't anything to write home about (large nose, weird mouth, small face, etc.). As a result, I seem to consider nearly everyone I meet to be more attractive (at least facially) than me. I can't seem to get over this fact and I think it is actually driving me crazy.
I have always been very insecure about my looks. In high school, no boys seemed to like me and I began to feel that I was so unattractive that no one would ever be interested in me. In college and since graduating I do get male attention and have dated sporadically including a few longer flings and one serious relationship. I still have a couple of issues though: 1) The level of attention I receive is nothing compared to my very attractive friends and 2) I take this very very personally/seriously. Any type of slight/rejection (anything from someone hitting on my friend instead of me at a bar to someone not calling me back after a date) causes me to get very upset and to always blame my appearance. I spend more nights out than not crying in bar bathrooms.
I know this is completely absurd given a) my other accomplishments and potential for success and b) my understanding of how inane these issues are compared to real troubles out there. It has really become difficult to live with though and only seems to be getting worse as the pressure to find a partner becomes greater. I would really appreciate any and all help in answering the following questions:
1) How do I become more comfortable with my appearance? This to me would involve both seeing myself in a more positive light and also really truly believing and internalizing the idea that my looks are what they are and really don't matter much.
2) How do I stop assuming that there is a direct correlation between my phyiscal appearance and my ability to attract men and therefore find a partner?
3) Should I change the people/places I surround myself with and/or the guys I go for? Most of my friends tend to also be successful professionally and attractive in that good-looking banker/lawyer/consultant kind of way. They also tend to hang out in fancy bars/restaurants where there is a certain see and be-seen vibe. On the one hand I really like a hip vibe but on the other hand I don't like the insecurity that comes with "being seen." Similarly, the guys I've dated have all been quite attractive. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of insecurity on my part. Also, I probably don't date as much as I could if I was able to expand the pool of people I was interested in. It is probably a recipe for disaster for me to go after conventionally-attractive people when I am not really one myself. I really don't know how to change this though. Any advice?
Apologies for this very long description and also if I come off as being a dumb, superficial girl. The reason I am posting an anonymous Metafilter question is precisely because I am embarrassed to admit these concerns to people I actually know. As I said these thoughts are making me a bit crazy though and seem to be getting worse so I really appreciate any help you can provide.