How to think of myself as sexual again?
November 7, 2017 3:54 AM   Subscribe

Me: female, cishet, 43, 15 years divorced and now that the kid is off on her own, I want to try dating again, but I'm scared because I cannot imagine myself having sex, because I am so revolting.

I've been obese most of my life. In my marriage, which was brief and painful, my ex often made remarks about my weight, my looks, and generally how unattractive I was (and how lucky to have him, since "no one else would want you".) Now I'm old and have stretch marks, grey hairs, wrinkles, and, generally, I'm one of those people who internet comments would scream "EYE BLEACH" if they thought of me naked. I have absorbed these opinions and accepted them. Even when I masturbate, I picture other people having sex, not myself, because thinking of myself having sex is a turn-off because I am so hideous.

I went to a therapist last year, but all he wanted to do was to treat my depression, so I'm now on meds for that and my depression is pretty much gone, really, and I left the therapy after the prescription because I couldn't afford it. I enjoy life and doing things, I'm pretty happy most of the time, it's just that thinking of myself as a sexual being seems like thinking of a pig in lipstick. I tried wearing nicer clothes, makeup, getting my hair done, but when I look in the mirror I just see someone hideous who is dressed up like a clown, and not fooling anyone.

I tried going to some online dating sites and a couple of people have messaged me, but they seem more in the "I just want sex" category, which... is hopeful and yet scary. They've seen a picture of me, but the idea that they would actually want to have sex with me seems so impossible I can't even get my brain around it. I think they would be willing to have sex with a garbage bag full of warm jello, and the fact that they are desperate enough to consider me doesn't make me feel any better. I want to have sex again (after 15 years!) but I can't seem to get over the fact that I am a disgusting hippo that no one in their right mind would have sex with.

What do I do???????
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

You could try being kind to yourself. Find whatever words appeal to you, and use those, even when you're just talking to yourself, including silent thoughts. If you catch yourself using size-based putdowns, gently remind yourself that your ex doesn't live here anymore, and try a compliment instead.

Straight-up compliments work: attractive, sexy, hot. And you can add nice ways to talk about size: soft, generous, full.

It will feel fake at first, but keep giving your ex (and frankly all of mainstream "thin is in" society) your middle finger, and keep giving your best and kindest self to yourself.
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 4:45 AM on November 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

I am so furious at your ex I can barely find the words.

Standard mefi advice: It sounds like you're still depressed and the meds aren't quite cutting it. If you can find a way to afford more therapy (some therps have sliding scale fees!), it might help.

Lenny Lemming's answer above is actually a great description of a form of CBT you might find helpful. You're telling yourself that you're unsexy and mocking yourself for it. You want to get into the habit of noticing and disputing these thoughts as they go by. In the absence of a therapist, maybe try the Feeling Good book? It explains this method and has worksheets for figuring out how to approach it.

And just sort of generally - it's okay if you're not your type. You don't have to find yourself attractive in order for other people to find you attractive. Not everyone has the same taste!

And if you're worried that you're dressing wrong for your body, do you have a trusted friend who could help you put together some outfits? Hell, if not, message me and I'd be happy to try to help if you want. We can do this. And then you could stop by Sephora for makeup advice, they often do a decent job explaining what kinds of looks and colors might work for you even if you don't end up buying anything there.
posted by 168 at 4:58 AM on November 7, 2017 [14 favorites]

I would gently suggest that if this is how you view yourself, maybe your depression isn't as thoroughly vanquished as you think that it is, and if there's any way you can afford therapy to address your self-image issues, that might be worth pursuing.

Outside of that, I think that we as a society do a lot to encourage people to publicly disparage their bodies, and it makes it hard to tell when you've developed an unrealistic view of yourself, or unrealistic expectations. And this sounds like it's an unrealistic view of yourself, no doubt helped along by your ex's comments, which were cruel at best and downright abusive at worst.

The array of things that people find sexually enticing is almost infinitely wide and varied. For every person out there who's super into very slim women, there's someone who genuinely loves fat ones. I'm entirely certain that there's a nonzero number of people who think that stretch marks are ridiculously hot. Some people would do anything for someone with huge breasts, or tiny waists, or fat thighs, or pleasingly shaped feet. Different people find different things appealing, which is great news for basically everyone, because literally no one looks like the women in movies and magazines. When you remove the digital reshaping and the airbrushing, not even the women in movies and magazines look like that.

There are people who look like you, right now, who are in fulfilling romantic and/or sexual relationships. The surest way to make sure that you're not one of those people, tho, is to decide that anyone who's attracted to you is desperate and has something wrong with them. Some people will find you attractive because you have the kind of body that they find attractive. Some people will find you attractive because they're drawn to you for other reasons, and your body becomes attractive to them. Some people might think that you have a fantastic personality, and they like your body not because it's oh my god amazing to them, but because it's yours, and they like you. None of these is a less valid or less real form of attraction than the others, and all of them are things that are open to you.

Please try to be kind to yourself. You deserve better than this.
posted by mishafletch at 4:58 AM on November 7, 2017 [26 favorites]

I follow Rashida Khanbey on Instagram. She teaches classes in "reclaiming your sexy". Just the random daily messages of self positivity have helped me enormously. Link
posted by annathea at 5:00 AM on November 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

I think you are still depressed or have something going on that would be improved by therapy.

However - I strongly recommend looking at "fatshion" or fat-positive or blogs and tumblrs. Seeing lots of images of fat women in positive contexts really reset my norms over about a year.

On an anecdotal level: I know a number of fat middle-aged people who date successfully, several to the point of having a pretty substantial range of suitors, and none of them are the "just like a fashion model except a size-18 hourglass" types, either. Honestly, you're going to be dating middle-aged men (your post strongly suggests that you're interested in men), most of whom will either be starting to run paunchy or skinny because that's what happens when most people age. The internet presents you with pictures of women in their early-mid twenties as the default, but this is not the default that you see around you.
posted by Frowner at 5:11 AM on November 7, 2017 [13 favorites]

I'm on a bus so this is shorter than it otherwise would be, but basic things that have helped me when I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to look at, let alone touch, me:

If it can fit in your budget, sign up at a gym that has a slow/restorative/rehab/silver sneakers (gentle pace is the most important, as well as an instructor you like) yoga class and (ideally) a pool and sauna. Schedule yourself to go at least a couple of times a week. Stubbornly take it at your own pace, ignore the scale, and focus on feeling your own body and being undistractedly present in it while you stretch and enjoy the steam. If it's not in your budget, rent/buy some videos of yoga/meditation and do them at home, following with a long shower or bath. If you're like me, you'll feel awkward, unwieldy, and self-conscious at first. It gets better after a month or two.

Get recommendations for good fiction that has female protagonists your age and size who enjoy romance and sex. Build that into your fantasies at bedtime, substituting yourself. It's fine if you can't get off to the idea of yourself and a partner at first, but don't let your mind wander; stop if it does. Don't let someone take your place in your own fantasies. You deserve to be there as much as you deserve, when you are more comfortable, to have a partner who cares for and desires you.

Incidentally, your ex was a piece of shit. He lied to you. A couple of mine did the same. Surprisingly, people continue to be attracted to me; they didn't get the memo. The only person right now who you know agrees with his lies is you. Teach yourself otherwise by learning to enjoy existing in your own skin, as it is.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:47 AM on November 7, 2017 [20 favorites]

I don't think you're hideous, or revolting, or a clown. Those are somebody else's words living in your head.

But you know what? Even if you really were a jiggling trash can of warm jellowy goo – you still deserve a good sex life, with someone who respects you. Jellos gotta bang it out too!

Sex is barely about looks. That's just the first, thinnest level. It's about feeling, sensation, connection, chemistry. Idling through dreams, spinning fantasies, creating. It's a makerspace.

Try this. Next time you masturbate, set out a few items. Handkerchief. Butter knife. Feather. Silk cloth. Coarse bristly brush. Now I want you to find a quiet, sensual time. Wear warm socks. Set the right temperature. Put a glass of water by the bed. Lay out a good album, something slow and raw that builds. Dim the lights and crack a window. Snuggle down deep in your blankets. Get cozy.

Fold the handkerchief over on itself, and put the blindfold on. Tie a flat square knot, snug and secure. Let yourself sink deeper into the mattress. Keep the tools under the blanket, next to you. With you. Now pick up the silk to start. How does it feel in your palm, on your skin? Rub it up and down your arm, trace it over your torso. The side of your neck. Your ribcage. The arch of your hipbone. The creamy insides of your thighs. The strong backs of your calves. Anywhere you want. Feel the texture, the glide, the rhythm. How does it suit you? Do you feel it spark? This is your body, your time, your touch. You deserve to feel exquisite. Listen to the rise and fall of your breath, graze the silk in time with your heartbeat.

When you've tired of silk – or grown eager for more – take another tool. Try the feather. Slowly, gently, all up and down your skin. Everywhere. Nowhere. Any place you like. Now fast, now slow. Right there. Again. Again. First the barest whisper, then the sharpest flick.

Try them all. Any order, any pace. Take your favorites twice. This is your body and you get to set the tone. Your choice.

You see, a good giving lover is feeling you, not watching you. The wonderful sensations you divine as you trace that silk up and down your spine, as you focus on skin and taste and touch? That's what they are feeling too. And anyone who isn't as loving and careful and fine as that feather, or that silk, or the cold risky edge of that butter knife – is not good enough for you.
posted by fritillary at 5:56 AM on November 7, 2017 [14 favorites]

Just want to add to the chorus: feeling like you're disgusting is nothing to do with your body, looks or weight.

There is no relation. This is why anorexic people continue to starve even when skeletal, it's why you will have almost certainly heard people you know, or people in the media, say "ugh I really need to lose weight/my hair is gross today/I wish I was more tan/pale/whatever" when you look at them and think, but you look beautiful.

There is no relation.
If you are (still) depressed, your mind will be telling you there is. But there isn't.

You can be fat, and look incredible. You can be skinny and hate how you look.

So basically, the keys are in your hand. I think the advice on trying CBT is spot on. Once one starts talking to oneself as a friend, and not your worst enemy, things can feel very different. I've done CBT and it's really helped me with this - please memail me if you'd like to. If I can do anything or share anything that will help you get to a place where you can feel beautiful, I would like to do that.
posted by greenish at 5:56 AM on November 7, 2017 [12 favorites]

Just as a data point - an old friend of mine is obese (around 350 pounds), 45 years old, and makes her living as a highly paid escort. Sex appeal does not correspond to what you see in the media and you don't have to judge yourself against its standards.
posted by hazyjane at 5:59 AM on November 7, 2017 [11 favorites]

"Tiny Revolutions," one of Cheryl Strayed's "Dear Sugar" columns, might help.

"You have earned the right to grow." Yes, you have.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:14 AM on November 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'd like to recommend taking this in small steps. You've been hurt and hurt and hurt over the course of many years -- by your ex, by our terrible culture, probably by others in your life too. Given some time and space and gentle care, you will start to heal, but it will take a bit. Resist the urge to push yourself to feel maximally sexy now. Give yourself the gift of time -- that's the first kind thing you can do for yourself.

Next thing: let's take a moment and acknowledge that our culture often teaches that women have no value other than their value as sexual objects. It's false, it's horrible, it's hurtful, and it is everywhere -- every magazine cover, every bit of street harassment, every tv show and movie poster, every dude who feels entitled to put women down. Eventually, after the thousandth time hearing this horrible message, women can start to self-objectify. You got a particularly targeted and virulent dose of this poison from your ex, but it's not just your ex -- if it were, it would have been easier to heal. I'm sure you know this already, but I just want to name it, because this is the poison you are fighting, and it can be helpful to be clear about it. Let's just visualize that objectified "sexy" ideal for a second, as she's been portrayed on many a billboard, and recognize that you've been told to compare yourself to this image and to hate yourself to the extent that you don't conform to it.

So, how can this be combatted? You can intellectally pull it apart by understanding how false and impossible the image is in the first place (for instance). You can also combat it emotionally by seeking out alternate messages and images that are more healthy and real. I want to give you an image that I have sometimes found useful -- it may sound a little weird at first but it has honestly been incredibly helpful.

Think of your body as a faithful, loyal, loving dog -- whatever kind of dog you like (let's say, for instance, a grizzled old border collie). This dog has been with you for your whole life, and it is entirely devoted to you. It has always done its best to do what you ask it to do. Like any dog, it doesn't speak English -- sometimes it understands what you want and sometimes not. But it has done its best to protect you, to carry you, to do what you need done in the world. When you had a kid, this dog did a TON of very difficult and painful work to care for you and your kid. In the hardest times of your life, this dog has been there, helping you to get through it.

Now, this dog is not perfect. It's a little grizzled around the muzzle; sometimes it doesn't obey; maybe it's not as quick as it used to be. Furthermore: this dog has been living in a horribly abusive situation for much of its life, and it definitely shows the symptoms of that. Your ex would shame this dog until it put its tail between its legs and trembled. Even today, it's liable to get kicked by a stranger just walking down the street. Even through all of this, this dog still just wants to serve you and help you and give you comfort. When you look into its eyes, all you see is that pure kind of doggy love that melts your heart.

Do you have that image pretty solidly? Does it speak to you at all? If so, think about what you would need to do for a loving, loyal dog that had been in an abusive situation for most of its life. Would you yell at it and shame it for not looking like a show dog? Or would you gently brush out its coat and murmur kind things to it to let it know it's loved and safe? Would you berate it every time it cringed away from a stranger who kicked it? Or would you defend it fiercely against all the jerks who feel entitled to hurt it? Would you expect it to run and scamper and play like a dog that had never been abused? Or would you gently, patiently nurse it back to health, understanding that it will sometimes be scared and that, most of all, it needs gentleness, patience, and kindness to learn to feel safe again?

On a very concrete level, I'd say to give yourself some time to not have to feel the pressure of being sexy for other people. In that time, re-learn how to be kind to your body. Start with things that have zero "good for you" value -- those things can so often function as ways of self-objectifying. Instead, start with things that are pleasureable, soft, gentle, kind, and totally non-sexual (aka, no pressure on yourself for the moment). Some things you might try:
- Self-massage. Try a back massage stick or just get a little bit of oil and massage out the tension in your own feet. Make a bit of a ritual of it; do it before bed or after you shower every day.
- Get yourself a super soft, plushy blanket that feels lovely on your skin and some tea that you really like. Wrap yourself up and sip your tea -- enjoy the aroma and the warmth of it.
- Get a shampoo at the hair salon -- really enjoy the feeling of it.
- Take a gentle, non-fitnessy walk in a place that you find really beautiful.
- Anything else that pleases one or more of your five senses in a low-pressure, low-stress way.

Another thing you might consider would be to thank your body for the normal, everyday things that it does. Sounds weird, but it can really work. Did you just carry in several bags of groceries? Did you climb up a couple flights of stairs? Did you work for a long day? Take a second to notice what your body (that loyal pup) just did for you. Say out loud: "Thanks, body!" Give it a loving pat.

Start there, with little steps. Be patient and persistent. See if you can get that poor scared dog to feel safer and more secure in the world. If you want some help and support, you might look for another therapist. Consider whether a female therapist would be helpful on this, since she might have some personal experience with and understanding of the poisonous abuse our culture deals out to women. Good luck to you -- and be as kind to yourself as you can.
posted by ourobouros at 6:30 AM on November 7, 2017 [38 favorites]

I came in to say what hazyjane said. One thing I learned long ago from the circles I ran in was that sexy is very very particular to each person, there is a rainbow out there of desire and it's not your job to judge what turns someone else on.

It's your job to love yourself. I promise you that you're attractive, and others will find you attractive, if you can love yourself as you are.

Your self-talk is breaking your heart. I don't find regular therapy very effective for that, tbh, but I think there are plenty of modalities out there that can help and that's a journey for you to go on. Neural Linguistic Programming or NLP, Kundalini Yoga for sure if it's a good teacher, sound baths, mindfulness meditation, FLOAT CENTERS ARE AMAZING, regular massage - thai massage, shiatsu or seitei, acupuncture, getting out into nature every day, my gyn recommended Dr Furhman's book Eat To Live and it really was a game changer for me in terms of how I feel emotionally.... There's a million paths to go down and they're all right for you because just taking action and putting one foot in front of the other is ALL that's required of you.

Does your local YMCA have meditation or Kundalini Yoga? start there. There's a lot of meditation centers and you don't have to join a movement to show up to those.

Oh. Here's a big one.... All over the country there are free 10 day meditation retreats that are serious business- the comedian Drew Carey talks about his experience with it on podcasts and interviews you can google up. Link to Vipassana Meditation info here.

If you just commit to walking through the park (outdoors in nature) 3x per week while listening to talks or podcast interviews from Sharon Salzberg or Wayne Dyer or whoever- that will be enough of a start to begin untangling your damaging self-talk and start transforming your inner dialogue into a force that supports you.

I hope this helps.
posted by jbenben at 7:22 AM on November 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I have absorbed these opinions and accepted them.
Why? I think this is the crux of it. It's time to let this go. It's not serving you anymore.
posted by foxjacket at 8:34 AM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Anonymous person..... I want to hug you and tell you that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You are NOT your ex's horrible, abusive, mind-fucking insults.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your future relationships is to be kind to yourself and learn to love yourself. You want to be in a place where you love yourself and think yourself worthy of love before looking for a new relationship.

I rarely throw out the therapy suggestion, but I think finding a therapist that can help you undo the brainwashing that had led you to believe you are hideous is the best investment you can make.
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 8:50 AM on November 7, 2017

Try to step outside of yourself. How would you advise a friend who came to you in a similar situation?

And chances are the men you are matching with are, like the vast majority of us, similarly wrinkled, etc., and self-conscious about it. Yet you are interested in (at least some of) them. Doesn't that tell you something?
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:02 AM on November 7, 2017

They've seen a picture of me, but the idea that they would actually want to have sex with me seems so impossible I can't even get my brain around it. I think they would be willing to have sex with a garbage bag full of warm jello, and the fact that they are desperate enough to consider me doesn't make me feel any better. I want to have sex again (after 15 years!) but I can't seem to get over the fact that I am a disgusting hippo that no one in their right mind would have sex with.

Short answer: Because sex isn't just about looks. And people calculate the "attractiveness" equation for other people totally differently than they do for their own bodies, because chemistry and personality change what you see when you look at someone.

There is the head-turning "mrrowwrow, that person is a fine physical specimen" kind of sexy, which is fun to drool over (or jerk off to) but...that's not really why most people like having sex with each other. It's not a tiered contest where the most beautiful people all bang each other, the relatively ordinary-looking people must stay in our lane, and then whoever is left deserves to stew in their own shame and beg for scraps of attention.

I don't looooove my middle-aged looking belly and sometimes cringe a little in the mirror, but when my partner puts their hands on me appreciatively, I believe them when they say that I feel good. You don't have to objectively adore every sag and fold on your body to believe that someone is, overall, finding you sexually desirable.

This works out to a nice little feedback loop, where we both feel sexy, so we're not afraid to enthusiastically appreciate each others' bodies, and also trust each other to see our facial expressions and groaning noises--and believe me, I'm not even capable of stopping in the middle of that momentum to think "ugh, hair/cellulite/fat," I don't care a whit, I'm BUSY. I'm not ignoring their physical "imperfections" as a favor, it's just not a very big part of the equation.
posted by desuetude at 10:00 AM on November 7, 2017

I don't know if this is helpful, but there is a whole porn genre for bigger women. Really. "Big Beautiful Women" (BBW) is how it is described. There's a mildly NSFW piece from Cracked about it (nudity but all genitals blurred out). There is probably someone masturbating right now to porn with someone who is your weight, with wrinkles, grey hair and everything, because humans are like that.
posted by Vortisaur at 10:49 AM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

After my divorce it took me a while to learn that sadly, yes there are guys of all ages who think they need a 25 year old super model. However, there are guys in the same boat as you(and me) that want a real woman that they can connect with on all levels, and won't laugh at their saggy bottoms, pendulous scrotums, or beer bellies. Lookit, wear nice clothes that fit(don't look at the size on the label, trust me), stand up straight, act like you have some confidence(even if you don't). Don't forget there's candles and dimmer switches for mood lighting that make things easier in the bedroom!
posted by PJMoore at 11:03 AM on November 7, 2017

The writer Lindy West once recommended Leonard Nimoy's The Full Body Project as something that helped her reconceptualize her self-image as a fat woman.

My struggles with self-image are only tangentially weight-related, but even so I found it very helpful in terms of shaking up my overly rigid ideas about what makes humans attractive. And as a path toward rewriting your body-image narrative, it might have fewer potential pitfalls than looking for porn.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:35 PM on November 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh! I found the This American Life transcript where she talks about it, and does a better job of explaining the impact than I do. :)

It sucks to feel shitty about your body. I'm sorry you're feeling this way and hope some of the advice here helps!
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:38 PM on November 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I suggest working out or getting involved with a physical hobby where you meet other people. Then change your wardrobe and your hair too. Once you have a new image (even if it's one outfit) and people are giving you positive compliments, then you'll have confidence again. Success breeds confidence, so giving yourself a makeover will go a long way, even if nothing fundamental has changed about you.

Source: I suffer with exactly the same issue as you (albeit I'm a man), so your post resonated with me.
posted by GiveUpNed at 2:54 PM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Lots of great advice above. I'm not too keen on the "go to the gym!!!" train because IMO that way lies thin-person-comparison-madness. I see young thin people every time I go out my door, and as a middle-aged fat single woman with depressive tendencies it sucks, it really does. A physical hobby (woodworking? mandolin lessons?) is probably a good idea, if only to expand your friend circle.

Thing #1: I was surprised no one mentioned this already, but this article about being unapologetically fat and having awesome sex with attractive men even in the context of Tinder was very encouraging to me. One of these days my house will be tidy enough to have casual sex in again.

Thing #2: I know a significant number of not-conventionally-attractive women (some fat and odd looking, some just odd looking) with younger or hotter male partners. The distinguishing characteristic about these women is their ambition. They are deeply in love with what they are doing with their lives, and romantic interludes are an afterthought. They weren't looking for a partner to validate their work in the world - their audience (readers, employees, etc.) did that for them. What they were looking for was a close collaborator who was on board with the Great Work. I have a bit of a megalomaniacal streak, so this kind of thinking reassures me. YMMV.
posted by All hands bury the dead at 4:37 PM on November 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

You need to evict your ex husband from your sense of self. Start loving yourself, as you are. Be good to you.
posted by Oyéah at 8:44 PM on November 7, 2017

I would not look at encouragement to go to the gym as a means to weight loss, but more that I think feeling your body do something physical can be very emboldening and make a person feel confident and attractive at any size, and the gym is a safe controlled environment where you can build up your tolerance for physical challenge. Unless you have some other way to engage your muscles and body in a hobby or other endeavor I find that it is incredibly meditative to feel myself able to do things with my muscles that I couldn't do years ago, in my case due to illness. And I promise you anyone at the gym that sees a person of size engaged in exercise thinks of one thing only (assuming they even care at all) and that is "good for them".

In any case, I think everyone struggles with self-confidence, ergo anyone who seems confident in their skin is by default ahead of the game in social settings. There is a lot of truth in the saying "fake it til you make it".

I wish you the best. Don't let this asshole take more good days and years away from you. Life is short.
posted by docpops at 9:09 PM on November 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

You have the chance, now, to be who you are, outside of the context of mother or wife, and that has to be at least as terrifying as it is exciting.

I'm a woman of a similar age and with similar body issues. I don't know how to Fix It. I do know that dating is not impossible, some people will be great and some people will be meh and some people will be godawful. The only ones that should matter are the great ones, but that's easier said than done. I've had periods(years) of greatness and periods(years) where I didn't feel I had the energy to deal with it. What your ex said is not who you are. If you never figured out your own definition of who you are, that's going to take some doing.

I think it might be good to find ways to be present in your body. Maybe that is meditating. Maybe it is yoga. Maybe it is nature walks or dancing. Maybe it is taking a bath or putting on lotion or lifting weights or running your fingers through your hair. Experiment. I know I have spent a great deal of my life mentally disconnected from my body, and when I am reminded of what it can do, what it does for me every day, it helps.

I also love things that show people who are beautiful who are not Beautiful People. Fat people but also old people, queer people, disabled people, people who are culturally different from me. One great source is a series called What's Underneath by StyleLikeU. (Diane Goldie & Brigette Aphrodite are a couple good places to start.) Maybe your beautiful isn't lipstick (or maybe it's blue lipstick). Could be something you've never even thought of yet.
posted by gennessee at 11:23 PM on November 8, 2017

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