I’ve never been convinced that I’m particularly attractive. When Mark says I am, half the time I suspect that he’s just telling me that to make me feel good. That he loves me is obvious, but I’ve never thought he loved me for my looks. I want to think we’re not that shallow, but what person doesn’t want to feel pretty to someone?
This line of thought was introduced by a post over at Angry Ricky’s. I was going to post a long comment about it, and tell him that I didn’t think he was ugly. Well, in a way that didn’t seem like I was drooling over the few pictures that I’ve seen of him, and in a way that didn’t immediately make him think that “I was just trying to be nice”. Instead of a long comment, I decided to look at the issue from my own point of view, regarding myself.
I have so much baggage that I need to deal with sometimes, don’t I? I could spend years on a therapists’s couch, at great expense. However, my only experience of professional therapy was in school when I was sent to a school councillor once a week, and sat sullen because I didn’t want to tell the “sour bitch” anything. After a while it was obvious to everyone that the therapy was leading nowhere, and by that time I also think I was growing enough calluses to be able to handle myself. The wounds of my bullying were becoming scabs, rather than festering stab holes in my soul.
I’ve mentioned the fact that I was bullied before in another post, and I won’t repeat what I said there in this post. You can go read it here if you wish. When I was removed from that environment by my parents, and moved to Sweden, I was a fat little dumpling of about 4.5 ft and 140 pounds that was touching puberty.
I shed a lot of weight by running, because one of the things I am pretty pleased about myself is that once I’ve decided to do something, I do it. I persisted in the torture of forcing myself to run every day, and before long I wasn’t a fat little dumpling anymore.
The reason I forced myself to run was that the new kids in the new school in Sweden didn’t taunt me, and I wanted to reduce the chance for them to find out what a horrible thing I really was. Going into puberty full on, I found that the only thing that seemed to change was my nose and my eyebrows and some other parts of my anatomy. Oh, and I had ACNE. Sweet old ACNE that made my face look like the top of a pizza at times.
As an ironic statement I want to play Julie Andrews here, with her “I feel pretty, oh so pretty”. No. I wasn’t exactly pretty. And I don’t feel so now either, even if Mark does call me a “eminently fuckable entity” at times. He’s so sweet, isn’t he? All charm and honeyed words…
Intellectually I can agree with Mark and think that I don’t look so bad these days. That he wants to be with me, and that it is obvious that he loves me, is sort of providing a layer of self-confidence on top of the old scabs and calluses.
There are less and less occassions when I get that feeling that I must look absolutely hideous. Except when ACNE strikes. I haven’t beat that one yet. It comes and goes, and when it comes about once every three months, I turn into Mr. Pizza-face that wants to hide under the bridge with the rest of the trolls.
What I wanted to tell Ricky in my comment was that objectively, from someone that has never met him, and who only have seen some pictures of him ages ago in some post, he doesn’t look so bad. Notice the use of moderators there, which can be interpreted as “so he doesn’t look beautiful, huh? You must think he’s ugly as fuck, but you’re just trying to be nice”.
That’s how it is when people talk about my looks. When I think about what other people have said about the pictures I’ve had online, and I see the same pattern of thought. When people say I look all right, I immediately think. “They’re being nice.” Which is an equivalent of “they think I’m so hideous, but they don’t say it, because they want to be nice”.
I think the standard attitude of anyone that’s not the alpha male type that gets all the girls (or the boys) is to say proudly that they’re not so shallow as to let looks determine anything. But I suspect that is merely a ward that you hold up so as not to get hurt.
Would I like to be attractive? Sure. I would like to be attractive for Mark, if nothing else. I also suspect that life is a little bit easier for people who are good lookers. They don’t have to work so hard to get a good job, a nice salary, a mate. I’m sorted with the last, but have yet to achieve the other two.
But I also suspect that half of the people, like Ricky and me, who thinks they are butt ugly, aren’t really. But life has thrown some boulders our way. Hell, that seems so presumptuous to say. I’m seventeen. What the hell do I know about life, eh?
When you are convinced that you’re not attractive, and when you think that everyone who disagrees are being nice, then it’s hard to get into a position where you’re confident. Right? It’s sort of like a dissociative disorder, a Donning-Kruger effect in reverse. Instead of being convinced of your superiority even where you’re clearly not, you’re confirmed in your inferiority even when you clearly have nothing to be ashamed of.