Beauty and Fashion

Should I Care About My Beauty or Lack Thereof?

“You shouldn’t care what guys think.” It is the proportion of caring that matters. I hate being told falsehoods to comfort. It’s dismissive of my feelings and reality and can actually reinforce the perception or opinion since it makes me feel that since they dismiss my opinion they can’t actually answer my opinion, that what I feel is fact, true. Oh, and that is not just for the subject of beauty.

“Beauty is unimportant.” It certainly isn’t the most important thing, but to say it is unimportant, to imply that it doesn’t matter is deliberate falsehood. It does matter, in a perfect world, we would all be good and beautiful. All senses are important, to dismiss it thus dishonestly is to try to aim for some sort of haphazard, inconsistent ascetism.

“Beauty is subjective.” Yes and no. There are different tastes yes, but there is also some consensus on it as well. I think certain societies (ours, Panem in reality, thanks to Hollywood, and, I’m afraid porn and plastic surgery and botox all the innumerable things you can do to alter your face and figure) cement certain narrow and unrealistic standards and expectations more than others. But they can’t make everyone love the same things always, I’m realizing it is more subjective than I had formerly believed (feared?).

I mentioned earlier about discounting what older relatives and friends said in positive praise of beauty. I would generally measure my place in an scale of beauty by two means. The first would be the obvious one of attention from the opposite sex. Particularly of the sort where a guy would go out of his way to give it.

I feel that I’ve only received such attention that someone below average would receive. I do have a hostile air and expression, but I would think combined with real prettiness not even beauty men would not be put off by this manner and expression, and perhaps really prettiness (or perhaps only real beauty could achieve this) couldn’t truly look as hostile as I can? But then, perhaps the Barbie style is more expected here.

My second standard is my own, if I see it, if I match what I think is beautiful. I think a lot of people might also mention society and societal standards generally. I think I use this as a source of measurement, but I don’t think it is the whole of this. I think I see many things and need to be satisfied within myself whether this or that meets my standard. I think when I have a high standard it is hard to fail to notice when I don’t even meet an average standard. And I don’t think this is insecurity, certainly I have that, but I’m talking about assessing.

I think I’ve lived with this assessment and comprehension of what guys think for long enough that it doesn’t hurt as much as it did (combined with learning maybe beauty isn’t as objective as I’d thought), I’ve not achieved confidence exactly, more resignation, but yet, I’m less insecure. I’ve always HATED the thought of undergoing surgery and such like to achieve a false beauty. And learning all the little things many women do change, I find it enraging, it DOES hurt those of us who don’t, it does raise the standard of beauty falsely.

I want to be both myself and beautiful, and if that is not to be, then I want to be myself.


  • Marian

    Oof, it’s a tough topic… Honestly, I don’t get beauty “standards,” and I’m downright sick of what guys think. I’ve been told I’m attractive by many (and chased by a few, too), but it doesn’t make me any happier. I was rejected by the one guy I especially cared about. TMI probably… 😆 but yeah, that’s been my experience.

    I love what you ended with – if nothing else, just be yourself and what makes you feel confident and happy. Styles and other people’s opinions come and go.

    • Rachel Olivia

      I think I feel the want to feel generally pretty and confident and then specifically pretty to any guy I’m interested in, like that is the extra part. Like I don’t think just the latter would be enough. I guess I’d want to be satisfied with myself and have others generally so as well? It just feels like there can be an extreme of only caring about what other people think and then the other side is the extreme (which often in many areas I just default to) of acting like I’m a lone island and what others/society/etc. says doesn’t matter.

  • Catherine@basedonthebook

    I definitely get the thing of being told I’m pretty from family/friends but not getting attention in the real world – I think it’s the same for loads of us. haha probably best not to overthink it and take them at their word! To be fair, I know I always fancy men who are unconventionally attractive or funny looking over Love Island/model types anyway, so I like to think it is all subjective. And like you say, there’s no point looking good if you don’t look like yourself.

    • Rachel Olivia

      Yes, it probably is pretty common, it can just feel a little, I don’t know, like false promises, when so many adults tell young girls they are beautiful.

      I’m all over the place with men I find attractive, I don’t have a type so much as some non-types that I “know” I don’t like because I’m pretty sure I’ve found men (well in movies) of all types, races, ethnicities, whatever attractive, and it doesn’t always end up only/mainly being about looks. It can sometimes feel that men aren’t that way, that they are first and foremost about physical they only like Barbie/model types or the delicate porcelain pixie types . . . and I ain’t either of those.

  • Carissa H

    Beauty standards are such a strange thing, but you’re right, it is absurd for someone to assume that beauty doesn’t actually matter, because it does. People are attracted to or repelled by others based on physical appearance first. At this point I care less about it than I did. If I dress nicely and wear a nice amount of makeup and have my hair done in my own preferred style than I feel more confident, whether others reference my appearance or not. If someone is attracted to me or not doesn’t truly matter at that point, so long as I feel attractive to myself. That makes all the difference.

    What I know I dislike in men is the scruffy look. I’ve been watching Japanese dramas for so long now that I appreciate how their overall male population is clean-cut and tidy in appearance. They make an effort to not be scruffy. When I look out my apartment window and see guys in shorts and sandals and manbuns and beards shuffling along, it’s very disappointing. If that’s what’s out there to be gotten in my city, then it ain’t worth gettin’.

    The standard of beauty definitely goes both ways. It might be unfair to men that I’m repulsed by their lack of tidiness and care in their own appearance, but unfortunately, it’s true. And just like men won’t settle for someone they’re not attracted to, neither should women have to settle.

    • Rachel Olivia

      That is about where I am at with regards to myself too.

      I like cleanliness in man which is something some of them seem to have an issue with, but as far as the others aspects of scruffy, I like a man who can pull off a hoodie and in the appropriate situation, a suit.

      And yes, we shouldn’t have to settle either! Its crazy how much people think a man’s looks shouldn’t matter at all to a woman while the other way around . . . yeah. If I’m supposed to be fit and pretty (with higher standards on me) then he should look fit and handsome (to me anyway).

  • Elizabeth

    It’s so true though. We all know some things aren’t realistic but it doesn’t mean we don’t still kind of want it.
    Although sometimes it’s fun to look terrible, but in a controlled way, like if my hair is clean and my teeth are brushed I’m happy but if my hair is greasy I feel like death.

    • Rachel Olivia

      Yes, greasy hair is the worst. Feeling clean is the first step then if I have to dress up it feels less of a chore not that I’ve got a quick makeup and hair routine and capsule wardrobe together. It took me awhile to get to this point.

  • Skye

    Beauty Standards are ridiculous and men’s opinions are worse. I like just holding myself to my own standards, even if I don’t perceive myself as beautiful someone else might.

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