Let me tell you a story...When I was like twelve, I was overweight and let's be real, not very attractive. I was kind of nerdy, but I had a sense of wonder and laughter that really attracted some people to me, some people who I still consider my best friends. I was an insecure little girl, but I had a sense of humor and an intelligence that carried me through that time of my life.
Well when I turned like I think it was fourteen, I lost some weight and stopped dressing in baggy clothes and put some make-up on and suddenly I was pretty in the traditional sense. I got unwanted attention from men who were older than me and even a teacher. But I also got the attention from some boys that I wanted attention from.
Truthfully I became egotistical about my looks and felt I was on top of the world in a way. Although I knew I was more than my looks and I didn't know I was more than my looks. My self worth got scarily attached to this new found beauty. I don't have pictures to show you this, because I've always looked horrible in pictures, you are gonna have to trust me on this one.
Then when I turned like sixteen I got a bad case of adolescent acne, probably because I was wearing very unnatural make up and using really unnatural products on my face mixed with excessive hot water, I have extremely sensitive skin and didn't realize I was damaging it.
I suddenly felt my self worth go down the toilet but I still had my writing, and I clung to that, and tried to cling to anything about me that I could find in order to find something to feel worthy about. My sense of fun and my depth kicked in again.
I felt ashamed of my face for a whole year or so. Then after that bout of severe acne, I had a little bit of sensitivity and some zits, but generally I felt OKish about my looks. I had red marks on my skin from the acne which I would cover up with make-up and was very embarrassed about. But from the age of like 17 on I started to feel relatively attractive again, I had gained a little weight but nothing to write home about. But I started to value myself as a person, as a real strong woman.
When I was in college I felt I could really start to be me, but I was a prude at that time when I first entered college. I was shy around guys and didn't dress sexy at all and gained and lost weight again and again. Then farther into my college years I became more comfortable with my looks but never really had a boyfriend because I was uncomfortable around men, I didn't like the way I felt they in some way objectified me. I wanted a guy to like me for me, but I was too shy to show who I really was. Imagine me, too shy. I know. But the thing was my intellectual pursuits and my creative writing pursuits were extremely important to me, my pursuit of the opposite sex confused me.
Then after college I had a boyfriend who loved me loved my body even though I was a little overweight, and loved my face with or without make-up on. He actually loved me. The real me in a way I had never experienced before. He loved my thoughts and my ideas and my writing. He made me feel like I was lovable, but that relationship went down the drain because I didn't love him, and that's the truth.
After college I had some unwanted experiences with men who were older than me, and that's all I have to say about that. I think I became scared of what impact my looks had on men who were bad. I started to get panic attacks. Then I gained some more weight.
I did date and had a couple relationships after that, but I felt uncomfortable with my body. I felt like I was attractive, but not attractive enough. I wasn't comfortable with my body in intimate situations. Then during the course of the last seven years I've gained a significant amount of weight.
You wanna know what's happened to me? I see the way people don't look at me, especially men. I have to be someone, I've got to be my flamboyant and fabulous self in order to get attention from men. I can't just sit and look pretty. I'm not shy anymore. I mean after college I kind of lost that shyness, but I really don't give a shit anymore. I mean I come on the Internet and bear my soul. So much for shyness.
My worth is no longer based on the way that I look. Yeah I know I don't look as physically attractive as I used to. And truthfully it does bother me and I want to do something about it. I've been told I have a pretty face, but in a society like ours it can only get you so far.
It's quite possible that I'm afraid to be attractive because of a few bad experiences that I've had. It's possible I gained this weight due to a difficult life mixed with bad experiences with a couple of men. But it has made me a better person. I swear to god I ain't makin' this up. It's not about having a lesson at the end of a story. I'm actually a better person. I don't have as much of an ego. At some points in my life I thought I was hot shit. I just don't think in that way anymore.
Don't get me wrong, I want to be attractive, more attractive than I am now. But at this point if someone doesn't love me for who I truly am, regardless of my weight, than I'm not in.
I want to feel pretty again, I do. This older married man who I believe sort of had a crush on me in some kind of way recently said to me, "Pretty is as pretty does." He was married, but I appreciate the fact that he appreciated me for who I am.
Don't hate me.