Do you think how you look has helped or hindered you?

  1. I'm not talking about your fashion style, but YOU... YOUR face, body etc.

    I've thought about this quite a bit as I'm a reflective type and I think my look has mostly helped me in life. First, let me start by saying I'm a SUPER modest person and I PERSONALLY don't see anything special in how I look, but until I gained weight, I've been told MANY times that I'm beautiful... a natural beauty - as a child and teen and paired with the fact of, I guess, not knowing it.

    I look back on my younger life now and I see the breaks that I got here and there and they helped me along the way tremendously, but I wonder WHY I got them. Some of it is, FOR SURE is that I'm a hard worker, nice to people, and I'm determined... but there have been MORE breaks too - confidence boosters which I NEEDED since my mom was emotional abusive and basically a detriment to my self worth development.

    Anyway... in 7th grade shortly after moving to a new school, we had a band concert. My Mom was in the audience of parents, and the mom sitting next to her said when I came out on the stage. "Look at that BEAUTIFUL girl. She's just gorgeous." I was 13 - no make-up, no fancy dress, just me. That lady was the mom of a girl I hated in school later, but we didn't know many people yet. That woman was a professional photographer - art photography. After that concert in the newsletter I was named "band member of the year". I was so honored and lots of people were like "WHAT?" She's not THAT good - and I wasn't.. but maybe the band director thought I was pretty too and sweet and lackign confidence in myself?

    Fast forward and each year people here and there would do special things for me - ask me to participate in things. My HS principal and VPs and secretaries of the front office I worked for (I answered phones during lunch for the school) paid for my high school band trip. They knew I had saved my money for it, but they wanted me to use that money for fun and they gathered the $150 amongst themselves to pay for the fee. Again.... I never asked for help, never complained about not having the money... they just wanted to do something nice for me.

    I think even "landing" my DH had to do with being pretty. I have and had other assets of course, but without that???

    It was so weird for me because I didn't like people judging me for how I looked and I always felt not pretty and would feel ULTRA uncomfortable with people telling me I was pretty. To have a college summer roommate say, "M. when you wear makeup, you have the most beautiful face I've ever seen." Or when my sister wanted to try to be a model when a modeling agency came through, I had to tag along because it was around the time I had a solo music performance competition right beforehand. I had NO INTEREST, but my sister thought she was "all that". We go and my sister tests out, but the lady starts asking me questions and wants me to walk for her and such - totally ignoring my sister. I didn't do it - no way!!!

    Now... fast forward to the last 5 years. I'm now 20 years older and quite overweight and I KNOW I didn't get one job partly because of my weight... My "look" lost me a job. I had a fantastic phone interview and I could SEE the lady's face fall when she met me - she was an obvious athlete... I'm not saying I would have gotten the job, but my weight DEFINITELY hindered me.

    So... I look back and I wonder... What if I didn't have a pretty face and nice thick hair? What if, when I was younger, I didn't have a nice figure? Where would I be now? I would LIKE to think just where I am now, but you know what? My gut is telling me that attention was drawn to me initially because I had a nice face and body and then once I got the attention of people, my other qualities "won them over". If I would have been chubby or plain looking as a youth/teen? I don't think I would have gotten that initial attention to win them over completely in other ways - it's what pulled people to me.

    I'm the person who NEVER wanted attention for how I look (still don't) but I have to accept the almost FACT that my look has allowed me to have opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise....

    I'm seeing it with my son too (the 11 year old). he's very handsome and people are just DRAWN to goodlooking people and I don't even think they are aware of it... he just gets picked for things too often to be "random"... it's weird really.

    PLEASE don't think me conceited for I am NOT all that... but just aware of things I notice in people's reactions.

    Have you noticed being nicer/kinder to 'pretty' people? Did you benefit from it? Get hurt by it? Do you think it's all in my head and that these things DON'T matter?

    I feel weird even posting about this because now people will think "oh GAWD, she's so conceited, but I'm SOOOOOO not... still uncomfortable with how I look, but it just seems to be a pattern for me... and so many good looking people I know - especially those who don't KNOW they are good looking so don't get all high on themselves.
     
  2. Hi! I love your threads and questions, haha. I'm drawn to them, and I CAN'T SEE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE! heehee...ok sorry, I had to.

    Well for one, the first thing that stuck out to me...of course looks had something to do with you landing DH. It was the same for me. But that isn't how it sounds - I'm sure DH finds you the most beautiful woman he's ever seen, even now when you say you are overweight. DH feels the same way about me - some of the photos of me that he comments on the most are ones where I feel particularly gross, but the root of it is he finds me irresistible at all times. Just look at my avatar.

    And off of that, I do feel that looks have a lot to do with things. Not that everyone has to look like a supermodel, but generally having a cute or attractive face will do more for you. Just let me say this: a pretty face can help you get in the door, but you better have something else to keep everyone's attention on you. Pretty faces are very commonplace and personality is the ultimate accessory. To me, follow through is more important than the initial action - if that makes sense. So, whatever advantages I've gotten for being cute, I've definitely made the most of by being the best person I can, and being intelligent ,witty, and fun to be around.

    Growing up, I never thought I was very special. I knew I was very smart, and that's about all. I also had some natural abilities - I can basically pick something up and learn how to do it if I feel like it (that doesn't mean I follow through and learn how to master the activity). I wanted to be in the junior high band, so I picked up a clarinet and by the end of the first year, I was 1st chair. But I never recognized how awesome that was - I just thought that I got lucky. Looking back, I think that I should have capitalized more on some of the opportunities I had ... I definitely took them for granted. But a lot of what I was doing was talent based, not looks based. For example, I never had boyfriends, and although I was a better singer and actress, a prettier girl got the part of Grace in the musical, Annie. I was relegated to doing a less high profile part, albeit more difficult because it was a harmonized song with 2 other 8th graders...but at that age, all I saw was that I didn't get something that I deserved and wanted. She had longer, blond hair and a cuter body. I didn't have that. Luckily she was a very nice person on the inside and I'm still glad to know her. I was never bitter - I just recognized how things happened and that I would have to have a lot else going for me if I wanted to get farther than a certain point.

    In high school I was one of the valedictorians, which thankfully relied on grades. I keep talking like I'm gross - I don't think I am, I think I just want to recognize that a lot of my achievements are merit based, and a lot of things that didn't happen for me were based on others looking better.
    I've found that I make a good first impression, but what seals the deal is the requisite intelligence, kindness, sense of humor and articulation.

    In college I was never sought out for my looks, but they also never drove anybody away.

    Unfortunately in the Army, I am on the above average scale, and so that does get me different types of attention than I really care for (and can distract from more important things going on). Some women thrive on this, I don't. But more important in the long run is when people realize that have my crap together, am a good soldier, pull my fair share of hard work and keep a good sense of humor during the whole thing. Like I said before - if whatever I have attracts initial attention, I definitely retain people based on who I am on the inside, and that will never change. I was blessed with enough outside tools to at least garner a glance, depending on how I'm dressed and made up - but my follow through is always impeccable. It has had to be.
     
  3. And off of what I said, if you achieved anything in life based off how you look - sure you may be gorgeous, but your other tools carried you through - such as being a good person, a good wife, smart, funny, caring, etc. Everyone will remember that about you just as much as they will remember how pretty you were after you leave this place behind.
     
  4. I wont' type a long post but your dam* right a pretty face will get you anywhere. Not to be self-centered but we live in a vain world. Get out of a ticket, move up on a line, a new register will open for you, let you in an embassy after it's closed..LoL...there's lots of places it'll helped.
     
  5. Hmm I think it does get you many places, its great to be attractive for sure. But, I came up against alot of hastle in my twenties when applying for jobs for sure. I knew and I mean I really "knew" that if I was going to be interviewed by a woman, I had alot less chance of getting the postition than if I was interviewed by men (I certainly didnt flirt, they just were more interested in what was on my CV (resume) than a woman was. Its sad, and an awful reflection, but there are alot of woman out there that do not want, what they perceive to be competition, even within the workplace!

    Its alot better now im in my late thirties lol ;), but I often look back and think that looks can hinder just as much as it can assist.


    Its a great thread btw, gives you something to think about for sure :biggrin: But the bottom line is, a true beauty is somebody who you know you can rely on, makes you feel good about yourself, and leaves you feeling happy for having spent time with them - thats the impression I want to leave.
     
  6. Helps and Hinders.

    Helps because it can make things easier. Hinders because even if you don't act dingy, some people won't take you seriously. Or some women are mean and nasty for no reason.
     
  7. Chloe Babe:

    You know.. I had a boss like that. I was their "second choice", but first choice turned them down. My boss was female and we had children of the same age (only one at the time). She hated me from DAY ONE and PURPOSEFULLY made it difficult for me. I got along great with everyone else, but one of my peers even said, "Why does she have it in for you? Is she jealous of you or something?" I never worked so hard to win someone's approval before and NEVER got it... I switched offices after that year with NO REGRETS.

    Candice:

    That's just it... the looks didn't GET me where I am alone, but I know it was a contributing factor. BTW, I only had two boyfriends all of high school and college and a few dates here and there. I had a lot of insecurities and was basically CLOSED to any invitation. I NEVER flirted...

    And.. I'm nto that kind of attractive, not "sexy". I don't drip sex appeal, just a classic face I guess... or so I'm told... My sister was pretty too, but she dripped sex appeal and always had guys liking her.

    For me? I always had 30 and 40 year olds hitting on me when I was in my teens and college years. My friends started a club for me and made a badge to wear and everything, "it was the Old fogies love M. club". it started because we went to a dixie band concert during a town fair and there were HUNDREDS of people there. I was there with 14 coworkers/friends from a summer job. They 50 plus year old bandleader started singing to me some "pretty girl" dixie song.... Sure, it's flattering, but not flattering to be 'called out' at the same time... I was so embarassed.

    My MIL was a looker I guess and a doctor. She got some REALLY nice positions that she knows she got because not only was she talented/smart, but that she was attractive too and she KNOWS it. She was just telling me about this specialist doctor she worked with. "all of us were very talented, true, but he liked to be surrounded by beautiful women, so I got picked over some others just as deserving, I'm sure".

    Bagsrmlife: You know... I don't even want to know some of the things it's helped with... I'll get upset that it's for all the wrong reasons, you know?
     
  8. Its human nature to be attracted to beauty. We can't help it. But I think some peoples reactions to it are more severe than others. I've had your experience but opposite.
    While growing up, I was an ugly duckling. I got attention by being the class clown. During my pre-teen/teen years, boys would make fun of me to the point of making me cry. I was pretty much invisible when it came to parties and dances. No guy even looked at me. I was a cheerleader, but because I was athletic and good at it. It never got me a date. I was on the track team as well but it got me no popularity. My mom used to say I was an ugly duckling but someday I would grow into a beautiful swan. As well intentioned as that was, it still hurt me pretty deeply. Isn't your mom supposed to tell you how beautiful you are no matter what? Well, needless to say, it all screwed me up pretty bad - had zero self esteem - and I turned to alcohol at 13. Fast forward to my 20s where all of a sudden, I guess I began to blossom. I was oblivious to what was going on but suddenly, guys were interested in me and I had them coming out of my ears. But due to lack of any kind of experience with having a boyfriend, I got used, abused, dumped and worked over like a piece of meat. (I know, nice visual). I started to convince myself that maybe I was starting to be attractive and did wonder if it had anything to do with being hired/promoted etc. But I was good at what I did so even if that were the case, I was certainly able to back up my capabilities and get things done. For a long time, I didn't want much to do with unattractive people because of the way I was treated early on. But as I matured and got my life in spiritual order, that changed. I no longer look at peoples aesthetics, but their character and personality. I will go out of my way to make someone who maybe isn't very attractive feel welcome if I'm around cause I remember that awful feeling of not being valued. I never want anyone to feel that way in my presence ever again.
    Good topic BTW.
     
  9. This is how I look at things now.

    I told this story here before but when I was younger there was a friend of a friend who I did not want to hang out with us because I didn't like the way she looked. After I met her and hung out with her she was seriously the coolest, funniest, nicest person I ever met. Even to this day. After getting to know her I was disgusted and ashamed at my initial thoughts. But it taught me a valuable lesson, never to judge based on looks.

    And yes once I became attracted to spirituality, I learned that we really are the same. We may look diffrent and were raised different, and respond differently but the core of who we all are is the same. So knowing this helps now too.
     
  10. I think that I, being quite average but with solid features that could stand by themselves, was in a good position because even if I got something based on being decent looking, there were always way prettier girls around. Nor was I terrible looking and had people avoid my like the plague. I think that's why I have a balanced outlook, I know I've got a slight advantage for being decently put together, but I need more to get ahead.

    What makes me feel the worst is when people are used or abused for being pretty, or made to feel like crap like bagnshoo was. I think both situations are horrible!!!! Bagnshoo, I would have definitely been friends with you growing up! We could have been on the cheerleading squad together and been the not-prettiest girls, LOL. But boy I was good at stunting! Did you fly or were you a base? I definitely was on the bottom...LOL.

    AND that is another point! Sure, I have a decent looking face!!! BUT!!!! My body is nowhere near amazing! Nowhere! SO even then, what if I had a beautiful face and a not attractive body...I still would be in the same place I am now. I'm built average on the top, and carry all my weight in my hips, thighs, legs...for sure. I definitely have to be careful about how I dress, and that's one reason having to wear my uniform to work everyday is nice - no stress, they're all cut too big anyway, so it doesn't matter. On the flip side, if I did have a very nicely built body, people would probably think my face was much prettier than it is.
     
  11. bagnshoofetish: And this bothers me - KNOWING that someone might not have gotten opportunities for how they looked. Now... I have NO IDEA what you looked like and it doesn't matter, but I've witnessed it myself. My very dear friend in jr. high, was well, the plainest girl I've ever encountered - overweight, beady, close set eyes, coke bottle eye glasses, small teeth and lips that covered her teeth so that when she smiled, you didn't KNOW she had teeth, weird walk, etc. Yet... she was so sweet and so gentle spirited, very loyal and a very good friend. She made me feel welcome when I moved into the school midyear (very hard to do in the 7th grade). She was also a straight A student... I never saw her get any breaks on ANYTHING... no one seemed to notice her at all and she had all the other qualities I had too. She also came from a messed up home (didn't know it at the time) and I wish I could say she turned out OK. I have lost track of her since we were 21, but by then she had dropped out of college after one semester, been used by guys had a baby, etc. and was HUGELY overweight.... I have to ask myself... if she were prettier - would she have faired better in life? I hate that it's something out of her CONTROL! You can't make yourself pretty if you don't have some base to start with.

    You know what else, I had an 9th grade teacher - economics, who made a comment. I was soooooooo upset and cried and despite BEGGING my mom not to call the teacher she did. of course, I don't remember the context, but it was showing an example of how likely or unlikely something is to happen. So, out of any one of the 20 plus students in the class, he said, "M. here, for instance, you know that your chance of becoming Miss America is close to zero." and blah blah blah. I remember EVERYONE turning to look at me in the class. To make it worse, I had swim team practice before school and didn't have time to do my hair afterwards and this was the time of the big bangs! LOL I just felt - OMG... I'm so ugly that he picked me out of all the girls in the class to make that statement.

    While I had NO INTEREST in being Miss America, to be told you CAN'T be...is saying UGLY. So, Mom called the teacher and he was so apologetic. he said it was a bad example, but he picked me because I AM pretty and he thought I would KNOW that it was just an example. He didn't want to pick an unattractive girl for the example because he didn't want to upset her.... Well... backfired!!! I NEVER felt pretty!!!! And so... he contributed to that feeling too... You are right, those statements stick with you!
     
  12. And also this Candice - some of the most popular girls weren't even pretty. They were just confident - or at least seemed to be confident (now I wonder).

    You couldn't get more insecure than me... good grief I was soooo insecure!
     
  13. I think this is one of the reasons I really don't like my MIL as a person. She only sees the outer package. She rarely takes the time to get to know someone unless they meet her aesthetic appeal. Believe me.... I've heard it PLENTY of times about my weight, yet she does like me, but I KNOW she would have preferred DH to have married a pretty THIN girl (I was not thin when we got married, though less than I weigh now).
     
  14. I was in the middle! Too light to be a base and too heavy to fly! Our pyramids were pretty low tech....:lol:
     
  15. what an ass. he probably was rejected by the class beauty in his high school days and took it out on you!