Over half a year ago, I wrote a post expressing my thoughts on being conventionally attractive and the social ramifications of being so. I discuss just what makes one physically good-looking (based on Western standards), as well as how it affects our interaction with others on personal and professional levels. I even added some personal anecdotes of growing up an ugly duckling, before becoming *relatively* attractive in adulthood.
Today, I would like to expand more on this idea that being good-looking comes with more positive advantages. I will add some more personal incidents in which I was affected by these advantages, and how it has changed my perspective of my homely upbringing and how I, myself, interact with people today.
Let’s start with the more-obvious behaviors that are a result of seeing someone who is not bad-looking. For example, I’ve experienced co-workers and patrons at my work giving off not-so-subtle signs that they find me easy on the eyes. I don’t consider myself stunning, but I have noticed that, while wearing makeup and my work uniform (which is very female-presenting, heels and skirt), I definitely have turned some heads. Whereas I’m a 4-5 sans makeup, I’d say I’m a 7-8 with makeup and feminine attire.
As a result, I’ve noticed my co-workers and patrons show overt signs that they recognize me. I’ve had colleagues– men and women alike– wink at me when I catch their eyes. Many of them are married or in relationships, so while the winks aren’t necessarily home-wrecking, I do find it a bit unsettling that they do it still. Best thing to do in that situation is feel flatter and move on.
To add, another physical sign is being nervous in your presence. For instance, they might be loud and outgoing with others, but they strangely clam up when you approach them. I remember striking up a conversation with a co-worker (who’s usually talkative with others) and, upon asking her a question, I saw her jaw clench a little. It was a small sign that she was nervous in talking to me, although back then I didn’t know why it was the case.
Besides the physical movements (e.g. winks, jaw clenching), there are also the behaviors that indicate that you’re decent to look at. I’ve seen a huge difference in how I’m treated with and without makeup. For the latter, I’ve noticed that people smile more in your presence, and they’re more willing to help you out when you struggle with something (even multiple times). They cut you more slack when you mess up, which can be bad if taken advantage of. I’ve personally seen this when I was still learning the ropes and even afterwards, as I didn’t get as scolded by my superiors as others. But I’ve never tried to take advantage of the situation, because, well, integrity.
I think that growing up an ugly duckling made me take so long to acknowledge the fact that I’m not as bad-looking as I thought. The reason why I took so long to accept myself was because I was still in the mindset that I still had my horrible acne and scrawny frame from when I was 16 years old. But it has been over a decade since I was that age, and I’ve definitely changed since then. It actually took me until I was maybe 25, even 26, to slowly come to terms that I’m not bad-looking, and rather decent. Add on the fact that I started experimenting with makeup for work, and that really made me accept my beauty.
Really, I’m no knock-out star. But I’m blessed to have pretty good symmetrical features (as indicated by a high-school friend), medium-sized double eyelids, naturally-thin eyebrows, and a slim frame. My acne has more-or-less cleared, and I have a more-flattering wardrobe that accentuates my body. I’ve also gained a lot more experience with work, travel, and adulthood to feel more confident in myself, and I think that has helped boost my attractiveness to others.
What I’ve learned is that conventional beauty can have a lot of societal advantages, but when it really comes down to it, having the right mindset to flaunt your features is more important. Without confidence in yourself, it becomes reflected in poor posture or a poor personality. Good looks initially draw people in, but it’s the character that gets them to stay. Because I grew up rather homely and largely-overshadowed in school, I learned to develop a quirky and dead-pan character that people find funny and endearing. Having a personality makes someone more memorable than fading looks, and it’s important to develop that instead.
I’m rambling here, but in any case, I hope you got something out of this. I guess that I’m still also trying to process the fact that I’m not as bad-looking as I thought, since it was only a year or two ago that I came around to this realization. But I suppose with time, I’ll continue to gain more confidence and knowledge in myself, and that my physical appearance will reflect all of that.
What are your thoughts on conventional beauty and it societal treatment? Let me know! Thanks for reading.
— The Finicky Cynic
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