Your hang-ups are unattractive

Ohhh you knew – you knew as soon as you read the title, didn’t you – that I’d be back. Your ol’ mean-ole bastardface Sub-Conscious, BACK IN TOWN and ready with his hooks out for another go. As though you could read anything where the title included the words “your fear is boring” without making it about you. Well…without me making it about you, because let’s face it. It is. Kind of.

Your hang ups are unattractiveSo, the premise that when too tired to speak with the filters of compassion, tenderness, and the desire to mollify, the TRUTH comes tumbling out, is as good as any for a blog post where tough love is the order of the day. Which this is, or it will be – tough. But loving. Because on a day where you found no less than seven positive things about yourself when challenged to look for good, this all bears saying:

‘Prettiness’ is a genetic lottery and you just didn’t draw a good ticket. Chasing it will only hurt and hurt and keep hurting, because without surgery (and don’t you dare!) there’s only so much you can do. You’re not *actually* ugly, but I’m afraid your mother’s constant reassurance of ‘striking’ is the best you’re going to get, most of the time.

You have a nasty tendency to get stuck, where ‘prettiness’ is concerned. You know it when you see it, and you see it often, because you’ve managed to surround yourself with some very beautiful friends. Good for you. Good for them. But stop comparing, because the constant beating yourself up for being ‘less than’, and the obsession with trying to change how you look so that you can judge your appearance (by those shallow standards you use for yourself) acceptable, is boring. And if you’re boring me, you’re almost certainly boring other people. Not good.

Look for those silver linings, dear one – you got to use your nose as a benchmark to keep looking and find a man who’d love you in spite of it (success!) and even if sometimes your friends aren’t ‘fond of you in pictures’, they ARE fond of you. Very.

And you KNOW that ‘prettiness’ doesn’t matter. Not really. Not when you’re thinking with your brain switched on to override the social conditioning and the comparison traps you pitch yourself into. I promise. Because everyone changes; everyone ages, and looks really DON’T last. There’s a reason they say ‘beauty is only skin-deep’, and once that skin begins to sag…well, let’s just say it’s not worth the anguish of being that invested in your looks, because they will fall. It might even be easier this way, given you can’t lose what you never had.

‘Prettiness’ is almost irrelevant, anyway, isn’t it? What is it for but to attract a mate (to take the anthropological line, for a second)? HEL-LO – who’s that guy sitting across the room from you? Yeah – the one you call Husby; who’s promised to be Little Old Uglies with you, if he possibly can be; who wants to share the rest of his life with you; who stood up in front of a packed church of people and promised you he WILL be your man forever. Box CHECKED. What more do you want?

Not to mention that if people only enter your world because of your looks, they’re probably the wrong kind of people. So again, my dear, you can be rather thankful for a self-limiting factor, and know that shallow people who only value ‘prettiness’ or place it above things like ‘integrity’, ‘honour’ and ‘love’, are not going to be ones you’ll have to deal with. In so many ways, ‘pretty’ needn’t bother you.

Attractiveness, though, is another matter entirely.

It’s not predicated on the shape of your body or the arrangement of your face. ‘Attractive’ doesn’t mind if you have wobbly edges or crooked teeth. It ignores your nose and the fact that you photograph badly. It doesn’t require you to be plucked and groomed and pimple-free. It cares not about the shape of your legs or whether you think your forehead is too high or your head too peanut-like.

‘Attractive’ is how the people who MATTER see you.

Attractive is the tone of your voice and the nice things you say. It’s the way your smile lights up your face and shines out of your eyes, all full of mischief and *twinklysparklygoodness*. It’s the kindness you exhibit and the outlook you have, and your intention to find Silver Linings, wherever you possibly can, even in the darkest situations. It’s the energy you put into letting people know you care about them. It’s the way you actively look for wonderful things to appreciate in the world around you. It’s your compassion for people you don’t even know, and the way the plight of special needs orphans in Europe can make you cry. It’s your conviction that we all belong to each other, and that you have a responsibility to HELP. It’s your desire to make the world magical for others, whether through writing or poetry or fairy stones or glitterbombs or gifts. It’s your willingness to encourage and cheer on and SUPPORT your people. It’s the way you try so hard to let people know they matter to you.

It’s the way you are absolutely, completely determined to love (and love and love and love) others.

And you SUCCEED, so much…but you seem to wilfully disregard the feedback on those counts, or a fair proportion of it anyway, and WHY?! Because ‘attractive’ isn’t ‘pretty’? NO! It’s better. Good GRIEF, girl, it’s AMAZING. It’s MAGNETIC! And if you could only be confident about it and let your character really shine through, you’d realise you have it in spadefuls.

And it LASTS. It will be there when you’re old. It won’t sag. It won’t wrinkle. It won’t get grey and tired. It will be with you for the rest of your life, if you let it. You know that – you’ve seen old-old people who are immensely attractive because of who they are and how they act and respond to things, and their outlook and their spirit, regardless of the fact they’re living in an old body with a wrinkly face. Their smiles are still genuine, and their eyes are still kindly and filled with light.

‘Attractive’ stays fresh and delightful and joyful and wonderful and lovely and…yes…beautiful.

So, just have a think about re-framing the way you look at yourself, wouldja? I know it’ll take work, but I think it’s worth it, and you’d feel SO much better if you could learn to see yourself as attractive.

You Will Always Look LovelyP.S. I’m not going to say ‘I told you so’ when it happens, but be prepared for at least a few of your nearest and dearest to utter something along the lines of “I’ve been trying to tell you this for [insert ridiculously long time here]”.

 

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52 thoughts on “Your hang-ups are unattractive

    • Wow…welcome back πŸ˜€ And thank you! And HUGE thank you for sharing it, and for inspiring it in the first place πŸ™‚ I’m only to pleased to welcome you here – I’m pleased you like what you see πŸ˜€

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  1. Pingback: Ten THings of Thankful #67 | Considerings

  2. “Attractive is the tone of your voice and the nice things you say. It’s the way your smile lights up your face and shines out of your eyes, all full of mischief and *twinklysparklygoodness*. It’s the kindness you exhibit and the outlook you have, and your intention to find Silver Linings, wherever you possibly can, even in the darkest situations. It’s the energy you put into letting people know you care about them. It’s the way you actively look for wonderful things to appreciate in the world around you. It’s your compassion for people you don’t even know, and the way the plight of special needs orphans in Europe can make you cry. It’s your conviction that we all belong to each other, and that you have a responsibility to HELP. It’s your desire to make the world magical for others, whether through writing or poetry or fairy stones or glitterbombs or gifts. It’s your willingness to encourage and cheer on and SUPPORT your people. It’s the way you try so hard to let people know they matter to you.”

    Your asshole sub whatever took the words right out of my mouth. Now, I’d like you to print off this paragraph ^^^ and tape it to your mirror so that every time you see your reflection you see your…beauty.

    Mirror mirror on the wall…who’s the most beautiful of them all?
    Lizzi, that’s who.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As long as I can tape it over the place where my face would be reflected πŸ˜‰

      Not sure I’m ready for ‘mirror, mirror’ yet, but I guess…at least here I can show my soul a bit more than my face, and be appeased a bit.

      My asshole SC got mellow. And reasonable, for ONCE. I think his voice is changing, very gradually, to reflect more of the input I’m receiving these days. Who knows, perhaps one day he’ll change, become nurturing and say nice things more than nasty ones πŸ™‚

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  3. Pingback: I don’t deserve you… | Considerings

    • It’s a great quote, isn’t it? And that’s a really good way to gauge others. I like that. And I like that I make you smile so much – thank you πŸ™‚ You make *my* face and soul smile, too πŸ˜€ *dances*

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  4. Well, hot damn, Lizzi – it’s about time! And I mean that in the most loving way. I feel like I’ve been telling you this forever, and if I haven’t said it out loud, I’ve been thinking it in my head. You are one of the most attractive people I know, and you have a beautiful heart and soul. You also have a beautiful face, no matter what you think. Your smile is contagious, and that will never get old and wrinkly.

    Did I mention that I LOVE THIS POST? I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *grins a HUGE smile* I figured you’d say something along those lines, Dana – you’ve been amongst my encouragers for a LONG time. And yeah, I KNOWWWWW! Guess I’m kinda slow on the uptake. And it doesn’t mean I’ve got it sorted or anywhere NEAR to figured out in a practical ‘living it day-to-day’ sense, but at least I’ve (finally) let the thoughts sink in far enough to write them out.

      You’re awesome, and thank you πŸ™‚ I read a friend’s post on Facebook lately, where she asked whether or not a great smile transcends the confines of traditional perceptions of beauty. I definitely think so, because lots of people like my smile, yaknow? πŸ™‚

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  5. Love this. Love you. And love me (because we all need to do that). I think, like attractiveness, confidence also goes a long way. I had a girlfriend when I was in first year university who told me she use to walk into bars and tell herself EVERYONE in there wanted her – they just didn’t know it yet. But given the opportunity (which was up to her to determine) they’d all realize just how awesome she was. Like me, she wasn’t traditional pretty – but with confidence like that, it didn’t really matter.

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    • That’s not so hard to fake (sometimes) but much more difficult to internalise. I have a friend like that, too. She’s a force to be reckoned with and every bit as insecure as I am *sigh*

      BUT. We live and learn (and love) and TRY our best, don’t we πŸ™‚ Glad you like this.

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      • Dunno – as an introvert there are times – 18 years out from that conversation – that I repeat that line to myself as I walk into a room of strangers. I don’t mean it with the exact same intent anymore – but it still gives me a bit of an “I can make small talk and people will like me” confidence boost.

        Fake it ’til you make it and all that, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sort of reaffirmation of something you know you CAN do but fear you cannot? Hm. And interesting, cos you call yourself an introvert…I would call myself an extrovert but I still have that anxiety. Maybe EVERYONE has that anxiety. Ohhhhh I just remembered about the thing I wrote which is going up on Sisterwives later…yeah…I think we all have that fear, because fear is On Purpose (anthropologically speaking) and it keeps us safe in uncertain situations. So there’s that.

          *untangles mind*

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  6. In another life, were we both single and in the pub and met, I would shag you in a heart beat. Before having had anything to drink even. Does any of that sound like a British compliment? Do know that I love you though, Lizzi. For reals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You made me giggle for REAL, Donny boy – very British indeed. And thanks for adding the bit about not needing beer goggles – that helps πŸ˜€

      I got chased up the road by a bloke on a bike the other day – he was very chatty, very friendly, but poor man, I was in a rush and he couldn’t keep up!

      You rock, Officer (and don’t let Kristi see what you said here!)

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  7. So you know that it’s almost impossible for me to not grab onto that last line there and say THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN TELLING YOU for forever, right? Also, you are pretty. That you don’t see it doesn’t make it not true. We know. Us of the knowing knowers. And that totally did make sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You make sense to me. Even when you don’t always πŸ™‚ And thank you, also thank you, and yes, I know. I actually heard your voice in my head as I wrote that line. One of a chorus, but you came through loud and clear and I am very thankful you’re there. β™‘β™‘β™‘

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  8. Look at you, Lizzi, living in my head. Except that you said all the word in a much better way than I could. Thank you for breaking it down. I saw these words once ‘A pretty girl is nothing if she has an ugly heart’ At the end of all the judging I’ll take a pretty heart. Thank you for considering.

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  9. My Sparkle! That paragraph from “Attractive is the tone…” till ” people know they matter to you.”…that just says it all for me. That’s how I want to act in this world and that’s how I want to treat and look at the people I meet and get to know in my life. I’ve been wondering how to formulate my comment, because I often get told that I “am pretty” and what not. It sucks at times, because it’s like people automatically assume that I know this. I never placed an emphasize on “my looks”, because to be very honest I never felt super pretty. I could say a lot about this topic, but in short I went through a lot and I had to learn to find qualities that I liked about myself. I started to appreciate myself only in the last few years. There is so, so much more to this world than our outer appearances. SO much.

    Being attractive for e.g. caring, intelligence, humor and magical sparkliness? Yes, please!

    I know I always thank you for writing certain things, but I truly, truly mean it. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, dear Apfel, for such a considered response. And for the record, those (relevant) things in the paragraph are how I feel you have related to me, in the time that we’ve been friends, and how I hope I have related to you.

      ‘Prettiness’ is a tricky one. You are very beautiful, and I saw when you changed your profile pic the other day how many people felt called to highlight that, but it’s equally true that some if the people who I think are most beautiful are subject to terrible, raging insecurities about their appearance, which I think goes to show that ‘Prettiness’ as an outsider sees it, really counts for all that much. Added to which, there are some ‘pretty’ people I know, whose spirits are foul, and some ‘unpretty’ ones who are utterly lovely to me because of the content and nature of their character.

      You can look however you look, but to me, your heart and your spirit are gorgeous; and your creativity, your mind, your generosity and your tiny fruits and beautiful paintings and all of our dancing and hula-hooping in sparkling glitter….*those* are the things which I see as important πŸ™‚

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      • I was hesitant to comment, but it’s you, you know? You’re Sparkle. πŸ™‚ Your comment made me tear up. You’re seeing the “real me”. Of course all those things in your paragraph apply to you as well. Very much so and never forget this.

        As for my profile picture I rarely change it, simply because I don’t want that to be the focus point and I just don’t find it important (although I will have a new one soon, more professional for my art business). It’s also the reason why I put all my albums on FB on private.

        I fully agree about “pretty” people who have a foul spirit. I’ve seen (and known) a few of these ladies and I’m always scared that people (the ones that only look at the outside, without getting to know someone) think I’m vain and arrogant as well. Blegh rudeness -_-. I had a post written about this, well more aimed at misconceptions about me and this was one of them.

        I’m very happy to have you in my life and when the day comes that we can hug and dance around will be the most joyous one for me! SO looking forward to this! ^_^ Xx

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        • There will be tea and cake and sparkles and dancing for REAL, and it will be lovely πŸ™‚

          I hope that no-one will think you’re vain or arrogant. It took me about 2 seconds to realise that you’re anything BUT that – you were so warm and friendly and just…HAPPY…when we first met. I pretty much instantly thought that you were a delightful person. But I can understand you having that fear, especially if people dismiss you before getting to know you, based on your appearance. Fie on them, if they do.

          I know what you mean about the focus point. I don’t change mine often for the same (but inverse) reason. I feel intensely uncomfortable with the comments on it which seem to suggest that people think it looks nice, when to me it’s so horrid and I have to grit my teeth and accept that THEY think it’s nice, and say thank you as nicely as I can *sigh*. I keep whichever one I have until I really cannot STAND it any more, and need to change it, just for it to be different. I have my old FB albums locked. I don’t want *anyone* seeing them.

          I’m glad you commented, Apfel. You brought a lot to *my* thinking on the subject, if nothing else, and I hugely appreciate that you did, even though you weren’t sure. Your viewpoint is important, and thank you for sharing it – I like the ‘real’ you, a whole heap πŸ™‚

          *throws silver and gold glitter in the air over both of us, and dances, hands up and smiling HUGE*

          Liked by 1 person

          • *BIG HUGS* I’m SO excited for that day to come!! πŸ˜€

            I loved our first chats on FB! I was like, “Ahhhh another one that uses her imagination to create little side stories. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh!!” Totally love it when people do this. Plus, you won me over in a second when you used a Japanese greeting haha. Then I loved our chats after our first chats even more, if that’s even possible. I think as soon as people talk to me, they (hopefully) realise I’m neither of these things. I’ve heard it before that people thought I was intimidating, which I find SO odd. I can be quite hyper and cheery, which is seen from a distance. Hehe.

            Ah well. As annoyed I can get from this, it’s also quite intriguing at times. I so blame my Sociology background for this.

            *adds “fie on them” to her vocabulary*

            I’m glad that I commented too. It’s easier as it’s your site, so I feel comfortable in doing so. I never ever mean any harm with my comments as I just try to make sense of my own thoughts and all the things I feel and see. But because so many things are fixed in society, like beauty ideals, I often stray away from commenting just to prevent hearing things like “Ohh but that’s easy for you to say!”. I hope that makes sense.

            I like YOU, like a lot, a lot, a loooot *throws flower petals in the air and dances with Lizzi as the petals twirl with the glitter* ❀

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            • YAY! Flowers and glitter and dancing and MUSIC and happiness – oh MY! We’ll have such fun when we meet! You know what would be awesome, if we ended up somewhere sometime when they were celebrating Holi, and we could throw bright, beautiful powder at each other πŸ™‚

              ANYWAY!

              Yaknow what, it sucks that you feel you should hold yourself back from commenting because of potential backlash, It *really* sucks, and I hate that the beauty ideals work like that, because even if you try to temper it through the sociological interest, it’s awful that ANYONE would think that your comments or opinions or experiences would count less because you’re pretty, and they think that makes it all better somehow! Good GRIEF! People really are determined to be as divisive as possible, I’m sure!

              I think you’d like…oh I can’t remember where she put it, but Mandi wrote a piece called ‘The Skinny Girl Rant’ and it was kind of about this – because she’d been ostracised for not having a ‘mom body’, because she watches what she eats and works out, and this lady who didn’t and didn’t, decided that she wasn’t prepared to be Mandi’s friend or take their kids all swimming together. It was totally harsh judgement and shouldn’t have happened. It sounds like you’re kind of in the same boat, but for looks 😦

              I hope that people take the time to talk to you and discover how lovely you are. I didn’t find you remotely intimidating, and your hyper-cheeriness shone through from the start. I mean, HOW can you not like someone who paints such elegant ladies and kawaii dragons?!

              Heheh I’d forgotten the Japanese greeting though! Our chats are GREAT. And I’m glad you feel comfortable having some of them here, chez moi, if not ‘Out There’ πŸ™‚ You’re safe here. And if anyone takes issue, I’ll ‘ave ’em!

              YAY to us one day meeting. I still am excited and SHALL BE until it happens! πŸ˜€ I like you TOO a lot a lot a lot πŸ™‚

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  10. My husband isn’t conventionally handsome…well..unless you really go for the caveman look…but he’s wildly attractive. He doesn’t see it, not at all..but not only do I see it..I see OTHER people seeing it. I don’t think he ever will….it’s nice to imagine he will, though. πŸ™‚ Maybe I’ll get him to read this post a few hundred times

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehehe I hope it works. Though (speaking from experience) if someone is determined to be convinced of their own unattractiveness, they will be, and THAT is unattractive. I’m sick and tired (for now) of being ‘that’ person. Because ALWAYS worse than unattractive is BORING. I never want to be that.

      And that YOU find your husband attractive is great. That others do too, is awesome. I hope he figures it out – maybe, like me, the thought that *maybe* y’all are right, is a REALLY nice head-space to be in, for as long as it lasts πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. good post.
    fricken hall of mirrors is all it is that we clarks live in! (and we) create mirrors and borrow mirrors and steal mirrors and imagine fricken mirrors…because how can we know how well we are doing as people if we don’t manage to see ourselves in the context of the world (that we’re pretty sure we’re in the middle of)?
    as always you have the insight, it’s knowing that knowing it once is all we can expect (trusting that we will know it again….and again in increasingly shorter intervals…until it becomes the reality)
    ya know?

    good work… (speaking from the clarklike worldview, of course!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! I guess it’s a matter of perspective and trying VERY hard for once, to see through other people’s eyes a bit more, and through my own, un-rose-tinted ones a little less. Usually I’m looking in the wrong mirror anyway, aren’t I. So perhaps, just for once, I caught a glimpse of a better reflection.

      I’m glad you think I did well. And I hope this isn’t a fairground mirror. I don’t think it is. I think it’s the world. I hope it’s the world. I’ll believe it for as long as that lasts πŸ™‚

      Thank you, as ever, for providing a map and chalk on the walls.

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  12. There’s nothing more I can say here that I haven’t told you elsewhere, but I just wanted to pop in and show my support here, as well. One day maybe you can simplify this all down to a simple equation. Hundreds of people think you’re awesome. Only you don’t. So, if we use greater than/less than here it means YOU’RE the one whose wrong. πŸ˜‰

    Wait, I take that back. I make no sense. YOU’RE still the one who’s wrong, though. And *twinklysparklyawesome*.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, maybe I can’t math. But my point remains. Do you have faults? Of course. We all do. BUT, that does not detract from how utterly and fabulously amazing you are…and your subconscious knows it.

        I, for one, I’m cheering you on (heaven help me for saying this) LIKE A BOSS as you take this journey.

        Stay strong, BBFFFL. And get some sleep. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        • I went, I went! I was gone! And thank you.

          Heaven help you indeed. Suddenly the phrase has lost it’s attraction for me, too, given the heritage of my version of it. I’ll have to decide whether I want that legacy or whether I’ll let it die *sigh*

          My SC *sometimes* knows it. Sometimes he just beats me up. BUT at least the thoughts are in there SOMEWHERE, right? That’s what I figure. And it’s really nice to know that you side so strongly with the Good Thoughts. Thank you. I truly appreciate it, and your friendship, HUGE. Which I guess makes you my BTFFFL, which is a nice thought πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the perspective you bring to this and the thoughts on reframing.

    It is damn difficult, that is for sure. I worry that I will never get there, not because that means I will be single forever (likely but not the point), but because that means I will always have a reason to do harm vs. continuing to heal and recover.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VERY difficult. And I think probably no-one (or relatively few people) get there permanently. I think it’s something which is a bit in flux, and goes back and forth. A wibbly-wobbly ball of self-image-y stuff, if you will.

      And I don’t think it’s about necessarily finding another person, either. Some friends lately, have variously said (and I paraphrase) ‘I want to take responsibility for putting MYSELF back together – not rely on others’, and ‘I, alone, am responsible for determining my self-worth’.

      Very hard messages to live by. Definitely.

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      • Good point about it being a back and forth fight. I can say I am definitely in a better place than I was two years and then one year ago. Definitely nowhere near “good” but not as bad.

        I brought up the single factor because you mentioned your Husby, but I agree, you have to do what you can for yourself. Or as best as you know in that moment.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, and really my reference to Husby was only to illustrate the (I presume) anthropomorphic ‘point’ of anyone finding anyone attractive. As it happens (and you might know this anyway from having read it here) my marriage has been FAR from ideal for a lot of the time so far, has been marred by rejection and illness and depression, and is only really beginning to look up now. So there’s that.

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