Women of the Escapist: Keeping up appearances in order to reach "perfection"

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MarsAtlas:
@OP in particular, you may want to check out the latest South Park episode. I like the show, but their latest episode, "The Hobbit" is probably one of the most profound, if not the most profound, episode they've done yet, and the particular episode definitely comes off as a more serious show with occassional comic relief than what South Park really is. The whole episode is about body image, and really I think it may be their best episode to date. You can watch it here for free, only interrupted by a few acvertisements that'd you'd similarly get on television:
http://www.southparkstudios.com/guide/episodes

I did see that episode a few months back and did get a feeling of a serious satire. South Park is known for pointing out things and they did well pointing that out. I was on Wendy's side the whole time showing the damning nature of photoshopping (especially when it's mostly done on social media) and how the boys in her school look at the "hot" pictures more instead of the actual girl. I felt bad because she was pressured to give in. That episode didn't leave me laughing at the end at all. Great episode though.

Well, I was called fat in school a lot, and my aunt makes remarks about it, and I am not overweight.

To be honest, I always had more problems with identifying as female at all, I was always told my interests and personality wasn't feminine enough, and eventually I figured I was sexually attracted to women.
I don't think I was bothered by the idea of feminine beauty ideal at all, more by what kind of behaviour was acceptable.
If anything I would have preferred to look totally asexual, and I always liked it when people mistook me for a boy.

I just always dressed comfortably, and have never worn makeup.

(And I was still called a whore in highschool because my best friend was a guy)

36 year-old female. Have I ever worried about my looks: Never.

At a young age, being a tomboy and actively NOT interested in anything that was remotely 'girly', I figured 'why bother?'

I'll explain.

I have a very 'male' body-type. So much so, that 99.9 per cent of women's clothes DO NOT fit me. I've never much cared for make-up, and thanks to having eczema and cystic acne, I never have to worry about it. I'm mostly Native American with a good helping of Heinz-57, so I can pass for anything. I guess when I dye my hair blonde, I look European. Makes me laugh.

So, yeah, when you grow up your whole life hearing 'You're not desirable/cute/sexy/worthwhile unless you're an anorexic twig with an unhealthy amount of over-styled hair and breasts so large you'll throw your back out if you spin around too quickly, you kinda just take a look around you, take a look at what you got to work with and say; 'Well, this is what I am; if they don't like me, they can fuck off.'

Perceptions about this unattainable standard of beauty will never go away for one simple reason: It sells clothes, make-up, movies, plastic surgery, music and everything else under the sun. The media tells us every minute of every day that if we throw our money at the product of the day, we'll 'fit in' and, even though we weren't born 'perfect'; we can be closer TO perfect if we buy what they are selling. Personally, I'm happy with who I am, so, never needed what they were peddling.

If I am to speak very bluntly.. I am an A cup, american beauty standard is impossible and unachievable for me.

I do however try my best to look good, not by anyone else's standard, but by mine. I don't wear a lot of makeup, but I dress up nicely.

So no, I am not really that pressured, I just don't care.

Snowbell:
Even here on the escapist you get people saying they like 'sexy' 'pretty' 'beautiful' girls/men, and it shames me that even in a community of intellectual pursuits we still hold such artificial concepts so dear.

Those "artificial concepts" are something very real that all humans have ingrained into them...it's a side-effect of natural selection.
Almost everyone is happy (or content) in seeing the idealized human. Putting aside that the idealized human is a perfect person in terms of behavior, knowledge, personality, etc...appearance is also part of that puzzle.

Yes, in current society that notion has been taken to extremes and we've strayed too far from our natural roots. But the notion of sexy/pretty/beautiful is absolutely not artificial, and merely praising/appreciating such things doesn't make a person any less intelligent.

It does seem to be a mistake that a lot of people make. This is more common in people that have low self esteem already, regardless of how pretty they are. Media doesn't help alleviate the issue - between woman's magazines that seem to focus on "looking better" and "getting the guy" and entertainment where most woman are gorgeous and possible only serve as a romantic interest, there does seem to be pressure on women but it's always seemed to me very distant and not worth worrying about in "real life".

Personally, looking good to appeal to the opposite sex has never been high on my agenda - even as a teen. I was totally vague in high school. I'm fairly certain that I wasn't cool but I didn't get bullied and I had good friends - so I was very lucky in that regard. Basically I want to look good in a "not a total mess in track pants and a 10 day old shirt way", I want the person I fancy to think that I'm attractive (it would be a weird relationship otherwise) and I do like being complemented on appearance (amongst other things), but there's plenty of things that I value higher and strive to improve far more than how I look. I've definitely had worries about myself (we were all teenagers once), but once again they've focused on aspects that I value higher than beauty.

Basically what I felt is that if I am not pretty, then I am hideous.

Especially during teenagehood the pressure was rather bad, but after some time I learnt to mostly not give a fuck and relax. It's impossible to be perfect and it's much more important what kind of attitude you carry, because this is what people care the most about.

Fishcactus:
On the other hand, I love makeup and hairstyling and fashion. I just see them as extensions of my personality, and as art in a way. Whether i'm painting on my face on or a bit of paper, it doesn't make much of a difference to me and both make me equally happy. I don't like the weird anti-makeup culture of shaming women who wear it, or the culture of shaming women who don't wear it. As with most aspects of being a woman, it's dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.

To sum up I guess i'd say that I do see the pressure that women are put under, and I see how women can have their self esteem, confidence and even mental health attacked by it. Me personally though, i've always just been content acting and dressing how I want.

I don't understand this "shaming" thing. How does it manifest itself?

I try not to judge people based on their appearance, but I do find it seeping into my opinions of people wearing make up and high heels. With most people, I don't notice make up as it's tastefully applied to cover blemishes or to go for a specific look (I think). However, when I can clearly see it (it's appears caked on or is a prominent colour that doesn't work with the persons skin tone), I do think less of the person wearing it.

With high heels, if they are pointy or higher than about an inch I tend to think something along the lines of "This is a person who makes walking deliberately difficult for themselves and constantly risks serious ankle injury, how unattractive".

Lead a healthy lifestyle.

Seriously. As a mature man who's been around the block, if this insight makes it through to one impressionable young woman then my registering and posting to this forum that I will probably never post to again will have been worth it.

If you lead a healthy lifestyle, you will have an attractive body. Same with guys, so this advice is the same for both sexes. If you commit to working out regularly, eating well and giving a shit about your long-term health, you will have an attractive body. The American Standard is bullshit. We're all different builds and body types, but each of us can look great for our own individual body types while not adhering to an idealized standard.

Do appearances matter? Yes, absolutely. But trust me, as someone who has been totally attracted to "butter face" women, that physical pull isn't the result of a single factor. It's usually a combination of things that together punch me in the face and make me want to procreate with reckless abandon. One poster above mentioned a-cups - ok, what about your eyes? Your smile? Your ass? Your legs? Another poster talked about eczema and acne. You are way more than that one feature that you obsess over, and a whole other topic is behavior/self-image, which play significantly into how attractive a woman is.

Trust me. If you commit to engaging in your own health, you're going to be hot. Screw makeup, plastic surgery and ridiculous diets. Get outside, go run, go bike, get to the gym, stop eating those frikken Reeses and washing them down with Monsters. And FFS, don't look at a scale or tape yourself. Just focus on the long term and make it a lifestyle. That's what's hot - a woman who confidently controls her own life and doesn't get mired in self-induced anxieties.

Well the whole purpose of the "beauty" and "fashion" industry is to drive sales by making people feel inadequate next to a literally[1] unattainable standard, then promising a fix for this imagined shortcoming. So I'd say women (and increasingly men) are pressured this way. It's the matter of how much that marketing bleeds over into societies expectations that's troubling. Personally I like women who are more sporty, which is good because my girlfriend could bend me like a pretzel lol.

[1] Supermodels get photoshopped, even after wearing tons of conventional make up.

In my personal opinion (and I am male), women should not feel pressured to look 'perfect'. I am turned off by women that look 'perfect'. Reason being... I know they are usually very too obsessed with it and think they deserve better than me (I am not exactly brad pitt).

I think that people should just do what they feel is right. If they want to be gorgeous looking and have a gorgeous looking partner, great. But if they just want love, affection, dedication, etc? Going after 'hot dudes' or prettying yourself up for 'the perfect guy' will only get you the worst kind of guys. Guys usually (imo) dedicate themselves to being 'hot' if they are perverted/obsessed with sex. They're the type to actively go out and look for women to use and leave behind.

The short and sweet: be yourself. If you're a nerdy girl? That's fine. Don't spend so much time in front of a mirror... you'll just attract the wrong types. You have no obligation to be more beautiful than anyone else. Take a shower, comb your hair, brush your teeth, you should be good.

As a male I have to say how friendly or sweet natured a girl is, determines how attracted I am to her. Not her looks.

Eclipse Dragon:
This is not exclusively an American thing.

Or even remotely close. The faces may change, but the idea is pretty common across the world.

Definitely easier to identify in one's own culture, though.

If I meet a guy who likes me, it will be because he noticed I was wearing an LoZ T-shirt and we have things in common.

Little did you know, the rise of defensiveness in games would lead to that getting you accused of being a fake geek/gamer girl!

(sorry, I had to)

I think everyone has probably felt this pressure at some point or another.

I totally feel for everyone else who had well-meaning friends and relatives buy them make-up. For real, I can barely put on make up, and when I do I usually feel silly because I think I've done it wrong (and I probably usually have). Not that I'm against make-up, I'm really not. If I had the skeelz and the face for it I'd be rocking all the make up because it's cool.
I had this boyfriend once who proclaimed that he really `loved women` and hated the beauty standard they were held to, turns out that was just a cover for: `I don't want you wearing make up or skirts or anything nice because thats 'asking for attention and why would you do that if you truly loved meeeeeeee?` (Ew).
If you want to wear make-up, wear the hell out of that make-up. If you don't, don't.
But do it for yourself.

I kinda hate that women's appearances are up for public scrutiny and we're supposed to care about everyone's opinion.
I've always considered myself kinda `Meh` in appearances. Not hideous, not beautiful, just kind of plain normal looking (I would upload a photo but I don't have a recent one, I just cut my hair, need to take a photo soon to send to my mum).
I was always kind of skinny because my metabolism is fucked up, and so I got the usual people spreading rumours at school that I was bulimic (because I ate so much but didn't gain weight).
And again with cutting my hair short, the first time I did that people were all like `But what if a guy doesn't like it?!`.

And really, I support guys who like `natural beauty`, but really, I think it just fosters resentment sometimes.
`I prefer natural beauty - girls who wear make up are fake/insecure/looking for attention`.
NOnonononono.

Guys, just let girls look how they want to look and try not to judge their personality based on what they look like.
Ladies, try not to hate or be jealous and be positive about yourself.

Everyone is beautiful!
Phasmal out!

I definitely grew up exposed to these standards of beauty that are talked about, but I don't think they ever caused any significant psychological distress for me. I decided years ago that I might as well like what I see in the mirror every day and my family always emphasized growing up healthy rather than skinny or fitting any sort of beauty standards.

Unfortuantely, I have managed to make myself discontent with my appearance over the years, but strangely it's because I don't fit my own image of beauty rather than the cultural image. I find androgyny beautiful, and I find myself more and more uncomfortable with things that draw attention to the more feminine features of mine. I'm lucky that I didn't take from the side of my gene pool with the terrifyingly large breasts, but I would still prefer a reduction (or complete removal) over an enlargement any day. I also wish that my scoliosis didn't accentuate my curves like it does (in high school, people used to tell me that I always looked like I was standing "with attitude" because of how my scoliosis affected my posture). I've worn dresses in the past, but have always found myself more comfortable in formal clothing that at least involves pants in some way. I just kinda wish I appeared more gender-neutral I suppose, even if I happen to be very attached to my long hair, which probably acts as my biggest gender-signifier of them all when I'm out and about.

Actually, if I suddenly magically fit all the American beauty standards, I'd probably be horrified, because it does not fit my image of myself. A lot of things that are painted as necessary to appear beautiful feel incredibly disingenuous on me, and I see no need to conform to a style of beauty that I find conflicts with my own preferences. (If anything, masculine beauty standards tend to resonate with me more because I really like men's fashion and wish I could pull it off myself.)

EeveeElectro:
You sound like a yummy mummy! ;D

**blush** ^^;; Thanks!

Also, I admit I was curious after another post mentioned your self-photos in the cool stuff thread, so I went and peeked. ^^ You're pretty yummy looking yourself.

EeveeElectro:
Haha, my body type would simply not allow for me to be a size 6. I'd look like an addict :| but when I see slim girls who work for it in bodycon dresses, I'm like "You go for it girl! You worked hard for that body, show it off!"
Similar reason as to why I don't mind low cut tops. In the right clothes, I love my boobs. Boyfriends have always loved them too. I'm sure as shit gonna show them off if I'm lacking a lovely slim figure.

Well, to be fair, I can do some size six clothes. My hip bones make size six jeans an impossibility, so in jeans I'm an 8. It also depends on the individual store/designer to some degree.

As for boobs... yeah, I've always wanted some of those. The dating video in the Valentine's thread when the guy is like "C-cup minimum" made me laugh because I have totally gotten that. And I even understand it - I prefer to date women with larger cup sizes too.

The one nice thing about having a kid - for a few months, I got to be a C-cup. My breasts looked amazing. They were sore and - well, I won't go into the horrors of breast feeding here, but damn if they didn't look great. Of course, I also had my post pregnancy gut (and by the time I'd gotten rid of that, my breasts were back to normal) so it sort of balanced out.

... and wow I'm rambling. ^^;; Ahem.

EeveeElectro:
As for the plus size issue... I'm not sure if this is correct but I heard it from someone who worked with models.
Apparently, fashion designers will send examples of their clothes for the models to wear on the catwalk for example. They don't ask for any of the models measurements and just send in a sample that typically only fit the models who are size 2-6. Apparently because of that, the other models are considered plus size.

Plus sized in the UK starts at size 14, which I believe is a US 10 so I don't know what it is over there. You're not plus sized in the slightest, it's just the fashion industry being stupid.

In actual plus-sized stores, plus starts around size 12 or 14, I believe.

However, if you are a model living in America and you are size six (or larger), you can only model plus-sized clothes.

So not only does that not make any proper sense (since stores don't follow that system) but it means that when a - say - size 14 woman goes shopping and looks at clothes, all of her choices are presented on a size 6 model.

The way the fashion industry has promoted vanity sizing (seriously, size 0?!) and has not only encouraged anorexia in its models but its customers as well is just... absolutely disgusting.

So yeah, the American fashion industry is a general pet-peev of mine.

Anyway, thanks again for your kind words. ^^

i started going to a nude beach in mount eliza the last 2 years so that taught me not to be so fashion conscious. i learned to wear simple things since then.

Issues of self image and confidence are not limited to women (although they are targeted by a much large portion of the media) I myself gave up on all things appearance wise in my teens (I have always been overweight) after a non-weight related health issue I reevaluated my life and decided I need to lose weight to live better and to remove it as my self described greatest detractor to finding a girlfriend. After a year of medically supervised weight loss, I'm less than half the man I used to be. My new found resistance training is showing results, however, I still haven't been able to bring my self to trying to date, I feel as unattractive as I did when I started (no so much by comparison, because there's no question I've lost a lot of weight and must look better) but I still don't feel like other people (women) could find me attractive. Originally I was going to start my dating attempt when I reached a goal weight, but I have moved to goal lower 3 times so now I've set a date instead and ready or not I'm going to try unless I chicken out again. I know I can never reach the western standard of male attractiveness, but I'm forced to conclude I may never reach my own standards for myself. Also to reiterate high school sucked a lot of people.

As the OP, I would like to thank you all of you for your post and your own personal experiences that relates to this topic. I would like to say that you are all beautiful in so many ways and the pain and headache you had to go through in life growing up, is and can be tough to get over and beat and something no one should have to face. Being yourself is what I am collecting from the responses in this this and that is a great message because at the end of the day, it's about making yourself feel happy and not letting others dictate and judge what they want you to be. You are all your own person. Honestly I am grateful for all of the responses because as someone with a 10 year old niece, I know she would somehow go through the image conscious feeling sooner or later and that is one of my fears. Even a few years ago at my cousin's 8th birthday party, she was upset thinking she was fat and ugly and really upset me hearing that wondered where she even got that thought from at a young at. Many can still add more of their thoughts to this thread and I will do another thread on how men feel when it comes to image and appearances cause there has been a rise in men feeling image conscious also.

Phasmal:
I had this boyfriend once who proclaimed that he really `loved women` and hated the beauty standard they were held to, turns out that was just a cover for: `I don't want you wearing make up or skirts or anything nice because thats 'asking for attention and why would you do that if you truly loved meeeeeeee?` (Ew).
If you want to wear make-up, wear the hell out of that make-up. If you don't, don't.
But do it for yourself.

You know, I hear that same exact story from many girl mates I know/knew. They meet a guy, their feelings develop, they both make sacrifices for each other (in actually case it was her that was making the most sacrifices) and they the guy because controlling to the point that she must cover up, not even shorts in the summer or short sleeve shirt, must not wear any, as some guys would call it "slutty" make up (that pisses me off), must not talk to guy mates unless it were his mates (to keep an eye on her or something) and pretty much result in her not really being the person she was when she met him and actually changed to fit his preference. Apparently all in the name of "love", but that was not love at all. I don't wish that upon anyone. I am sorry you had to go through what you did, with your ex boyfriend because he shouldn't control you at all. You are a free person, not a trophy.

ObsidianJones:
Women, I have a follow up question.

Whose ideal of beauty matters more to you? The culture you're born into, or the culture you choose?

My own. Fuck cultures. Seriously. When this is the kind of shit people (mostly women) have to deal with:

then I'd rather only have to deal with my ideal of beauty. It's way too much pressure otherwise.

Daily basis I hear:
You'd look so much prettier if you let your hair grow back out and get long again
Guys don't like girls with short hair
Short hair makes you look like a boy
If you just made an effort in your appearance you'd be so pretty
Why don't you wear heels occasionally. You look so good in them
You're being irrational. No one can walk in heels. But who cares you look so good in them (which is usually in response to me saying that I have bad ankles and can't walk in heels as a response to the question prior)
You should loose weight. You're too fat.
I'm just looking out for you and don't want you to go through what I went through. You should go on a diet.
You should eat less.
You should exercise more.
If you lost weight you wouldn't have knee and ankle problems.
If you lost weight your asthma would go away.
But your BMI says you're overweight. You should lose weight.
You won't be anorexic or bullemic if you were in the weight range for your BMI.
There's no way that your weight is any muscle(despite how much muscle I actually have on my body particularly on my legs).

Granted, men do get it a bit and quite differently but in movies, even the "ugly fat guy" can get the "hot thin chick". So that's telling us that our appearances are more important than y'alls. Because thin girls are all that matter. -_-

Or maybe it's just I live too close to Hollywood for my comfort and plastic surgery is of course all the rage and what everyone who is everyone has to do......(and no I'm not actually from where my profile says I'm from).

Eh, to be honest I do not wear make up, at all. I do feel a bit insecure in my body, I'm a bit overweight. Not a huge amount, but I can barely stand to look at myself. I don't like wearing makeup, it brings out the worst in my skin, and beside, I think my face is pretty enough without it. Plus makeup costs a hell of a lot of money, and why would I bother when I don't go out every single day. My boyfriend does joke about it, he says "you don't know how to girl" but one of the things that attracted him to me was the fact that I do not wear makeup. As for keeping up with fashion... feck that. That's also clostly. If it looks good on me, and it feels comfortable, I will wear it, regardless of what season it is meant to be. Yes, I will make an effort to look pretty, I do take care of my appearance.

I am vain about my hair though. It's lovely and I take good care of it. It is really lovely hair, and it does frame my face rather nicely. One thing that relaxes me above all else is having a nice hot bath and washing my hair.

I don't bother about beauty crap. I always look my best, but only in a practical way. I always make sure my hair looks good and is in good condition. But not stupidly, like using products and styling it. I make sure I avoid split ends and get it cut regularly so it does'nt break. And I always use good quality shampoo. That's more of a health thing, really. My clothes are all flattering. I always wear multiple earrings. I would never be without my ear piercings. I wear necklaces, rings, etc.

I will lose weight, but it's not something that bothers me that much.
I'm honest about it. I'm overweight, but who cares. I'm 5ft 6inches tall, so it does'nt look too bad.
Even if I got to the perfect size, I'd still be plain and the lowest I'll get is size 18.

Many things about the medias and business' ideas of female and male and beauty in general are very bad for you. They damage your mind.

I loathe and despise makeup. I would NEVER wear makeup.

I ignored makeup for my entire life till a point in about 2005 or 2006.
Then I was bought a makeup kit by me mother.
And that was very bad for my personality.

I was terrible at putting it on. It did nothing for my beauty wise. And it made my bad personality traits worse.
If I don't use brutal self control, I get bad personality traits.
I make sure I only have things that I use, wear, or play.
Everything I don't need, brings out horrible personality flaws. You name it, if it's vanity, money or media, if it's not a game bought at low price, it makes me regret it massively and and makes me unhappy.

Eventually, after various bad things happened, I threw out all the bad stuff in my life.
I was so happy when I threw the makeup kit out. I would not touch makeup for anything now.

I very deliberately ignored makeup for my entire life till then. I got to about 13, and my mother would sometimes ask, would you like a makeup lesson. She would ask every so often if I'd like some girl in the village to give me a makeup lesson.
I always very emphatically said no. I could tell it was pointless vanity that would only hurt my personaility. It got downright irritating after a point.
It usually went.
You're a teenage girl, you might like to try makeup. I can pay someone to show you how to do it.
No, I don't want to, it's stupid and vain.
Are you sure? You might like it. Teenage girls usually like makeup.
No! I don't want to have a makeup lesson!

I eventually said very emphatically, 'No, I don't want a makeup lesson, please stop asking' at some point, I think.
That makes it sound worse than it was, she was no vanity butterfly herself. I think she thought 'teenage girl, maybe should try makeup.'
I was also too far in the opposite end of vanity and did'nt care at all about fashion. To the point I did'nt wear particularly flattering clothes. But it was the 90s, so no one noticed.

I recognized early I had horrible personality flaws and figured the only way to stop them was avoid the triggers for them. I still had terrible personality flaws and traits and was a idiot.
But if I'd fallen for the makeup crap when it was offered, I'd have been a much worse person for it.

Makeup should NEVER be shown to teenagers. Being a teenager is bad enough. You should'nt give them a chance to be worse.

Make up is absolutely pathetic. It is the most pointless thing in existance. The things it's made from would be better off used for making munitions or chemicals or other things.

It's incrediblely damaging to the psyche. You don't wear makeup, it never cross' your mind that you don't look fine.
But some people can't bear the thought of their own face in it's naturel form. That's downright unhealthy.

Makeup creates a false deficite in you self esteem. That is how most beauty cons work.
They try to tell you you ar'nt good looking enough, use this.

Oh yeah that pressure exist. I see it everyday in school when I wear my baggy guy shirts, or when I wear my sweat pants and a random shirt because I was too tired to plan an outfit. Girls at school think that showing off breast and asses will get you more men, and needing low cut shirts and tiny shorts get you 'the d'. They get beauty off of the TV, on the internet and off of fucking those life shows. Kardashians, Millionaire teens, whatever.

Personally, I'm half of the time disappointed in my own gender. I don't think you need to dress like a whore to get anyones attention, but most girls do and that greatly upsets me.

Paradox SuXcess:

Phasmal:
I had this boyfriend once who proclaimed that he really `loved women` and hated the beauty standard they were held to, turns out that was just a cover for: `I don't want you wearing make up or skirts or anything nice because thats 'asking for attention and why would you do that if you truly loved meeeeeeee?` (Ew).
If you want to wear make-up, wear the hell out of that make-up. If you don't, don't.
But do it for yourself.

You know, I hear that same exact story from many girl mates I know/knew. They meet a guy, their feelings develop, they both make sacrifices for each other (in actually case it was her that was making the most sacrifices) and they the guy because controlling to the point that she must cover up, not even shorts in the summer or short sleeve shirt, must not wear any, as some guys would call it "slutty" make up (that pisses me off), must not talk to guy mates unless it were his mates (to keep an eye on her or something) and pretty much result in her not really being the person she was when she met him and actually changed to fit his preference. Apparently all in the name of "love", but that was not love at all. I don't wish that upon anyone. I am sorry you had to go through what you did, with your ex boyfriend because he shouldn't control you at all. You are a free person, not a trophy.

Thanks, Paradox, you seem like a chill dude.

Yeah, one too many people I know has a `horrible controlling ex` story.
I think too many young men* are very insecure, and can only find security by trying to drag others down. My ex pretty much flat-out admitted that's why he tried to ruin my self esteem `because I don't want you to realise you're too good for me and dump me`- so anyway I realized I was too good for him and dumped him.

*Not only men but I definitely think it's a trend in young men. Could be in young women too but I don't date women so yeah.

But I'm seeing too much girlhate in this thread.
Girls, don't hate on other girls. They are dealing with the exact same shit you are. How they choose to deal with it is up to them.

And make up is not evil.
And women do not make all their fashion choices just for men.

The last one is an easy trap to fall into, but really girls, do YOU get up in the morning and ask yourself what a random man would think of your outfit?
I don't.
If I dress in short-shorts it's for me.*
If I dress in a nun outfit it would still be for me.

*Actually if I dress in short-shorts its because I have this pair of short-shorts that are Hulk-pants purple and I have this long sleeved green top and I wear the two together and have a motherlovin' Hulk Day.

Phasmal:
The last one is an easy trap to fall into, but really girls, do YOU get up in the morning and ask yourself what a random man would think of your outfit?
I don't.
If I dress in short-shorts it's for me.
If I dress in a nun outfit it would still be for me.

Let's say I do. Does that make me a lesser person?

I think lots of people wear clothes, accessories and make-up because they want to look attractive. That doesn't make them bad people. Everyone wants to feel attractive and desirable.

I disagree that this makes them "vain" or "whores", as some people above put it. But justifying the way you dress by saying that you do it for yourself doesn't sit right with me at all. It kind of sounds like you're saying that women who dress for others are being vain whores.

manic_depressive13:

Phasmal:
The last one is an easy trap to fall into, but really girls, do YOU get up in the morning and ask yourself what a random man would think of your outfit?
I don't.
If I dress in short-shorts it's for me.
If I dress in a nun outfit it would still be for me.

Let's say I do. Does that make me a lesser person?

I think lots of people wear clothes, accessories and make-up because they want to look attractive. That doesn't make them bad people. Everyone wants to feel attractive and desirable.

I disagree that this makes them "vain" or "whores", as some people above put it. But justifying the way you dress by saying that you do it for yourself doesn't sit right with me at all. It kind of sounds like you're saying that women who dress for others are being vain whores.

C'mon do you really think that's what I'm saying?
No, that's not what I'm saying at all.

I was more saying don't assume other people's motives for doing shit, as most of the time you're probably going to be wrong anyway.
I think being attractive and desirable IS `doing it for yourself`- it makes YOU feel good, so good for you.

Basically if I had an ex who felt better about himself by talking shit about me if I tried to look nice and I go outside and judge people for trying to look nice- How am I different? Why is it okay?
Trying to bring others down does not put you above.

Phasmal:
Basically if I had an ex who felt better about himself by talking shit about me if I tried to look nice and I go outside and judge people for trying to look nice- How am I different? Why is it okay?
Trying to bring others down does not put you above.

I completely agree. I just think it might be more productive to say that you shouldn't resent anyone for trying to look and feel attractive. Whether or not someone is dressing for themselves is completely beside the point in my opinion. Maybe I want to wear short-shorts to look like the hulk. Maybe I want to wear short-shorts because I want random men to think I'm sexy. Both are valid reasons.

I know that you're not trying to put anyone down. I have just seen that line of argument be misused way too often.

manic_depressive13:

Phasmal:
Basically if I had an ex who felt better about himself by talking shit about me if I tried to look nice and I go outside and judge people for trying to look nice- How am I different? Why is it okay?
Trying to bring others down does not put you above.

I completely agree. I just think it might be more productive to say that you shouldn't resent anyone for trying to look and feel attractive. Whether or not someone is dressing for themselves is completely beside the point in my opinion. Maybe I want to wear short-shorts to look like the hulk. Maybe I want to wear short-shorts because I want random men to think I'm sexy. Both are valid reasons.

I know that you're not trying to put anyone down. I have just seen that line of argument be misused way too often.

Yeah, I've never been too great at wording, but that's basically what I meant.
Just let everyone be happy.

EDIT: Also you should try dressing like the Hulk at least once. I find it does wonders for the confidence.

Phasmal:

The last one is an easy trap to fall into, but really girls, do YOU get up in the morning and ask yourself what a random man would think of your outfit?
I don't.
If I dress in short-shorts it's for me.*
If I dress in a nun outfit it would still be for me.

The question I've always had with that position, is what are you really getting out of it?

It's hard to explain the question, so I'll propose another question, Would you still care about your appearance if you were the last living thing in existence?

I sure wouldn't. I accept that my appearance is for me, at least how in the sense that it's how I want to be perceived by other people, in a world with only me however I wouldn't care about appearance.

Firstly, what race is this woman?

Secondly, if there's anything I know about how guys feel about girls, it's that they don't care too much if you fit a "standard" of beauty. It's a myth that porn gives men "unrealistic expectations of women", because I don't know any guy that rigidly expects a woman to be a spotless, super-curvy, "alpha female" with gigantic breasts and a perfectly round ass. What guys like in girls is just as varied as what girls like in guys. For example, I'm partial to tall androgynous girls with short hair, but it's certainly not a dating criteria. You don't have to have a certain colour of hair, skin smoothness, cup size (I don't actually know what breast size a C-cup is) or even be stunning. I couldn't tell you the amount of girls (and guys) with partners at my school (and outside) who - and I feel ashamed to even say this - I've looked at and thought, "How the fuck do they get laid? They're absolute munters!" It's a cliché, but if there's one thing both guys and girls like almost universally, it's confidence.

But yeah, there's this girl I'm acquainted with through my friend who I talk to occasionally on Facebook, and she said the other day that no matter how many compliments people (both male and female) give her about her appearance, she'll always think she's ugly. I mean, she's a smart girl; she knows that all that stuff in girls' magazines is damaging to girls' self-esteem, but she's always looking at other girls and putting them up on a pedestal and saying things like, "You don't know how much I wish I was her". I don't think it's just a teenage girl thing, although it's probably worse when you're a teenager because hormones, peer pressure, blah.

Of course, it's easier said than done, and it doesn't help that it's very hard for a woman of average or less-than-average attractiveness to get into showbiz or the film industry. Even I, as a black male, sometimes presume that girls won't be interested in me because of my colour, even when my friends tell me it's silly to think that (and sometimes jokily invoke the "big black dick" trope). But the best advice you can give is that, whenever anxiety strikes and you hear a voice in your head or something going, "You're never going to be good enough", try to challenge those thoughts rationally and ask yourself if anyone even cares about these things as much as you do. They probably don't, and if they do, they're not the people you should be hanging around with. If someone calls you a "slut", it's because they can't think of a more creative insult. As for media, the only reason they like to get into women's heads and encourage them to gossip about their colleagues' dress sense is so they can make money out of their insecurities by getting them to buy more make-up, perfume and shoes likely identical to the ones they have at home anyway.

wulf3n:

Phasmal:

The last one is an easy trap to fall into, but really girls, do YOU get up in the morning and ask yourself what a random man would think of your outfit?
I don't.
If I dress in short-shorts it's for me.*
If I dress in a nun outfit it would still be for me.

The question I've always had with that position, is what are you really getting out of it?

It's hard to explain the question, so I'll propose another question, Would you still care about your appearance if you were the last living thing in existence?

I sure wouldn't. I accept that my appearance is for me, at least how in the sense that it's how I want to be perceived by other people, in a world with only me however I wouldn't care about appearance.

Yes I would still care about my appearance if I were the last living thing, after I got over the massive trauma of that, I guess.
I sometimes wanna look nice even if I'm not going anywhere and am not even gonna leave my house.
Certain clothes can make you feel a certain way.
Looking nice when you're feeling shitty can lighten your mood.

And if I did care what people thought, they would be the people I love, not some random stranger on the bus.
But that's just me personally.

Phasmal:
But I'm seeing too much girlhate in this thread.
Girls, don't hate on other girls. They are dealing with the exact same shit you are. How they choose to deal with it is up to them.

And make up is not evil.
And women do not make all their fashion choices just for men.

Yeah, this is something that bothers me a lot when I read discussions like this one. There is no need to resent women who choose to express themselves differently than you and I think it's sad how common "girl hate" is especially among younger women. It's the whole "other girls" thing.

It's such a toxic attitude.

Sgt. Sykes:
I'd just like to point out that pretty much every study or research has shown that guys aren't actually that interested in the 'beauty standards' made up by the fashion industry. It's just that it's so ubiquitous that people got to the idea that those actually are human standards. In reality, guys generally don't appreciate those fakes.

It's the same with guys really. From the ads, one would say that a man should have a gigantic dick and huge Rambo muscles, and many guys really obsess about both. But ask real women and most don't actually like those traits.

Not saying that looks are completely unimportant, that would be lying. One is supposed to generally take care about oneself (to prevent getting unhealthy/overweight and such) but obsessing about some artificial standards can get a person to a bad place and frame of mind.

('m a guy.)

Thanks for pointing this out, I think there's a massive disparity between what Joe Schmo, average guy on the street actually finds attractive, and what the "fashion industry" says is attractive. For example, for years, Kate Moss was considered the poster-child of both runway models and also the dangerous obsession with thinness in that particular industry. But I have yet to meet a single heterosexual male who thinks Kate Moss is attractive.

On the other hand, I've met tons of guys who think Gina Carano or Ronda Rousey are super hot, and I think we can all agree that those ladies are most definitely healthy and fit (they are top athletes in a very physically demanding sport).

Ihateregistering1:

Thanks for pointing this out, I think there's a massive disparity between what Joe Schmo, average guy on the street actually finds attractive, and what the "fashion industry" says is attractive. For example, for years, Kate Moss was considered the poster-child of both runway models and also the dangerous obsession with thinness in that particular industry. But I have yet to meet a single heterosexual male who thinks Kate Moss is attractive.

On the other hand, I've met tons of guys who think Gina Carano or Ronda Rousey are super hot, and I think we can all agree that those ladies are most definitely healthy and fit (they are top athletes in a very physically demanding sport).

I see that a lot. I have never actually heard Joe Schmoe, average guy on the streets or on TV that would say Kate Moss was attractive. However whenever there is a story about Christina Hendricks, most of the comment section online would have loads of men saying "wow what a woman", "now that's a real woman" and other things similar to that. Christina Hendricks is a woman that is, as the fashion industry would describe as, "plus size", which the majority of the industry do not advertise. Just to say, I have no idea what the minimum for "plus size" is because each country is different. I don't think Christina Hendricks is plus size but the fashion industry may think of her as that.

If anyone who thinks they are worth their salt ever sits there using the word fit or banging to describe beauty, I will personally come and wrench their teeth out. Just had to make that point, you speak the English language, the language which is a fucking mastermind at describing things, USE IT PROPERLY.

As a guy, I get pissed off with the notion of perfect or standard, because perfection is subjective, perfection for one is a monstrosity for another, to appeal to this general idea makes nothing of you but exactly what I can imagine, and if I can imagine it to the fucking tee, I likely won't be all that impressed. Beauty isn't a set of attributes, it is a state of being, yes there are a few things like ample breast size and in general a child bearing body that are promoted as beautiful because they are what we desire as a rule of reproduction, but this bombardment of what you MUST be creates a phenomenal amount of conformity, an element despised in a species that thrives on being so vast and different.

Also, the guy sounds like an inconsiderate fuck who deserves to be run over and consequentially kicked the fuck out of the gene pool, I want to have some wonderful kids some day and I get real upset when I see shitheads like you and realise you and your goddamn family line are gonna be the bane of mine for a real long time. Making me suffer is one thing, but the future of my family deserves a little less of that crap.

Uhura:

Yeah, this is something that bothers me a lot when I read discussions like this one. There is no need to resent women who choose to express themselves differently than you and I think it's sad how common "girl hate" is especially among younger women. It's the whole "other girls" thing.

It's such a toxic attitude.

I agree.
Though I'll fully admit I went through an `I'm not like other girls!` stage. (internal facepalm)
It's such bullshit, I'm embarrassed for my past self- and seeing it now just makes me feel sad.

I think especially ladies who are interested in hobbies society deems as not traditionally feminine can fall into this trap.

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