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deni's avatar

Do you feel as beautiful as others think you are? Can you help me figure out how to do that?

Asked by deni (22607points) November 9th, 2011

Sorry if this is long winded. The question kinda progressed and became longer halfway through…

Scenario, for everyone, but I think more so for the ladies: Say you have recently made a friend who happens to be the bartender at a bar you frequent. He confesses at one point while you’re hanging out and chatting that he has been working at the bar for twelve years and, although he sees plenty of young women on a daily basis, as soon as you walked in the first time, he thought you were the most beautiful one he’d ever seen. You want to believe him, because he is a genuine and good person that you truly trust. But do you really?

Can you really believe you’re the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen? Sure, okay, so this scenario did happen to me last night, and while I wanted to be really flattered, I just….I guess I can’t see myself as all that beautiful. I really want to be able to, and I don’t know how. I also realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I truly believe that. But….is it just me?

I guess it’s deeper than that too, though. People, over the years and in one way or another, have many times told me how beautiful or “exotic” looking I am. One friend of a friend even used the word “striking”. A waitress once started gushing about what beautiful skin I have. My favorite, was 2 black women in a thrift store in Ohio, who wouldn’t stop telling me how lucky I was to have such beautiful hair, and how absolutely gorgeous the freckles on my face are. (PS: Please don’t think I’m trying to sound braggy here. I really want to resolve this issue. If anything, I really feel the opposite way about myself as I probably sound here)

It truly just comes as a shock to me when people say things like that….I don’t ever think for a second that I have nice skin. I definitely don’t feel that I’m striking. The women in the thrift shop…I couldn’t believe they were complimenting me for moles on my face. I have hated them my entire life and done everything in my power to make them less visible all the time (They aren’t big or huge or thick or anything gross, there’s just more than average). I suppose I just don’t feel like they’re ideal. I know I’ve been brainwashed by the media, and I’m completely aware of it, but I can’t fucking get myself to believe that I’m beautiful. I know that you always see flaws in yourself as way bigger than they really are, and most of the time nobody else even notices them. I know all this, but I just can’t apply it to my own life.

I don’t really have anybody I feel comfortable talking to about this sort of thing, unfortunately. So, Fluther…..Any advice? Help?

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27 Answers

EmptyNest's avatar

I would say if the compliment seems genuine and the person paying you the compliment has nothing to gain by it, it’s probably genuine. If the bartender is someone you trust and has known you for a long time, I take the compliment. Guys who are hitting on you will say anything. It sounds to me like you’re way to hard on yourself. :-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, I don’t know myself. I would like to feel as beautiful as others say I am.

Aethelwine's avatar

Accept the compliment and don’t sell yourself short.

believe in yourself

Sunny2's avatar

I’ve gradually come to think that I’m lucky to look like I do, which is better than average, but beautiful? As I got older, I looked even better (comparing myself to other women my age). Once in a while I catch myself looking beautiful in a mirror or a photograph will come out very flattering. It’s a nice feeling. I don’t think anyone would tell you that you were beautiful and not think so, unless they had ulterior motives. All I can say, is that knowing someone thinks you’re beautiful (and particularly if it’s someone you care about ) can make you feel beautiful. Thinking it is halfway to believing it. I would like to think that everyone has someone who thinks they are beautiful.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve seen pictures, and you are beautiful. It’s more than just your looks, though… it’s almost like you have a light inside you, that radiates out. Like you have a beautiful inner-being.

Your looks are not conventional, (thus the ‘exotic’ and ‘stunning’ comments), so I can see why you may think you don’t fit the ‘standard’ mold of beauty. But, that’s even better, IMHO. Who wants to look like a Barbie doll, when they could look like you, instead?

Even if you can’t quite wrap your head around it, learn how to be pleased by the compliments, and to accept them gracefully. It’s a good life lesson. :)

KatawaGrey's avatar

Deni, you are truly a woman after my own heart. I feel the same way. Recently, I ended my longest relationship three years and towards the end, I felt especially unattractive. Throughout the whole relationship, I felt that I was definitely the lesser of the two. I was always half-waiting for my boyfriend to wake up and realize that he could do better. Once we broke up, all these men came up out of the woodwork to tell me how beautiful and wonderful and attractive I am. At first, I didn’t believe them. I thought they saw an easy opportunity for sex, or they simply thought they couldn’t do any better. A big reason I only date serious geeks and nerds is because their standards for beauty are much lower than average. Never told anyone that before.

Recently, however, I reconnected with a boy I met almost 9 years ago. I developed a crush on him then that lasted through high school. He confessed to me that he had always been interested in me in high school and had thought that I was gorgeous. Now, I am much curvier and, according to him, much sexier. He is the kind of man that would make you stop dead in your tracks if you saw him. I know he’s not lying to me when he says he thinks I’m sexy and he’s the first who I have honestly known wasn’t lying to me.

When I look in the mirror, all I see is my fleshy stomach, my disproportionately large thighs, my pimples, the fat roll that sometimes appears right under my neck. Objectively, there are a few parts of me that are attractive, but I don’t really see myself as a whole as being beautiful. Apparently, I am, though it is shocking and strange to think so. I have this little voice in the back of my head that would chastise me for having crushes on attractive guys because it always seemed stupid and unfair for me to like them. I didn’t deserve them. I could never get them so all I was doing was hurting myself and making a fool out of myself. That voice is much quieter and speaks much less frequently now, but it is still there and will probably always be there.

The best I can think to tell you is that you will probably always feel that you are not beautiful. However, in time, you may come to realize that people who tell you are beautiful are not lying, and they actually think you are stunning. You don’t have to believe it about yourself, just let yourself believe that they are telling you the truth. When they look at you, they see everything you don’t, and everything you fixate on is barely noticeable, if at all.

It also helps to realize that because you are such a wonderful person, people only see evidence that you are wonderful and that includes all the good parts of your physical appearance.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have always been clueless about looks. I once mentioned to my favorite aunt that I thought my sister was the pretty one and I was the smart one. Auntie said “I always felt sorry for your sister, because you got both the looks and the smarts.”

deni's avatar

@KatawaGrey Is it being in a long term relationship that is maybe starting to flounder a little bit that makes us feel not so great about ourselves? When you’re not available to be hit on ever, and thus, complimented all that much, I think it takes a toll. I don’t really think my relationship is the root of this unfortunate feeling, but it does make sense. Isn’t it funny how sometimes all it takes is a semi random strangers opinion to make you feel so much better? Great answer, too. Thank you, soul sista.

@augustlan You also are amazing. And I know, I know, I hate the standard look. It’s almost like theres something in my subconscious that doesn’t though!!?

@Simone_De_Beauvoir You seem (obviously just from what I know on here so, could be totally inaccurate) like a very confident person, so your answer surprises me..

downtide's avatar

If anyone figures this out, let me know how to do it. If anyone ever pays me a compliment on my appearance (aside from my clothes), I just feel that they’re trying to be nice because they feel sorry for me.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t see my own beauty. I don’t think I ever have really. I love @augustlan‘s answer though because really, inner beauty is so much more valuable than our external appearance. I would rather not be too invested in how I look on the outside. It is funny how we see our sisters as the ‘beautiful’ one isn’t it @YARNLADY. Your comment reminds me of a conversation another jelly and I had a while ago. I would name her but I am not allowed!

flutherother's avatar

“Isn’t it the other that gives me this beauty? An external virtue that doesn’t exist in itself, surely not the property of the one who carries it. I’m nothing without the gaze of the other. I have this face that gives form to my soul. I don’t hold illusions about my beauty, because it’s fragile. Some love it; some don’t, for it hurts them. But thanks to it, I’ve received compliments that have moved me, flowers offered in the street by people, poems in its honour: people who have understood that this beauty is generous and free. It’s a gift that expects nothing.” Maram Al Massri

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@deni I am a totally confident person but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas where I’m less confident or days when I’m not confident. Besides, I put more stock into who I am rather than what I look like and I am confident that who I am is worth a lot. My looks I may complain about but who cares, in the end, about looks?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@deni: Something about a stagnating relationship sometimes makes you feel just awful, it’s true. I actually saw my ex the other day for the first time ever and he has lost a lot of weight. He looks amazing, as good as when we first started dating. I told him so and he said I looked good too. I mentioned that I had gotten nowhere on my own diet/exercise plan and he said that I still looked really good and he was absolutely sincere. I was flummoxed. It took all my willpower not to shout, “Then why did you stop wanting to have sex with me????”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey ‘Cause it’s not just about lust sometimes, you think?

Ayesha's avatar

It’s a tough question. I suppose yes, sometimes. Depends upon whose saying it.

Facade's avatar

You’re super hot! I’d totally do you haha

No, but seriously, I along with most women can definitely relate. IMO women are told they need to look better than they do from the day they’re born, so it makes us insecure. Most of us have a warped sense of beauty because of photoshop and stuff, but we have to work to change our beauty ideals.
I’ve found that I feel unattractive because I know that I’m not doing my best when it comes to keeping up my physical appearance and mental health. Depression, anxiety, etc. can show on the outside as much as not exercising, whether we realize it or not. I think the best thing to do is to not focus on whether or not you feel beautiful, and just live the best you can. Exercise, eat healthily, have a positive mindset, take care of the skin you’re in, and you’ll be your most beautiful you!

AshLeigh's avatar

I’ve never felt beautiful.
People tell me I am, and I go along with it, but I’ve never been able to think of myself as beautiful. That’s really the only thing I don’t like about myself.
I’m a good writer, I’m a good person, I’m funny, and nice. I believe all of that. But I’ve never been able to look into the mirror and like the person looking back at me.
I catch myself every day… “I with my hair was longer. I wish my teeth were straighter, and whiter. My lips are too thin. My eyes are shaped weird. I with I were thinner. I wish I was taller. Blah blah blah.”
So I’d say we, along with most women, are in the same boat.
I know, for me, the more I look into the mirror, the uglier I feel. So I try not to look in the mirror so much. That might help you…

cockswain's avatar

You might be super hot, I don’t know. But guys sometimes make shit up to get laid. Tough to say.

EmptyNest's avatar

@AshLeigh, stop looking so hard in the mirror. You are beautiful! Believe me, 20 years from now you will look at a picture of yourself that you hate at the age you are now, and wish you looked that good! You are beautiful!

AshLeigh's avatar

@EmptyNest, thank you. :)

tinyfaery's avatar

Lots of people, from lovers to strangers, have called me beautiful and for the most part I have come to believe it. Even when I feel fat and gross, I can look at my face and say, yeah, I’m cute. It’s just kinda matter of fact and not in any way conceited. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t take myself seriously, in any way.

I think I just accepted it with age. Somewhere in my mid-30’s I adopted this attitude.

emeraldisles's avatar

People tell me this a lot and I never feel as if I am. Oh well. I think we see flaws in ourselves that other people do not see. It’s lovely to hear it though.

cookieman's avatar

Nobody thinks I’m beautiful, so yes – I completely agree with them.

AshLeigh's avatar

@cprevite, I think you’re beautiful. ;)

Bellatrix's avatar

Looks @cprevite over the top of my specs. I rest my case.

cookieman's avatar

@AshLeigh & @Bellatrix: Aww, it’s just my chocolate chips you’re drawn to. :^)

AshLeigh's avatar

@cprevite… I don’t think that’s it. :D

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