A few weeks ago, there was pretty good discussion on a forum that I frequent or rather lurk. The initial poster, initiated this discussion by asking “How does one accept being ugly?” At first there were the usual cliche, PC answers like “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, “Some of the most physically beautiful people can have the ugliest personalities which makes them ugly and vice versa for physically ugly people”, and “Outer appearance isn’t important, it’s what’s inside that counts” and so on, so forth. However, I have a very difficult time believing people when they make these statements. If people really believe looks don’t matter, then how come every time I say “I feel my looks are below average”, others say I have low self esteem. If looks really didn’t matter, then self esteem shouldn’t have any type of correlation with how you look. A woman’s value is measured by how she looks. Plain and simple. The less desirable a woman looks, the more her value decreases.
I written about some of my experiences growing up as a child on this message board. I pretty much know where I fit in based on how strangers, ‘friends’ and yes, even family treated me when I was younger. It’s hard for people outside looking in to understand and come to the conclusion that people like me just have low self esteem. I was teased and bullied all throughout childhood about my looks. I had so called friends who really didn’t treat me as their friend. I always seem to come in handy only as a last resort. People found me to be a nuisance if I laughed or smiled, especially since my teeth were so crooked. I learned to stop smiling. They found me to be annoying if gave an opinion, or had an idea. So I learned to shut up. I was even hit by family if I came off as ‘whiny’ or ‘bratty’ if I complained about something. Behaviors that my more attractive cousins could get away with without the same treatment, or labels. Of course I was a friend when it was convenient to them, so after about the age of 15, I didn’t make an effort to make any and became a loner.
I think I was always a bit of an introvert, but I think growing up with the “Ugly Girl Experience” may have pushed me to the extreme. I’m still struggling with self esteem. I’m at times shy. I don’t really like the way I look. I don’t have the desire to make friends, with the exception of my closest friend who lives an hour and 45 minutes away. I’m 25 years old and never been on a date, or even been kissed. I learned from an early age that no guy would touch me and internalized it. I’m suspicious of people who persistently try to pursue me as a friend. I wonder if I’m being taking advantage of. I can spend a week by myself, in my apartment without any contact and be okay with that, which to most is not normal. I feel safe alone.
One poster described the “Ugly Girl Experience” better than anyone could, even me. What she types is my life unfolding right onto the computer screen. This was my childhood, adolescence, and young adult years. She says…
I have had the Ugly Girl Treatment.
What I want to contribute to this thread is a bit of the Ugly Girl Experience. They are all different, but have some similar attributes:
People at large mistreat you and others around in non-verbal ways legitimate their actions. You pick up on this as a child and as an adult and internalize that SOCIETY has a place for you and is INVESTED in keeping you there.
Ignoring a few opinions is one thing (and difficult enough). Ignoring the world’s opinion? That’s a different battle all together.
I recognize this is an extreme view “that the world is against you”; however, the UGE makes you perceive that this extreme view is in fact “the norm”.
The next few instances were a part of my everyday life from the age of SIX onward:
Other children pointing out in detail what was disgusting about me in front of their parents and other adults and other adults and their parents laughing along. I was left undefended. I learned as a child that the ADULTS I DEPENDED ON for safety and security seemed to AGREE with my tormentors. This is CRUSHING.
As an older teen, gaining a voice and speaking back to those who, yes, LITERALLY WALK UP TO YOU AND TELL YOU HOW UNFORTUNATE YOUR FACE AND BODY IS –only to be REPRIMANDED by authority figures for “causing a problem over a few words”. You have been PUNISHED For trying to HAVE SELF ESTEEM. You learn you DON’T deserve RESPECT or PROTECTION. As a woman this is doubly crushing!!
As a young adult, you are jeered at and taunted by men. WOMEN AROUND YOU LAUGH IN AGREEMENT. BOTH SEXES have declared you unfit and SIMULTANEOUSLY AGREE IN A VARIETY OF EVER-CHANGING SITUATIONS IN WHICH THE ONLY COMMON DENOMINATOR IS YOU.
I moved around the US in my childhood and in EVERY NEW PLACE THE SAME INSULTS WERE USED IN THE SAME WAYS. Surely, the problem was ME…I was the only common denominator!
For me personally: FAMILY members make the same jabs as perfect strangers teaching me that EVEN IN YOUR OWN HOME AMONG THE PEOPLE THAT GAVE YOU THE GENES THAT MADE YOU LOOK AS YOU DO YOU ARE UNFIT TO RECEIVE A SLIVER OF DECENCY.
Other common occurrences:
-Cashiers throw money into your hand and frown (Specifically after being courteous to people of all races, sexes, and SES, statuses before you got in line…they just happened to be better looking than you. Not perfect…but, better).
-Sales clerks make it seem you are a bother and you began feeling bad for needing their help…you are a nuisance.
-Potential employers are immediately less than impressed.
-Men’s faces fall when they shift from your cute friend’s face to yours.
-Women walking past you look you up and down and smirk.
-MUA tell you, you NEED everything they suggest.
-MUA gasp when they remove your foundation and concealer.
-Nurses are less accommodating.
-People are short with you and expect you to be a quick learner, because, heave-forbid you be “ugly AND stupid”.
The list goes on.
I don’t know how to end this post except…
Treat everyone with some respect and dignity. Those of us deemed less desirable have feelings too.