Is there anything we as humans won't do or try in the name of beauty, no matter how seemingly ridiculous, dangerous, or uncomfortable it may be? As a culture, we strive for perfection, but many times the things we do to make ourselves more attractive end up doing the opposite. That's because they often involve forgetting one essential truth: We are beautiful just the way we are. All of us. But that flowery self love stuff doesn't always do the trick when we have a hot date, and we're feeling like a wet donkey instead of a beautiful human.
It's usually in this state of panic and longing for acceptance and approval that we make some poor decisions. Decisions that we think will make us attractive, but instead expose our insecurities. We take bad advice. We follow bad trends. We wear things we don't want to wear. We even take each other down in the name of lifting ourselves up. It can get ugly, both metaphorically and literally. Here are some ways we misguidedly try to climb the beauty ladder. May we recognize when we're doing them as often as we recognize our own innate beauty. Because, seriously, we really are just so freaking beautiful.
1. Wearing The Wrong Amount Of Makeup
Let me be clear. The right amount of makeup is however much you f*cking want. It's your face (or maybe you're into contouring your knees or cleavage or back), and the only person you should be wearing makeup for is you. If you slather on too much because you think you need it, or you don't wear any because you're tired of people telling you that you wear too much, you're not being your true, authentic self, and there's nothing hotter than someone who is true to themselves.
2. Being A Slave To Trends
Have you ever had that uncomfortable feeling that happens when you're not wearing your clothes, your clothes are wearing you? If something is really trendy, but you're just not feeling it, you don't have to wear it. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, but it's the "it" fashion item, you won't rock it, no matter how it actually looks on you. If you can be confident and rock something last season (or 10 seasons ago), you'll look better than if you try to force a trend. It's not just the clothes that make you attractive. It's how you pull them off.
3. Following Fashion Rules
Don't wear white after labor day. Don't wear brown shoes with black pants. Wear a one-piece bathing suit with a cover-up if you're plus sized. Snooze; I just fell asleep for a second while listing the fashion rules I grew up with. Fashion rules are arbitrary, and I doubt you'll run in to many people who actually care enough to call you out for breaking them. And if they do, then you should probably check them somehow. How sad it would be, indeed, if you wore a one piece bathing suit because you thought it made you more attractive when you could be rocking that fatkini and being the belle of the beach. Rules are meant to be broken.
4. Playing Dumb
I remember hearing both "boys don't like girls who are smarter than them" and "boys hate dumb girls" while growing up. So which is it? How about this: It doesn't matter. You do not exist to get boys (or girls, or all/non genders) to like you. Dumbing yourself down doesn't make you more attractive to anyone who is actually worth being with. It makes you look, well, dumb. Of course, you know that because if you're playing dumb, then that's what you're going for. But it's insulting to yourself and to others. Just be you, and if that's not attractive enough, or it's too intimidating for the person you're on a date with, they can go fine someone else and you can move on to something better.
5. Losing Or Gaining Too Much Weight
Bodies are so freaking complicated. We are told (and we often want) to both love ourselves as we are and to change ourselves at the same time. That's a total mind bender. Changing how you look by losing or gaining weight in order to look more attractive is fine if you do it for yourself. It's not fine if you only do it because you feel pressured. If you love yourself as is and don't want to lose weight or gain it, doing so won't make you look more attractive. It will make you look like someone who isn't you. Be you. That's the most attractive version of yourself.
If you're a person who thinks being super slim is most attractive, and you're starving yourself to get there, you're doing yourself a disservice on a couple of levels. First, if you under-eat, you're undernourished. You may be as thin as you want, but you may also look sickly and pale eventually. You might get sores, thick body hair, hair loss, and a whole host of other problems that come with undernourishment. Then again, you might not show any outward signs of being unhealthy. It's really easy (and dangerous) to cross into eating disorder territory in an attempt to look a certain way. Your body is yours to control, but you have to prioritize your health over your desired level of thinness and find balance. There's no sense in being your definition (or society's definition) of beautiful if you're not alive to enjoy it.
7. Always Being Beast Mode
Confidence is sexy. Especially when it's genuine. If you're not confident and you constantly slip into beast mode to overcompensate, you might be less sexy and more scary. By "beast mode," I mean that it's you at 1,000 percent, tying too hard do everything and please everyone. It's your personality on steroids. If being beast mode is your goal, then by all means, go for it. I'm not one for telling people to tone it down in order to look sexy. But if sexy is what you're going for, your amped up version of yourself might be having the opposite effect. In a nutshell, you don't have to try so hard. Try finding ways to improve your self-esteem and confidence so they can radiate naturally. Then you won't have to fake it and throw people off anymore.
8. Taking Only Over-Edited Half-Selfies
Are all your online pics half selfies of just one side of your face, or just your head, at a weird angle, in perfect lighting, and impossibly edited? Yeah, you might think you're making yourself look more attractive to your friends, but when you curate this false image of perfection, people who see you in person are going to expect that perfection. Sure, part of that's on them. You have a right to look however you want, online and off, but my point is, you don't have to create your own impossible standard of beauty. It's OK to look like what you look like. I'm not saying to stop taking your perfect selfies. Do you! I'm just saying maybe sometimes show the world what you really look like because that's beautiful, too. Fee free to disagree.
9. Being Snarky
We've all done it. We make fun of someone's hair or criticize their shoes. Sometimes we just do it with our besties to be funny, but sometimes we do it to feel better about ourselves. But in the long run, tearing down other people to make ourselves feel more attractive only does the opposite. We're more attractive when we're lifting each other up. Snark (especially girl-on-girl crime, but I'm looking at you, too, people of all genders) helps create the kind of destructive culture that forces us to feel like we are not good enough. It's pretty gross.
The takeaway here is that trying to be something your not for the sake of being more attractive almost always fails. Better to embrace the beauty in your true self.
Images: Pexels (10)