During my late adolescence I was notoriously unattractive. I had an extremely weak chin, a severe overbite and overjet, my face was covered in cystic acne and style was certainly not my saving grace. These days I still have a severe overbite and overjet, and a weak chin but you can’t tell because I ‘hold’ my face differently. It is less an aesthetic problem and more of a functional and structural one.
From the ages of 16 to 19 my life was very different to how it is now. I was regularly insulted by strangers in the street, in person and in vehicles, and shop clerks either ignored me or made passive aggressive comments regarding skin products. Sometimes I would be insulted in the street multiple times in a day. I remember the day my previous boyfriend’s drunken father chastised him for his low standards, stated that I wasn’t fit to be a ‘Friday special’, and resorted to saying ‘eww’ repeatedly in a desperate effort to describe how hideous I was. One day I asked my previous boyfriend whether he found me attractive, and without conviction he looked at the floor and said I was pretty. Of course, I knew this wasn’t true. Another one of my previous boyfriends said something along the lines of “I was debating whether I was going to ask you out or not, as you have loads of spots” and later added “sometimes it looks flaky too, ewww”. On another occasion I was nominated for an academic award in college, the usual routine was to take a picture of the winning individual and put it in the main passage, however the principal decided to find someone else to nominate. I am sure you can guess that I wasn’t attractive enough to be one of the poster children of a middle class college. This was my life, even my best friend said I was unattractive.
When I wasn’t been insulted, intentionally, or otherwise, I was invisible. Of course people didn’t invite me to events, of course no one went out of their way to seek my friendship, and of course almost no one or no one found me attractive. I did not exist as a human with a sexuality or the capacity for enjoyment. I was outside of some sort of world occupied by attractive people. It is difficult to describe. When I walked in the street it was almost as though I was surrounded by a fog. I might be able to describe by comparison, nowadays people make eye contact with me, people smile at me, they are usually interested in what I have to say, I have even been flirted with at a party, and shop clerks tell me to have a nice day. Last week the same best friend who told me I was unattractive around a year ago, said I had an attractive personality and appearance. It’s a difference in atmosphere. I can walk into a fashion shop without receiving stares.
I don’t think I am unattractive anymore. In superficial terms it is like I have graduated from a hideous 3/10 to an okay 6/10 (but not from the right side of my face) in about a year. It’s a transition I doubt many make as rapidly. Interestingly the previous boyfriend recently sent me a message on Facebook telling me that he now has a job, is getting his own place and still thinks of me. I found his idiocy deplorable for a multitude of reasons, I am now in a relationship with a wonderful man, we are incompatible in personality, he is not nearly as ethical as he thinks he is, and did not treat me with the respect I deserved in the relationship. I blocked him and I will never talk to him again. Needless to say my life is very different now.
This is quite a drastic shift for me and it presents itself as a fairly complex experience. It shows the obvious in that in the public sphere appearance has great importance, but says nothing of the importance of other qualities in more personal settings. There seems to be some kind of gulf between our evolutionary drives and the consciousness of the everyday and so I was able to live somewhat ‘outside’ of human sexuality and comparisons of attractiveness for some time. I cannot yet place the subtles of this gulf.
I was so unattractive in brief, as the majority of the blog concerns this, because I was neglected and abused by my mother as a child and adolescent. I was not fed sufficiently, I was rarely afforded new clothes, and I was not cleaned or taught how to maintain myself as a child. I was not spoken to, In was not breastfed, and I was not treated when I was ill. In the end for whatever reason, perhaps from lack of chewing, lack of nutrition, and some mouth breathing, my face developed vertically and asymmetrically. I acquired some sort of GI disorder after being left as usual for too long in a state of sickness, which is heavily connected to my skin problems. I am short, generally underweight, have wonky crowded gnarled teeth, covered in a light dusting of acne scars, and I have a narrow face. During my late adolescence my mother threw me out after peaking her domestic abuse of my father. And so, I did not have the resources to be overly hygienic and look after myself. I had few clothes and these were generally in a state of disrepair. Taking all of this together, you can see why I was so unattractive.
Interestingly having left my ‘mother’, me, my father, and my younger sister have become progressively healthier and more attractive whilst the opposite is true of my siblings who still live with her. It is also worth noting that there isn’t a single individual that I know who is from a bad background, in terms of abuse or values, who is attractive. I am not saying that there are no attractive individuals who have been abused. I am saying that when abuse and family values stand in the way of health and development, more often than not, unattractive individuals will result. Additionally I acknowledge that some individuals are born genuinely unattractive in spite of having a blessed background. But, generally a bad background precedes unattractiveness in my view. It follows that when people mock other individuals for being unattractive, they are usually mocking people who by no choice of their own, were subject to developmentally poor backgrounds.
When I altered my oral posture and worked on my flaws I concluded that most people can recover attractiveness. It is merely a matter of understanding the process of disintegration and creating long term action plans regarding the core issues underpinning one’s unattractiveness. Unfortunately I think its a process that requires a certain obsession and the capacity to transcend commonly held beliefs like you cannot change your face without surgery, like the notion that bone is dead, and that GI issues cannot be cured. When you invest in yourself, when are you are honest, when you express your weaknesses, when you can say that you are an ill individual, and you are willing to be a little selfish to recover, you just might succeed. That said, this may not be possible for everyone. I believe that because the face is a living thing, open to manipulation, that most people can be more attractive. Not only that but the lifestyle changes I have made to compensate are really paying off, I am aging comparatively slower than my partying attractive peers, and now look slightly younger than my biological age. As time progresses and I become more disciplined and advanced this difference in aging will only increase.
I would also like to add that I do not believe being unattractive tends to prevent people from forming healthy romantic relationships. In my own experience, and having witnessed this is regards to others, unattractive people tend to acquire unattractive partners and they genuinely love each other. The same principles underpinning love apply to unattractive people to. Chemistry and sexuality is not the sole reserve of attractive individuals. I was at my most hideous in college, and while I was never flirted with or otherwise, I did manage to form friendships which developed into romantic relationships. In fact I managed a grand total of four relationships during my mid and late adolescence while being hideous. I might add that I was extroverted and zany back then and actively hunted down individuals to be friends with. I was very confident in my intelligence and creativity. So, my advice to an unattractive individual in finding a partner would be to forget about formal dating where people are differentiated based on appearance. Go make friends with people who you get along with doing things you enjoy. Be nice to individuals and appreciate them for what they really are. Do not set out with an ulterior motive to make friends with individuals based on their appearances, because your intentions will betray you and the chemistry won’t be there. If you are authentic in your endeavors, chemistry will take care of the rest without you having to worry. In fact, if anything, being unattractive will reduce your employment prospects, pay, the rewards you receive in life, and the amount of general respect you are afforded as a human being. That, is what I think unattractive people should be concerned about. So, remember just keep looking and eventually you will find someone. I promise.
To close I will summarise by saying the differences in how attractive and unattractive people are treated is incomprehensible. It is almost like humans cannot contain their disgust, as though something was so vulgar that profanities escaped their mouths without thought. Human reality is indeed separated into very distinct levels much of which you will never know. Generally people who are unattractive are from backgrounds that discourage good development and are punished for this by individuals who are also unattractive and often by more attractive others from good backgrounds. That said the principles of facial development and a proactive problem solving approach can allow most individuals to become more attractive. Unattractive people will generally find unattractive partners who will love them and therefore should be more concerned about their financial and social prospects. This is how I understand the situation so far, I have no answers, but I do have insights and suggestions. I do not yet understand how I psychologically survived being a homeless, ugly, child abused creten so I have no advice regarding psychological maintenance as of yet.