Better to be attractive or not?

Originally Posted by Rouge

I was ugly when I was a kid. My family struggled financially, so I was skinny as a beanpole and had thick glasses, bad hair and hand-me-downs that didn’t fit. I had no confidence, few friends and considered myself a social retard. Up till now, I’m still scarred by how the other kids teased me.

When I was 18 or 19, I blossomed. I started wearing contact lenses, light make-up, flattering clothes, heels. Suddenly, people started being nicer to me.

But life as an “attractive person” is not always a bed of roses:

– People may have a more positive impression of you in the beginning. But since they have higher expectations of you, they also become more critical of you if you fail any of these expectations. You’re twice as likely to be considered “stupid”, “superficial” or “arrogant” than someone they had a poorer initial impression of.

– I probably got hired in a couple of jobs thanks to looks, but I later paid the price for it when the (male) bosses tried to hit on me. Some male clients also tried to get cheeky with me. I couldn’t afford to offend these people and had to manage my relationships with them. All these created additional stress at work.

– I have the opposite problem with female bosses. They didn’t want to hire me. That’s the rule for working for a good looking woman- you can’t be more good looking than her. The office is her kingdom, she will not want any competition for male attention.

– Some female colleagues took convenient swipes at me for being a bimbo when they caught me making mistakes. Since this stereotype fitted, they got away with it a couple of times, especially with people in other departments who had not worked with me.

– Some women hate me. They hate me without allowing themselves to get to know me. Enough said.

– I’ve also had to manage my relationship with female friends very carefully. Gal pals are great for a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. But a few of them turned into absolute monsters when I dated a highly eligible guy. One tried to sow doubts into me by convincing me that the guy couldn’t be serious about me. Two tried to accidentally run into me to get an introduction to him when we were out on a date. I can’t tell you how how disappointed and hurt I felt. Despite the good times and bad times we’ve been through, they’d sell me out for a guy at the end of the day. These days, if I were to date anyone “hot”, I’d downplay how attractive/well off he is. I don’t have the stomach to subject all my friendships to such tests.

– My platonic friendships are often problematic. Maybe the guys didn’t befriend me because they were attracted to me. But some of them couldn’t maintain a friendship with me when they started liking me and I didn’t feel the same way back. The successful platonic friendships I’ve had are mostly with much older men who are happily married and totally crazy over their wives.

– I’ve received pressure from some of my boyfriends on maintaining my looks. One even messaged me to find out whether I’ve been going to the gym when he was away on a business trip. I’m sure they liked me for qualities other than my looks. But they were sold on an image of me and couldn’t accept it if this were to change.

After being on both sides of the fence, I can’t say whether it’s better to be attractive or not. Each side has its disadvantages. Maybe being average is best. You might not believe it, but you’re more likely to have more friends and better relationships this way than if you were to be more good looking.