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Old 10-15-2006, 11:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
Plus we all know about the airbrushing, makeup and soft-lighting, don't we?
you don't know how fabulous it is to hear a guy say that.
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:06 AM   #17
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I mean, i understand people looking at their flaws,or not being completely happy with their body, as even im not all happy happy about it but these girls...are not just a bit 'i wish' but have this complete hatred for themselves. THIS is what i don't understand!

These girls are college educated, they all have full time jobs, are smart and funny, we have such a fun time together, and yet one guy not making eye contact can cause everything to fall to shit. IT just makes me sad, and FRUSTRATED that these women are so fragile when it comes to their own self esteem, and that this is a common thing, not just a girl here and there.

I don't ever look at celebs and wish that was me. We are exactly the same, skin and bones and blood and all that.

What i dont understand is why is someone who is seem to be "beautiful" seen to have to all, while everyone else is in for a shit time?

Why do girls need male validation for themselves to feel good about each other? I can talk till im blue in the face and nothing i say matters a jot to some guy trying to pick my friend up. THAT is shit as well. :/
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:58 AM   #18
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
These girls are college educated, they all have full time jobs, are smart and funny, we have such a fun time together, and yet one guy not making eye contact can cause everything to fall to shit. IT just makes me sad, and FRUSTRATED that these women are so fragile when it comes to their own self esteem, and that this is a common thing, not just a girl here and there.
once again, you're describing me:

university-educated - check
smart - check
funny - check
full-time job - check
great personality - check

hmmm, so why aren't guys checking me out or coming up to talk to me? on paper, i'm pretty fantastic. the only thing i can chalk it up to is my appearance. i'm a brown-complexioned, dark-haired, short, curvy girl. you won't see anyone who looks like me on tv or on music videos or in magazines. there is a so-called 'ideal' of beauty out there. and unfortunately, some of us have bought into it more than others. the thing is, whenever something happens that reinforces the fact that i don't fit into that ideal, it's frustrating, if not devastating. especially considering the above-mentioned qualities which i have in spades. i just figure that maybe i'm just not pretty enough for anyone to want to approach me and find that out.

yes, that's negative self-talk and yes, that's low self-esteem. but how do you talk yourself out of that? i could stand in front of a mirror saying, 'you're beautiful. you're beautiful. you're beautiful...' until i'm blue in the face. but isn't 'beauty in the eye of the beholder'? isn't beauty a subjective thing? can anyone really walk around thinking that they're beautiful even if no one else does? isn't that where the external validation factors in?

i don't really know. you're right. it's shitty.

and this is a really sensitive topic for me.
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:07 AM   #19
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I agree with what trevster said--what's inside you already, and what you've been raised to see as important, has a lot to do with how received ideals of beauty and success affect you. I think people who are truly undaunted by these ideals are rare, but obviously some people are way more susceptible to becoming unhealthily preoccupied with their "failures" to measure up than others. Unfortunately, all the platitudes in the world about "inner" beauty or "true" success won't do much good if a person doesn't have a strong sense of what else in life is worth aspiring to and focusing on. One of the downsides of living in a culture where people choose their own partners (to put it optimistically--"choice" being a two-way street) is that you tend to wind up fixating a lot on whether you possess the "right" qualities to "deserve" being attractive and interesting to others. Which is both misguided and sad, because the so-called "right" qualities are never the ones people truly love you for; they might win you more casual admiration (and unfortunately, our culture valorizes that too), but all that really gives you is one more reason to keep anxiously looking over your shoulder at the competition's progress, not the lasting sense of self-affirmation you want. There's nothing sinister about wanting to look good and be successful, it's normal and healthy to value these things, but they aren't the measure of what you're worth and if you let them become that, you'll never be satisfied and you'll wind up loathing yourself for what you're not rather than valuing yourself for what you are. Which at its worst will leave you so self-preoccupied that you'll alienate people and repeatedly pass up opportunities to receive precisely what you're craving, which effectively transforms your self-disrespect into disrespect for others. In my opinion both men and women do this frequently, although the ways it plays out socially are different.

When I'm with a group of people and someone starts getting into the oh-I'm-such-a-pathetic-loser-because-[fill-in-the-blank] kind of talk, usually I try gently changing the subject to something more positive and outward-looking, rather than encouraging them by enumerating all the reasons why they're not, which never seems to do much good anyway. I have no idea if this really helps, but I don't see the point in enabling self-defeating behavior. It's hard to be single and unhappy with that, though; I remember well what that was like and all the self-doubt it invites. All I know is that it absolutely doesn't help to blame yourself and your "inadequacies"; that won't get you anywhere with anyone, least of all yourself. It's a hard habit to break, and to the extent that a good relationship "cures" it, it's because it makes you realize how irrelevant your proximity to some ideal is to anyone who really loves you. And even then, it won't happen if you're not ready to believe that. I hesitate to put it this way because I don't mean to suggest that romantic "success" is ultimately what validates you, quite the opposite really, self-validation has to come first, but again, when romantic success gets wrongly framed as the benchmark, it's hard to respond without relating it back to that. It's so much healthier to be single and self-confident than attached and self-loathing.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:22 AM   #20
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Speaking as a bit of an oldie here, (I'm 44), I think the passing of years does make some difference to womens' perceptions about themselves.
I well remember my friends and I having similar periods of self -doubt and lack of confidence about our looks when we were students and in our 20s but over time I think these feelings lessen to some degree, perhaps due to complacency, and generally we're not so worried about our appearance, even though most of us have now got a few extra pounds and wrinkles. The single friends I've got who are hoping for a new relationship tend to take the view that if a man doesn't like them just based on their looks then that's tough and they're the losers. Perhaps it's because there are few attractive middle aged females who feature heavily in the media and we've got to the stage where we think well we're never going to look like the young skinny models so it's a totally lost cause! It also helps I think that you're more likely to meet men through social connections,work etc as you get older rather than in bars/clubs so there's less emphasis on first looks.
That said I do think though that most women will always worry about their appearance to some degree and noone I know is completely happy with their body - the growth of the cosmetic surgery industry is testamount to womens' insecurities about their bodies.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:47 AM   #21
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I think women are taught by many sources in many instances to feel badly about themselves and to not give themselves proper credit- by their parents, by men, by the media. It's definitely a gender specific phenomenon, how many men are taught that in general? Aren't men in many cases taught to think even more of themselves than is actually realistic or warranted? Women are often taught from an early age that male validation is necessary, what about all the old fairy tales? I think your father is very critical in all of it, I know that is where many of my issues come from.

I've tried over and over to talk myself out of it when certain situations happen in my life. You can get to the point when you're older that it is easier, but it still hurts when any situation happens that makes you feel badly about yourself. As much as you can tell yourself (and you really intellectually know) that it is the other person's problem, or that the media is f'ed up, it still hurts and can be so painful to come to terms with.

If a guy will only want to get to know you because of looks, how much worth does he have anyway? So much time is wasted worrying about all of that, we can and should use that wasted time to do positive things for ourselves and for each other.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:58 AM   #22
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Interestingly enough, I just hosted a conference where we talked about this and how negative body image is on the rise amongst our students and why so many men and women are resorting to eating disorders.

Honestly, it is the media that has been defining what beauty is, and has been setting the bar for expectation. The media picks a type out, and various celebs follow for the attention, and then the rest of us are left to think we need to follow that as well. Interestingly enough, the idea of what is beautiful also changes with the times. What was considered beautiful today was completely different 40 years ago.

Anyway, there was this study done among heterosexual college students. The women were asked where they thought they fell on the body size spectrum and where their ideal was. AND they were asked where they thought men were. The men were also asked the same questions.

The results showed that women thought they were too fat, and their ideal was really thin. However they thought the men were perfect.

And the men were the same! They thought they were too fat, and their ideal waas to be thinner. And they thought the women were perfect!!!

I just found this ironic because it appears that both sexes in this study wanted to be thinner to appeal to the opposite sex...however they both thought the opposite sex was perfect in their body types as they were.

They wanted to change themselves (and would sometimes resort to some harmful behavior) to appease someone who already thinks they are perfect.

I just thought it was interesting.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:39 AM   #23
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Yes, it's a problem that's peculiar to women. Men don't have this problem. It doesn't seem fair.
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:45 PM   #24
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I think it's less that men in general have unrealistically high opinions of themselves, and more that men in general are expected to act confident and project self-assurance even when that's not at all how they're feeling--to show insecurity is a sign of weakness. But as deep pointed out, preoccupation with one's physical "shortcomings" specifically is more common among women.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:13 PM   #25
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Actually men do have a problem with it also (I just did a study about eating disorders for school) but it's a much smaller percentage, and instead of making themselves sick they work out for hours on end to get the perfect body. As a long distance runner in cross country and track, I know there's a lot of pressure to be really fit because you need to have the endurance in you to run the extra mile or do a better finishing kick. It's really discouraging for me to look at my friends who are like size five and hear them say they're fat. I'm a size 9/10, but I'm tall and got outrageously cool leg muscles from years of conditioning. It doesn't bother me anymore. I mean, I wouldn't want to wear a size five because the jeans would be like capri's on me!
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:40 PM   #26
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and there's always the emaciated emo kids wearing girl pants. do they starve themselves? or are errmm scrawny boys drawn to the emo look in the first place? I've always wondered that.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
and there's always the emaciated emo kids wearing girl pants. do they starve themselves? or are errmm scrawny boys drawn to the emo look in the first place? I've always wondered that.
Or, umm, how 'the boys' handle it...
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:51 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
women tend to judge themselves by their appearance


self confidence adds to a woman's attractiveness

self confidence adds to a man's success
doesn't success add to a women's self confidence thereby making her more self confident and making her more attractive the same way a man is considered attractive in today's society?

I would hope so, being the father of 2 girls, I would want them to have self confidence in being successful in whatever their professional or athletics pursuits may be.

dbs
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:35 AM   #29
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I have to wonder why some people seem to think that everything is ultimately all about how a woman looks-so in other words a guy can be a mess but if he's "successful" he's attractive to women? But a woman's success (and intellect) means nothing if she's not physically attractive/beautiful? And some people have way too much confidence, baby. That's very unattractive to many people.

This is interesting

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Old 10-17-2006, 10:59 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I have to wonder why some people seem to think that everything is ultimately all about how a woman looks-so in other words a guy can be a mess but if he's "successful" he's attractive to women? But a woman's success (and intellect) means nothing if she's not physically attractive/beautiful? And some people have way too much confidence, baby. That's very unattractive to many people.


doesn't the opposite hold true, too? men can be hot, but if they're dumb/unsuccessful, how attractive are they to women?
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