There are plenty of quizzes you can take on the subject, but it’s doubtful you’ll really find the answers among them to the ambiguous question of “Am I attractive?”
If it’s inner beauty you’re talking about, that’s a ticklish subject that requires real honesty and some deep soul searching. If you’re referring to physical beauty, that’s subjective and will be judged differently by everyone who views you.
Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.
It’s just like art, music, fashion, food, what have you. The truth is, you’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. You just can’t be all things to everyone, so don’t even try.
The important thing is to be happy with yourself, and it shouldn’t depend solely on your looks.
If you want to be pragmatic about it, there have been studies that claim to have mathematically arrived at the formula for what are considered to be the most desirable proportions for men and women—in other words, perfection.
That, combined with some general psych questions, and you might just solve the puzzle. But your time would be better spent asking yourself why you’re questioning your looks.
Television, movies, the fashion industry, peer pressure, the media, societal influences, each and every one of them is dictating to us how we need to look.
Unrealistic ideals attained through skewed images Photoshopped almost beyond recognition, along with models and actresses whose jobs it is to look like a “10” 24/7, continues to be a growing problem.
And that’s not the half of it by a long shot. It’s as if it’s the ad industry’s full-time job to make us all feel inadequate, and the clients they’re working for go happily along with it.
You never see ugly people with bad teeth having a bad hair day in commercials or print ads.
Even if it’s for a dental or hair product, they’re never genuinely unattractive.
No wonder people are asking, “Am I attractive?” when the message is all about beauty and youth. Who needs talent, personality, or brains anymore when you have those two things going for you?
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But seriously, it’s led to eating disorders and many other adverse effects on society as a whole, especially for women.
Social Media’s Role in Body Dysmorphia
Where to begin? That harmless little pastime designed to “keep us all connected” has turned out to be a scourge in many ways.
Here we’re assaulted by millions of posed images from wannabes and pop culture icons alike “sharing” their “spontaneous candid shots” that in all reality were staged.
All this does is feed serious issues such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), which can stem from feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.
More than one young woman being supported by her social media platforms has come forward to admit that it can take dozens of shots before they get that one perfect image to share.
It’s all been staged, and there’s nothing effortless about it, but at least they’re lifting the veil and publicly copping to it.
While at the Cannes Film Festival recently, singer and actress Selena Gomez said social media’s been “really terrible” for her generation, calling it “scary” and “unsafe.”
The Big Problem
The problem with body dysmorphia has gotten so bad, that actresses like Kate Beckinsale and others have spoken out about the issue of unrealistic body expectations publically, and more and more female celebrities are posting makeup-free selfies to further the cause.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, once known for her amazing bod (and now known for her Activia® commercials), even went so far as to allow herself to be photographed with her now “mom bod” in underwear and bra, showing women there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
So, enough with the self-loathing. No one is flawless, and you don’t have to be either to be worth something.
Now, your inner shell is another matter… but we’ll get to that.
Another thing social media and, to a large extent, reality TV has done for modern society is to create a generation of kids whose main goal in life is to be a star on YouTube, even though they have no discernable talents whatsoever.
In all fairness, “the Biebs” didn’t help on that front, but the point is, all of this is creating an atmosphere of unreality, which is pretty darn ironic when you think about it.
Beauty in its Many Forms
You should be happy to know that beauty standards across the globe differ vastly, and in no one place can the answer to the question “Am I attractive?” be configured in the same way, because it’s not measured equally.
In that regard, beauty truly is all over the chart. Countless research has been done on the subject, but some of the more memorable investigations concerning views on global beauty have been undertaken on NatGeo, Discover, and even Oprah.
Predictably, most of our beauty standards, if not all, are the result of men’s preferences.
But depending on where you live, cultural dictates on attraction ranged from having your teeth chipped away with a rusty machete and then filed to a point Eddie Munster would have envied, to tattooed faces, elongated necks, heads bound tightly with bandages to create an elongated alien-shaped skull.
Back in 2008, Oprah took a look at a town in Western Africa where women predominantly run the show and their beauty is judged not on virginal status or a trim figure, but rather on the number of stretch marks they have, the amount of cellulite their bodies are covered in, and the number of times they’ve been married.
Yup, you read that right, in Mauritania, the more obese you are and the more divorces you’ve had, the more of a goddess you’re considered to be.
Hot diggity, where do we sign up?
As far as the marriages and divorces are concerned, the thinking is that the more men you have had just goes to prove how desirable you are to them. The view is so ingrained in the culture that young girls are fattened up by being continually fed rich, fattening bowls of camel’s milk until they’re ready to spew—and then they’re sometimes force-fed.
Not a pretty thought, but if you’re a heavy set girl by nature or you’ve packed on the pounds on your own, it’s always an option.
Not Just Another Pretty Face
Sometimes attractive people aren’t hired because they’re considered too pretty/handsome and possibly a distraction, a threat (man-eater/hot pool boy), or worse yet, stereotypically stupid—all of which is categorically unfair.
Not content to deride the endless stream of plastic phonies, natural stunners are also unfairly scorned by insecure trolls with serious self-confidence problems as if their God-given good looks were somehow their fault.
Yes, it’s been proven that attractive people have an advantage in almost everything they do. The implication is, if you’re not pretty or handsome, you’re not as desirable or worthy, and we’ve already been over that.
But fair or not, you need to work with what you’ve got.
And by the way, there are drawbacks to being good looking, too. You just don’t hear about them a lot—and you probably don’t want to.
If you’re asking yourself, “Am I attractive?” in the first place, chances are you’re experiencing doubts and have some confidence issues you need to work on, yourself.
One little tidbit of information you may find interesting is that men and women find confident people just as attractive, if not more, as someone who is technically better looking.
Exuding confidence is sexy, in other words.
And this isn’t a recent fad, either. All throughout history, males and females with marginal good looks have been sought out over more attractive contemporaries. The point is you don’t have to be a Venus or an Adonis to be considered beautiful, so stop putting so much pressure on yourself.
If You Believe It Others Will Believe It
If you believe you’re attractive, others will believe it, too. One trick women have long used to give themselves a mental boost is the use of a pink mirror in the home.
Placed in an area where the lady of the house would be able to catch one last glimpse of herself before going out, the gentle hues of pink reflected back a soft, rosy glow that portrayed them in a more flattering light—a light that stayed with them throughout the rest of the evening.
You see, if you think you look good, it’s reflected in the way you carry yourself, speak, etc. It’s all about perspective.
Am I Attractive?
A lot of people suffer from self-doubt when it comes to their appearance. Hunter Glenn, a guest blogger with Psychology Today, also believes the media play a role in our increasingly poor opinions of ourselves—that, and something called loss aversion and familiarity.
Regardless of the whys, the fix is a balanced perspective. Again, how you feel about yourself is reflected in your outward beauty, and you don’t have to be striking to be perceived as comely.
What about your insides? Not your organs or tissues, but the person that is you? The real you is someone far different than the outer you. Are you a good person with a generous soul?
Do you care about and find yourself putting others before your own wants and desires? Do you have a sense of fair play? Are you kind and courteous and thoughtful?
Inner beauty doesn’t rely on or need compliments to blossom and flourish because it has nothing to do with physical characteristics.
According to Psychologies, a U.K. website, “Oxytocin, the hormone that creates bonds of affection, is created by the brain reacting to emotions that make our heart beat faster,” and it is “produced when we are touched by the example of someone we admire.”
Your beautiful nature is responsible for this chemical reaction, not your physical traits.
Being More Beautiful on the Inside
There are ways for you to discover your inner beauty and to even develop it further if you’re interested.
Here is some food for thought on the subject:
1. Accentuate the Positive
Ditch all of the negativity in your life and, instead, focus on being more positive. This includes avoiding snarky commentary about others in an effort to make yourself feel better because that’s why you’re doing it. Don’t delude yourself with “it’s fun,” because that’s BS.
2. Me, Me, Me
Start caring more about others and stop focusing so much on yourself. Yes, it’s essential that you like and even love yourself, but putting others first, to a certain extent, is selfless and can make you a better person on the inside.
3. Take a Good Look in the Mirror
Not a pink mirror for admiring your rosy reflection. Instead, it’s been suggested you focus on your face for what’s really lurking beneath the flesh and bones of your exterior.
Examine your best aspects and, rather than finding flaws with your reflection, focus your attention on three elements about your features that you are pleased with.
4. Nurture Relationships
Building and maintaining meaningful friendships is like a support group for self-worth. It allows you an opportunity to practice your being-there-for-others skills and can serve as a bolster of self-esteem as you and your buddies or gal pals are there for one another.
Stand up straight and smile. Minor changes on how you carry yourself can influence how you feel on the outside. So, throw your shoulders back, stop staring at the ground, and go out there and be your best self.
6. Share the Love
Spreading good cheer and positive vibes is contagious. Like laughing, chocolate, and sex, your endorphins kick in when confronted with a smile and a warm welcome, so share what’s on the inside with everyone you meet.
Few things in life come close to the emotions you experience when helping others. The rewards for both you and the person or entity you’re assisting are priceless, but many volunteers say they firmly believe they got more out of the act of helping others than the recipients of their good deed.
8. Love Thyself
We briefly touched on this a moment ago, but the importance of liking/loving yourself can’t be stressed enough.
Loving yourself means accepting yourself with all of your flaws and good points. Stop being so critical, embrace a positive outlook, and know that you are beautiful on the inside and out.
9. Developing Interests
Find your passions in life and develop them. Doing things that you love can make you happy.
Happiness, like smiling, is contagious. The more you spread your wings and find out what you’re really about, the more you can feed and nurture what makes you happiest and build self-confidence in the process. Take a class, learn a new language, or find a charity to get involved with.
10. Letting Go
Sometimes in life, we have a lot of letting go to do. Of course, not everyone is raised the same way, and we don’t all come factory equipped with confidence and self-esteem.
But it’s vital that we can let go of our negative doubts, emotional baggage, and self-defeating attitudes if we’re to ever find peace, happiness, and contentment in our lives. Whatever it is, if it doesn’t serve you in a positive manner, let it go.
What it boils down to is that we’d all like to be seen in a positive light, but we have to understand that people only see us in the light that we project of ourselves to others.
Once you can rid yourself of self-defeating thoughts like this, you will feel better about yourself and gain more confidence, which others will recognize in you.
Another thing to bear in mind is that as soon as you stop worrying and/or caring about what others think of you, the happier you’ll be and the more confident you’ll become.
When it’s all said and done, it doesn’t matter what anyone else’s opinion about you is, because ultimately, your view is the only one that counts.
So, stop agonizing about am I attractive or not, and just get on with the task of being you—the one that’s good enough just the way he or she is.