11 Struggles Of Being A Woman Who’s “Cute” But Not Hot

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been referred to as “cute” throughout my life and honestly, it’s getting lame and tiring. While it’s fine coming from your grandparents or whatever, it carries over into my dating life too, making things pretty awkward. Whenever it happens, I’m reminded of how much it sucks to be cute instead of hot.

  1. I’m always the go-to friend. Being cute is non-threatening, which is why (I guess) people gravitate towards me and tell me all their problems, guys included. This can easily slide me into the friend zone and totally eliminate my chances of becoming their next girlfriend.
  2. I get treated like a little sister. I remember one guy I was crushing on in high school told me that I was like his younger sister. Ew, what? He thought it was a compliment, meanwhile, I was suddenly getting a totally different idea for why he’d been hugging me and holding my hand. Talk about mixed messages!
  3. I feel awkward trying to be sexy. If you have a cute reputation and label, it can be hard to move out of that comfort zone and try to be hot. If I wear a revealing dress or thigh-high boots, I always feel stupid, like a kid who’s playing with her hot sister’s clothes. Don’t get me started on trying on sexy lingerie. I feel so awkward.
  4. I feel like I’m not taken seriously. Part of the reason why I feel like a kid playing dress-up is because of how people don’t really take me seriously. They see I’m short, petite, and have a cute thing going on, and they’re quick to think I’ll be easy to take advantage of. It doesn’t help that part of my cuteness is based on me being a people pleaser.
  5. I lack confidence to make the first move. Just once, it would be awesome to look like Olivia Wilde and strut over to a guy I’m into and flirt with him. Meanwhile, being cute instead of hot relegates me to the sidelines. I just lack confidence in making my move.
  6. I can’t do hot girl selfies. I’ve never tried the duck-face selfie or any of the other trendy ones that were doing the rounds. I just feel silly if I try. In the past, when I have tried to look a little sexier in profile pictures, I’ve been given “cute” compliments in the comments section, so I’d rather stick to being cute instead of trying too hard to be something I’m not.
  7. Being cute complicates dating. Honestly, though: what does “cute” really mean as a compliment? Does it mean I’m likable, but not f**able? When a guy calls me “cute,” I’m always left confused and want him to explain what, exactly, that means. At least if someone calls you hot or sexy, it’s a clear flirtatious move.
  8. I’m tired of being the girl next door. Yes, the girl next door is down-to-earth, fun to be around, and always super nice. But honestly? I’m tired of being put into the same category as her. Being “cute” seems to restrict me to having those qualities, and it feels like in the eyes of others there’s no room for me to be anything else.
  9. I can’t get into a fight. If someone pisses me off and I lose my cool, people around me laugh. They actually have the nerve to laugh and say, “You’re so cute when you get angry!” No! That’s not what I was going for! The result is that I can’t have a serious talk or argument about what’s upsetting me.
  10. I don’t want my hair ruffled. please. Another thing I can’t handle is how people think that being cute means you’re like a cartoon or pet who’s just dying to be petted. One guy I dated actually had the nerve to ruffle up my hair. It had taken an hour to straighten it! Gees. This is stupidity no hot girl has to deal with.
  11. I’m always the extra. Whenever someone needs to make a move on their crush or a hot stranger at the bar, I’m the one they reel into their plans. I’m like the extra in a sitcom, never the leading lady. I’m the one with the friendly face who won’t upset anyone or put anyone off. Great. Honestly? It sucks!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.