I think I’m a relatively decent-looking girl, but while I used to relish almost any form of male attention and literally buzz off compliments and wolf whistles on nights out with my girls, these days I’d rather be called chubby or “the funny one” than noticed for my looks.
- Beauty is probably the most subjective trait of humans. Society acts like beauty is measurable, quantifiable, and objective and it really hacks me off. No, I don’t subscribe to the idea that everyone is beautiful. They’re not, but the point is that you don’t need to be beautiful. There are alternatives. Intelligence, creativity, intellect, talent, kindness, curiosity… I’d value all of these characteristics way above good looks.
- Being attractive isn’t the same as being beautiful. I couldn’t care less if I’m deemed good-looking. You can’t control the face you’re born with and it’s not a reflection of how good or respectable a person you are. I know my boyfriend finds me attractive without makeup and we have great sex. I know if I spent the time, I could look just as good as most of my friends who spend half a day at the spa before an event. But what’s the point of straightening my hair just to create split ends or putting in eyelash extensions that cause havoc with my contact lenses? I’m attractive even when I’m physically ugly.
- I feel more confident when no one’s looking at me. We’ve all been stared at for one reason or another and it’s usually not a pleasant experience. It’s even worse for introverts. I find that whatever I’m doing, if I do it looking a little uglier, I can get on with it without being bothered by anyone. If I want to go out and shake my butt on the dancefloor with my friends, I can do it to my heart’s content if I’m not looking my best. No one cares, and it’s actually incredibly liberating.
- I feel much safer when my face is spotty, lightly sun-damaged and a little rough-looking. This may sound irrational, but I have a huge fear of being sexually assaulted on a night out. It happened to my best friend some years ago and I’m not over it. I just have a gut feeling that a twisted guy capable of such disgusting things would be less likely to act on his vulgar thoughts if I’m not out there looking smoking hot. I know it’s terrible that I even have to think that way, but I do.
- My naked ugly face undeniably wards off creeps. I know that true feminism is about equality and being able to act irrespective of what others want. But the sad truth is, society isn’t like that yet. For now, I’m quite happy to be the ugly duckling, do my own thing and let my friends fight off the potential perverts in the club while I’m carelessly twerking or hip-thrusting.
- Some girls are nicer to me. I hardly encounter any social problems when I’m looking a little worse than my friends. I also get significantly less grief from other girls. There are some women who feel threatened when their boyfriends talk to other women. I prefer to sacrifice my pretty face and engage in conversations with anyone and everyone without having to worry about any potential drama.
- I want to set a precedent in my friendship group. I’m absolutely fed up with waiting around for all the women in my life to get ready to go out. I’m not even talking about going out in the evening—I’ve had to wait 45 minutes for my cousin to “touch up her face” before going to the gym. With the weird faces I pull during spinning, surely no one would ever notice my foundationless forehead.
- Makeup isn’t anti-feminist but feeling obliged to wear it is. I don’t feel like looking nice, so I don’t make an effort. That’s feminism. Those who want to look nice make an effort to do so. That’s also feminism. Equality rules.
- I see young girls deforming their faces to look like plastic dolls and it makes me sad. As a former youth mentor, the amount of appearance-related anxiety I’ve seen in adolescent girls is absolutely outrageous. With fads and crazes like diet lollipops and celeb lip challenges going viral every day, it’s not just young people’s mental health that is at risk. If I can help one young girl to see herself in a more positive light, it’ll be worth my ugly-sister-not-Cinderella reputation.