Appearance

plantI just uploaded a profile to a dating site. Aack. If I don’t do pro-active things, I will stay alone. Creating the profile and posting a photo has brought all my insecurities about my appearance roaring to the fore. My appearance and my social skills. And my mood. Sigh.

I was never pretty. I have these grooves on my face, and old acne scars. Enlarged pores. Now I’m older, I also have baggy eyes. And right now, my haircut has grown out and so pieces of hair stick out.

I know I could make it work if I had self-confidence. Where or where is self-confidence? I’m not horribly ugly, I wouldn’t say. I have a thin body type and trim body. If I’m depressed, my appearance takes a bit of a nose-dive – I think you can see that in my face.

I wish my family hadn’t treated as if there was something wrong with me. Sometimes I fall into that space, that there is something horrifically wrong with me that everyone can see.

My son and I both need new glasses, so today I took him to a local ‘trendy’ eyeglass store. We found some for him. Then he helped me decide, pair after pair, which ones looked good. Hard to see yourself without corrective lenses – I just look blurry.

Looking at myself in the mirror for half an hour – not so fun. I felt horribly unattractive.

But I’m glad I’ll have new glasses. Also realized my current glasses are actually pretty good – they suit me. I got them at a more ordinary glasses store. Well, I’ve spent the money now on a new pair. Will be very expensive, despite getting one of the cheaper frames there.

I realized when I got home that different parts like different glasses. The kid really liked some with fun stripes on the arms. Dark voice wanted black. Anyway, I blocked them out because I was listening to my son / the salesperson.

It was good to have an outing with my son. He rarely wants to go anywhere with me. He has been sick, but now seems to be on the mend, such a relief.

The other anxiety producing event was taking a picture of myself to post. I want to show exactly what I look like – don’t want anyone fleeing in horror when they meet me, lol. I look better with glasses than without it turns out.

Taking your own picture – very difficult. Trying not to look insane / petrified / hung over – needing a bit of a smile, and looking at that black lens as if it’s a friend of yours. Not so easy, but I did it.

We’ll see. What to say in a profile? Also very difficult. Details are too personal. The usual ‘qualities and interests’ are the same as millions of others.

OK, I did it, now I’m going to let go of it. Still have to decide whether to actually pay them money.

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14 comments
  1. Good for you, Ellen. Taking the step of posting an ad on a dating site is a huge one. I’m not surprised that it brought up a lot of insecurity around your appearance but you still did it. I hope you have a lot of responses to the ad.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Di. I am surprised at your positive comment and the others – I guess I thought there might be something a bit shameful in posting. You have to pay for your photos to be visible, so probably I have to do that to get responses. Or maybe better without, lol. Thanks for being positive.

  2. I try to look at stressful and anxiety-provoking situations like these as opportunities to work on the surrounding issues. That seems to help. Then, I feel less like the experience has to be a success in the traditional sense and more like making progress with the stress and anxiety is the success. Because it actually is–the work is transferable to other, similar situations. Like the Dream Job I’m trying to land right now. I do really want it, but I’m also working hard at all of the fears and distorted beliefs I have so that even if I don’t get this one, pursuing the next dream job will be that much easier. And maybe eventually something I love will work out. Dating can be a lot like that–practice at not becoming a ball of mush during the dating process, so when that right person eventually comes along, you’re ready for it. Anyway, good luck. I hate dating. 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      I like the approach. I actually felt more self-confident today dealing with people, and I think it may have been allowing all that anxiety to come up in relation to dating. It is an exercise with benefits even if I don’t find a boyfriend. I hate dating also. 😦 I have my fingers crossed for your dream job – even with all the other benefits, I still hope it comes through for you. Thanks

  3. Cat said:

    Good for you for taking the plunge, Ellen.

    Whenever we are depressed, our appearance does take a nosedive but so does our perceptions of ourselves. I also have acne scars – lots of them – and have seen many other good-looking people with just as many scars but it doesn’t spoil their looks. Huh! Try telling that to ourselves when we are down! Good luck – it’s all part of your journey!

    • Ellen said:

      Thank you Cat. Scarred people unite. Though it seems more acceptable for men to have scars than for women. Anyhoo. It’s true though, our own assessment of our looks varies with mood. If I’m feeling good, I never think of how I look. I just get self-conscious on the downward slide.

      • Cat said:

        I do exactly the same, Ellen

  4. catherine said:

    1. i think you are beautiful (and i’ve met you in person, so i can vouch for this) and 2. i would be happy to take a photo of you for your dating site if you aren’t 100% happy with the one you took…. which is the impression that i get when you say that you wanted it to be a sort of “warning” to potential boyfriends. none of us look like supermodels/tv commercial people, nor will we ever, and every single person in a magazine is photoshopped beyond belief. the photoshop beyond belief is something we learn to do as a photo major… retouching is a major industry.

    • Ellen said:

      1. Aw, thank you, that is sweet of you to say that. 2. I would be happy to accept the offer of a photo, thank you. I need it to paint a true picture but there’s no harm in putting my best foot forward. I’m sure you could take a lovely one. Plus I find myself in need of a card so I could perhaps buy one or two at the same time?

      Aha, the evils of photshop. I hear you.

  5. Ruth said:

    I admire your courage. Putting yourself out there to be rejected and/or criticized is scary tough stuff. I am a big believer in a good photograph helps you to feel more confident. I also do photographs but as near as I can figure we are in different parts of the world. I told one person that photoshop helped me show the world how beautiful I thought the person is. Try evening light it casts a warmer softer color that the camera can see but the human eye can’t. Enjoy your new adventure.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Ruth. It would be great if you could take my picture, but yes, I live in Canada. I think you live in the American south? About five years ago, I tried the online dating. I posted a photo that was taken with a telephoto – it blurred out the flaws. I don’t really want to blur out the flaws this time. But no need to post something that looks awful either. I’ll try evening light.

      • Ruth said:

        Yup, southern states where hot lasts for months. Good luck on your picture taking.

  6. Pen said:

    How brave of you! I did the dating website thing awhile back and then chickened out after two awful dates. Apparently there are these skeevy men in the world along with the supposed normal (semi-normal?) ones.
    I also had trouble trying to figure out a pic where I didn’t look hungover. In addition, men seemed to want pics of me that did not include my dog. How silly. She is my emotional therapy dog. She’s constantly at my side. If you dislike dogs, you ain’t dating me.

    Ahem. Probably a bad first comment. But I like you sense of writing style and your story I’ve peeked at so far is interesting. Glad to have stumbled across you!
    Warm thoughts.

    • Ellen said:

      In that case, putting the dog in the photo was very sensible. I’m sorry nothing worked out at that time.

      Great to meet you Pen!

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