Beauty and self-image : LUSENET : General Graffiti : One Thread

What do you think are the factors that influence how you feel about yourself, in terms of appearance? What is it that makes you feel pretty, or handsome, or sexy? Are there objective criteria here, or do you think it's mostly a matter of internal perception?

-- Dawn (, August 10, 2000


Ouch! You really hit me with today's entry, Dawn. Let me tell you my experience first, then I'll try to answer the question.

First of all, I'm 59, but I don't think years matter very much in this area of body perception. Anyway, this past spring I read through the random diaries I've kept for the past 30-some years. And I cried. One of the things I obsessed about constantly was my weight. And I now look at pictures from all those years and I see someone who looked great. Now I am quite overweight and, like Dawn, should exercise and don't, but I'm NOT going to waste any more years trying diets and obsessing...forget that! I try to dress attractively but I..don't..CARE..if I am large.

Okay, back to the question. What makes me feel attractive or sexy? It's the response I get from men. And it has something to do with intellect. I feel that a certain sense of humour and intelligence is sexy, and I really enjoy having that recognized in return. It's fun.

-- Judy (, August 10, 2000.

You know, when I think of all the time and effort and emotions I've put into thinking about my weight and/or my appearance over the years, it kills me. What a waste! Precious hours-weeks-months of my life have been spent musing on this stuff, mostly in a self- destructive way.

But there's something about getting a new haircut, or getting dressed up for a special night out with all the trimmings, paying that extra attention to appearance, that really does make a difference in my whole outlook. I can't decide whether that's sad, or a good thing, or just plain normal.

Of course, there are also those times when I pay a little extra attention to my appearance, but the stars aren't aligned properly or the lighting isn't favorable, or whatever, but it just doesn't come together and then I feel like even more of a slob, because I actually tried and couldn't make it work. Those are the worst times.

I wonder, though, whether other people notice the difference in me. And if they do, whether it's an actual superficial difference, or something in my demeanor and attitude that sends a subliminal message that I'm not in top form. It's very curious, how it all comes down to such a mixture of the physical and the psychological.

-- Dawn (, August 10, 2000.

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