Here’s a thought: Please keep your beauty ideals to yourself

I’ve never been one to dress to please.

If anything, I would undergo minutes of intense scrutiny on whatever outfit, makeup, and hair choice I made before I left the house. Once I left the house, there was no turning back. So if something escaped my scrutiny, I had to live with it, and I had to own it.

I also am in the frame of mind that there are some things that you can, and should, keep to yourself. Because sometimes we say things that really do nothing other than make people feel bad. The question then becomes, why? Why bother saying these things?

Which brings me to the situation that leads me to the title of this post, where I kindly ask you to consider keeping your beauty ideals and perceptions of beauty to yourself, and not hold other people to them.

I was at a party where I had taken to talking with a guy that I had just met. I was thoroughly enjoying our conversation, and it seemed like he was too. It was innocent conversation that could have turned into a friendship.

About 15 minutes later, he asked to follow me on social media. I gave him an Instagram name to follow, and he did. He scrolled through and started to look quite confused, with his eyes darting from me to his phone and back.

He then asked me to take off my glasses, which I did, not really understanding why. He murmured something, as if he understood something. “So that really is you,” he said to me, facing his screen towards me.

Like any normal person, I had some pictures with glasses, and others without. The biggest difference between me and any normal person? I don’t wear contacts. Frankly I’m kind of traumatized by them. It’s not an ideal situation, of course. I would if I felt slightly more comfortable with the idea, but I’m not. I deal. I get through. And I don’t feel any less like myself or beautiful just because I wear glasses.

He then looked at me and asked, “Why do you wear glasses?”

I was taken aback, because I wear glasses for the same reason that practically everyone on Earth does – I need them to see. It’s a practicality.

He then followed with, “Why don’t you just throw them away?”

Again, practicality.

He took my glasses from me and said, “You look so much prettier – hotter, even – without your glasses. I mean, you looked okay before, but you’re glasses don’t make you pretty. They are too distracting and just in the way. It doesn’t add any value you to you, but if you threw these glasses away, you’d be getting boyfriend after boyfriend no problem. I would date you too, but you wear glasses.”

(I regretfully mentioned earlier on in our conversation that I was single.)

Suddenly, even though my eyesight wasn’t the greatest, I was seeing 20/20. I didn’t need glasses to tell me that this was someone who I wanted to be far, far away from.

I took everything he said in, and I calmly responded with “Well, that’s your opinion. I need my glasses to see and I think that comes first.”

He shrugged and said to me, “Suit yourself. I just wanted to share my opinion so that you could get a boyfriend.”


You could say that no friendship blossomed at all from this exchange.

In my opinion, I’m not interested in being with people who project their perceptions of beauty onto others. It’s true, he is entitled to his opinion. This dude has his own perception of beauty – clearly, he’s into glasses-less girls. And that’s cool, I’m sure he’ll be able to find one some day, somewhere out there.

But telling someone who they are not pretty because of how they look or because of what they are wearing is just uncalled for. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate honesty, but this is unnecessary.

I suppose I can see where he’s coming from. After all, the last thing he said to me was that he wanted to share his opinion so that I “could get a boyfriend”. If I was desperately on the hunt for a boyfriend, maybe I would have taken his advice seriously.

But newsflash: I’m not. And even if I was, I wouldn’t want to find someone who was only focused on outward appearance and only found me beautiful when I was glasses-less.


I realize that this is a two-way street.

In my experience, it is true that I have found myself looking for certain physical things in guys, whether it be style, physical built, height… the list goes on. But these are nice things to have. I have come to realize that a person can be called the most socially acceptable, most beautiful person in the world, and still have a not so nice personality. It goes for all people.

This brings me to a conversation that I once shared with a friend about ‘types’ of guys. She called my bluff on the fact that I didn’t have a type of guy that I was interested in. And I stand by that fact, because I truly don’t. My ‘type’ is someone who is respectful, kind, and has a sense of humour. I guess you could also say that my ‘type’ is Catholic, but I’ve also found that the range under this umbrella is diverse too.

As for this dude that I met at the party, his ‘type’ is pretty girls that don’t wear glasses. And that’s cool. But what would be even cooler is if he didn’t use it as a line of attack. I appreciate him looking out for me and his concern (I use both of these terms extremely loosely), but as mentioned above, it’s entirely unnecessary.

Truthfully, the exchange left me feeling both upset and kind of shitty. Self-image and self-confidence is one of the most difficult things to build up, and it’s also one of the easiest things to destroy.

So here I am telling you that you are entitled to your beauty ideals. But I would ask that you please keep them to yourself. If you’re not interested, then you’re not interested: just move on. But don’t hold people to something just because that’s what will make it work for you.

Also, just a reminder that you’re always beautiful.

 

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A Vancouver-based writer who won't let her height get in the way of her dreams! Lover of God, good food, coffee & beer, corgis, and exploring with family & friends. Producer & host of Y57 Media on Vancouver Co-op Radio, CFRO 100.5 FM and a weekly contributor for Curiocity Vancouver.

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