I remember being very young, about 11, and really trying to figure out what attractive meant. My brain works too much. Blessing and curse.
Back in middle school, junior high, whatever, attractive became very important. You were or you weren't. It was cool or it wasn't.
The guiding principles were ambiguous and I never felt secure. I remember genuinely looking at myself in the mirror, questioning, am I attractive?
Is this a good mouth? Is this a good stomach? Is this a good ass? What exactly is a good ass? I truly didn't know.
There weren't clear cut guidelines. I was lost.
My own feelings weren't helpful. My attractions didn't fit the norm. I was technically attracted to the geeky guy with no social skills who was just really good at fractions. I felt attraction. But my world, aka: middle school cool girls, told me that he was NOT attractive.
Well then, what the hell was that feeling?
One of my first boyfriends in the 7th grade was born without legs. He was an incredibly funny, charming, smart and cute guy. My attraction to him confused me even more. The shock that I was his girlfriend in my small southern town also confused me.
All this what is and is not attractive bullshit is damn confusing.
Is it a feeling? Is it a social norm? Is it set in stone or flexible?
For a long time, I didn't think of myself as attractive. I thought I could sometimes cross the barrier of attractive through humor, charm, sexiness and smarts. I thought I was sometimes capable of attractive but not inherently attractive.
Finally, I got fed up with the feeling of lack. I got sick of being confused about who it was ok to be attracted to. I decided I would be attractive.
Fuck it, I'm attractive. Why the hell not? This is so mixed up and confusing anyway, why not me?
I just decided to tell myself that I was attractive. I did so on a daily basis.
A few years later my boyfriend said to me, "Well, people like your writing because you are so pretty."
I was totally stunned. I'd spent a huge part of my life thinking I wasn't pretty and now I was so pretty that I was getting unfair accolades? WTF? Ummm. Sweet?
One of the first essays I ever wrote was titled "I Am Not a Pretty Girl." I was serious.
Now, it's not uncommon for people to tell me that I will be successful because of my looks. It happened earlier this week. It kinda happens regularly.
It blows my mind because I made a very conscious decision to start being attractive. Then, the world accepted my decision.
I wasn't born with this belief. I decided to cultivate a feeling of attractive because it was painful, fucking daily, to feel unattractive.
You can decided to be anything. Seriously. I know it's crazy, but I've lived through the experience many times. I've become smart, funny, pretty, driven, inspirational all through a conscious choice. (Not that I maintain it 24/7. Cut me a break.)
I'm really not trying to be a bragging asshole here. I'm telling you a secret. You can be anything you want. You just have to decide. You just have to embody it in a way that feels good to you.
These defining factors, attractive, smart, successful, whatever, are a choice you get to make. Do it.
Report back to me. I love this shit and I really love hearing from you.
I'm embarrassingly honest here in the hopes that you will be too. Please. Thanks. xo