In college I’ve slowly introduced girlier things into my life to be more feminine. I’ve gotten hooked on painting my nails and my toes and learning makeup & hair. But they’re cover ups. In my younger, tomboy days I used to wonder why girls felt the need to go through all that pain and pay all that money to try and look good.
I didn’t realize that I was doing it until my self esteem hit the floor this morning.
I’ll always be the intelligent girl, the odd, somewhat quirky nerd. But not the cute and beautiful quirky like the way men are enamored with Zooey Deschanel. Men like nerdy and quirky when it’s alternative, has to do with music, wears interesting prints or bold haircuts. Me, I’m more of the bland, “one of the boys” female engineer who just wants to know how things work and is content studying dirt, concrete, and metal. I’ve learned to roll with the boys because it’s been important for survival in college. Being that nerd, it’s part of who I am, part of how I am, and I can’t help it just as much as I can’t stop breathing or can’t change that I have blue eyes.
Every boyfriend I’ve ever had has hardly thought I was pretty or beautiful. Two long relationships (1+ year each) have gone by with me being able to count on my two hands the number of times “pretty” or more was uttered in my direction, or written and sent to me in any form by either one. The one guy who did say it was raised to say it, and it was as empty as an “I love you” coming from the drunk girl clutching a red solo cup who you barely know standing next to you at the keg. They fizzled away in a matter of weeks, and so did our short relationship.
I guess I should just start accepting that guys don’t see me as pretty, or beautiful, or gorgeous, or any of those things. No skills with a makeup brush or a curling iron will help how I look. I have terrible acne, awkward curves, and am trying really hard to get them under control. I can’t look in a mirror without drawing blood from a pore in my face trying to clear out my skin, the way someone who bites their nails just can’t stop. I worry about what I eat, and I work out constantly. I now see why girls get eating disorders. I don’t want to end up that way, but I’m starting to worry that it could potentially happen.
I had a hard time realizing this morning that my boyfriend, the men before him, and the men after him, will always see me as the cool smart chick, never a beautiful girlfriend. I don’t think it’s the guys. I think it’s me. I’m trying to come to terms with how to safely deal with that in my life, and how to be happy with it.
Like everyone else, I just want to be happy.