You Don’t Know What You Look Like

You don’t know you’re beautiful. And I don’t know how to make you see it.

Wait, let’s back up. Obviously, I hated that One Direction song, not because it was an impossibly catchy ear worm, but because it implied that women needed to be validated about their looks by someone else, especially by a man. It says that the only women worth lusting after are the ones that don’t have self-confidence, that a girl who KNOWS she’s beautiful isn’t attractive, that low self-esteem is a beautiful quality in a woman.

So I want to fix that because I think, unlike the little boys in that British band, that you should know. You should absolutely know how beautiful you are. It’s crazy that you don’t know. It’s mind-blowing. And it would make you even more attractive, not just in looks but in personality, if you stopped beating yourself up all the time.

Every time you point to a girl in a bar and say, “Yeah, I’m all right but I don’t look like her,” I want to strangle you because you’re not doing it for validation or for compliments or for attention. I look into your face, into your eyes and I know you really, really mean it. You think that girl — some girl, maybe she’s got nice hair or longer legs or something — that she’s got something on you. That you don’t compare. For a while, I’d simply stare back at you, unable to tell if you were kidding or blind. Then, I’d lay on the protestations but increasingly, I realized they fell on deaf ears. You didn’t want to hear anyone’s fancy words. You wouldn’t believe it even if I wrote it in the sky with an airplane.

I started to notice how you dress and the people you chose to date. And yes, all of these are choices you’re allowed to make and I wouldn’t begrudge you them if I thought they were making you happy. But they aren’t. You’re not happy. You purposefully wear unflattering outfits because you think that’s all you can pull off. You date people who are beneath you, not just physically but emotionally and mentally. They don’t treat you right. And you let them, because you think that’s all you can get and that’s all you deserve. You really have no idea how special you are. You have no idea how much better you could do. You have no idea that you’re standing in your own way because there’s nothing there to hold you back.

You really don’t know what you look like. You look in the mirror and you see some kind of bridge troll or a series of flaws and imperfections that you find unacceptable and unmanageable, but you’re not seeing the whole package. Step back for a second. I wish I could make you just step back from yourself or have an out of body experience or something so you could see yourself the way everyone else sees you. You are beautiful.

But more importantly, it pains me to see that you don’t value yourself the way other people value you. You don’t know that you are a catch. Like, I bet this whole idea has never even occurred to you. You could read this entire article and not once think it was about you. It would surprise you that I’ve heard other women be jealous of you. It would shock you to know that men talk about how magnetic and radiant you are. It wouldn’t even cross your mind that these things could happen.

Beyond that though, you are wonderful and lovely. And you have no idea. TC Mark

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