Most people have struggled with their image at one point or another. You went through a "pudgy" phase, you couldn't shake that "pizza face" in high school, or you just stopped loving yourself for no real reason at all.
But for these Redditors, feeling undesirable has been a lifelong struggle. The stories aren't all negative, but they should all make us take a step back and reconsider how we think about ourselves, and each other. Everyone deserves compassion. Everyone is worthy of love. Nobody should be ashamed to look in the mirror because of what's on the outside.
There is a girl at my college who was really nice, but known for partying way too hard. She wasn't the best student by any means, choosing to party over studying or anything like that.
About a year ago, I was at a bar and saw her there. She saw me and we talked for a bit. Then she asked me to dance. I'm not the most attractive person by any means, so this had never happened to me. I took her offer; why not? Could be fun.
After about four songs worth of grinding, she turns around and gives me this wide-eyed look. She quickly says, "I have to go, and rushes out the door as quick as she could.
I met back up with friends, told them what happened, and we all left a bit later. The next day, there was a huge party and apparently she didn't go. People were saying she wanted to study instead.
In fact, she didn't go to the bar or any party for the rest of the semester. She made the Dean's list that semester, and is on track to make the Dean's list this semester too.
I just remember her look of shock that night we danced together. I remember her rushing out of the bar. I know she didn't go to that party that she would normally go to the very next night.
You know what happened? She hit rock bottom by dancing with me,and it was enough to truly change her life. My friends deny it, but I know thats what happened.
I am so unattractive that I turned someones life around. Im not sure how to feel about it.
As a fairly unattractive young woman, I can say that it's kind of great. Why? Simple. It's the way men act towards me.
I've talked about this at length with my girlfriends. (continued...)
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We've found that a lot of men get kind of weird when they interact with attractive girls. All kinds of insecurities bubble to the surface. And by "all kinds" I pretty much mean just penis size and penis ability. They think they won't measure up. They get wrapped up in this anxiety. They feel pressure to perform, which manifests itself first in "scaredy wang," then in premature ejaculation. Occasionally, they feel anger, which they sometimes direct towards the girl.
Then there's me. I'm like a cool rain on a warm summer's eve. Not only am I not intimidating, I'm kind of soothing.
Full disclosure, I'm not all bad in terms of attractiveness. But Im weird-looking, and I have a little moustache. Personally, I kind of like it. But it makes people angry, so I must deal with it.
This whole package means that, when a guy meets me, it's a stress-free affair. Rather than constantly trying to impress me, they can just be themselves instead of being a version of themselves they think is more desirable. It's more fun that way. Especially in the bedroom.
I am like Lady Liberty: give me your tired, your weak.
Being attractive? It's for the birds. I'm happy just the way I am, thank you very much.
Have you ever tried to make a self-deprecating joke and watched everyone become visibly uncomfortable? I have.
I was at some girl's fifteenth birthday party, and all the other girls moms, as well as a few aunts and other adult friends, were there with us. It was a cute little gaggle of giggling, gossipy women and teens - save for my own mom, who couldnt come.
The adults all decided to swap kids at some point in the evening and do these little "makeovers" on them to teach each girl how to do their makeup, hide their hormonal teenage acne, and just look like "mature" teenagers.
Half the women there were makeup artists who brought their beauty kits, so it was going to be awesome! Each woman scurried off with her own favourite kid and got to work. It was all laughter and smiles and, "Oh my god this covers your acne so well! Look at your eyes! They're gorgeous!"
Except for me. I just sort of sat at the table in the other room because nobody wanted me. (continued...)
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Eventually, the birthday girl's mom forced (with much hushed arguing) one of the four women fawning over the birthday girl to do something with me because it was rude for me to be left out. So this woman grumbles over with her big makeup kit, looks at me, reaches into her pocket, and pulls out a tube of garish red lipstick. She slaps it on my face with a look like I was asking her to kiss a fish.
When she finished, she just scowled and said, "I'm sorry. I just... don't know what to do with... you know, this." I told her I understood, which she seemed to appreciate, then she ran back to point at me and giggle from the other room with the rest of the crowd.
Later, they started taking pictures of all the girls, and I was asked to stay out of frame or, better yet, why don't I go to the basement and watch a show while I wait for them to finish up? That got a resounding agreement from the other moms, so down I went.
The birthday girl's mom came down with some makeup remover and helped me get the lipstick off while she apologized for everyone being so rude. I told her I understood too.
I'm ugly. It happens. She just sort of went, "You're not that bad. It's just your mouth shape is weird." Then off she went back to the party.
The other kids at school were bullies, sure, but these grown women had no reason to lie to me. I felt ugly from that moment on.
I used to work with adults with intellectual disabilities. Now there is a group of people who keep it real. One time, one of my program participants looked at my face in full sunlight, smiled sympathetically, and touched my arm. She said, You should wear makeup to look pretty.
Guys in high school made a list of their female classmates and ranked them by attractiveness. I expected to be at the bottom. But it turns out I wasn't even on it.
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I had a co-worker try to set me up with another co-worker. It got back around to me that this girl said, "You must not think very highly of me if you are trying to set me up with him."
This was almost a decade ago in a large workplace (a hospital). Maybe she didnt like me because of my personality, but I dont think this was the case because we didnt know each other.
One time in high school, these guys came up to me and my five girlfriends. They asked us to introduce ourselves, so we went one by one. Once he got to the girl beside me, with just the two of us left to introduce ourselves, one of the guys said, Yall can stop there. We only need their names."
It shattered my self-confidence.
When I post a bikini pic, people congratulate me on my bravery.
I don't think I'm especially unattractive, but I used to work with this woman who clearly thought I was. I remember once the topic of attractiveness came up. I happened to be looking down at that moment, and she reached out and pulled up my chin, looked into my eyes and said, But WE know is what's inside that counts."
Growing up, my older brother was good-looking. Everyone commented on how he was very handsome. I remember how our parents would describe us. He was their "handsome boy" and I was the "goofy one. Being a teenager was rough, because a lot of girls that I liked were interested in my brother.
I'm still not good-looking, but I've got a good job and an awesome wife. I do have an incredible beard. That makes up for some of the ugly.
There's never a question of my ability. Nobody's keeping me around for my good looks.
I'm a musician, and I get steady work in spite of how difficult it is for people to look at me.
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I wouldn't say I'm hideous, but I'm on the lower side of average. I have bad hair and very little interest in makeup or fashion, so I also don't regularly go out of my way to pretty myself up.
I know, because he told me, that my husband loves me because I'm smart, very funny, capable, strong-willed, and quirky. Though I haven't "let myself go," I'm pretty certain he isn't going to leave me if I put on a few pounds. And since I rarely dressed up in the first place, me bumming around in pyjama bottoms all the time isn't out of the ordinary.
I have never been asked out in my life. I have pursued every boyfriend I've ever had, which is admittedly not many. I have been turned down plenty, too. I have never been hit on, by either sober or drunk people. When I tried online dating, I got a thousand replies to my profile; once I sent a few of my pictures, I never heard from them again. No one ever offers to help me with anything, even if I'm visibly struggling. I must ask, and am often ignored. Before I was married, guys would make "yuck!" faces when asked what they thought about me.
But overall, being unattractive has been a bonus for me. I've never had anyone pander to me, I know all my friends like me for me, and I'm not held to the same standards a lot of women are by society. I was a late bloomer, so not being asked out in high school was nice. And when I did get interested, I was mature enough not to let rejection shatter me. I ended up married to a nice guy. I live a comfortable life. All in all, it's pretty great.
And I suuuuure can cook!
I am a normal-looking-to-slightly-unattractive guy working as a teacher. When a woman expresses interest in me, I can basically be 100% sure it is actually based on who I am and not just looks or money because I certainly don't have any of that.
Honestly, its awful. It's harder to get a job - people in general don't care that I exist.
If you're handsome and smile at a woman? She'll probably smile back because you made her day better.
If youre ugly and smile at a woman? Well, youre a creep.
Still, I'm sure unattractive women have an even harder time.
When people say I look like someone famous, that famous person is not attractive. Two of the worst I got were Meatloaf - which ain't bad, the dude rocks - and Corey from Pawn Stars, which made me re-evaluate my life.
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People don't spontaneously or enthusiastically take pictures of you when youre not beautiful.
I have an acquaintance who is really gorgeous and photogenic. Most of her Facebook posts are her doing these spontaneous photo shoots with her friends, where they do all these yoga/dance poses, jokey model poses, just normal selfies, etc. People just WANT to take her picture.
Another dude I know is also pretty good-looking, and scrolling through his pictures, you notice that people just take lots of random pictures of him being spontaneously goofy and funny.
For people who are less attractive, taking pictures is more forced. You have to ask people if they can take a picture of you. People kind of reluctantly agree, but they want to get it over with. You won't have many pictures that capture spontaneous fun or goofing around because you had to stop and ask someone.
It'll be a quick "hey, we're hanging out!" selfie, but we also probably won't look at the picture together. I notice with more attractive and photogenic people, not only are there more pictures, but people want to look through them and comment on how awesome they are.
No one bothers you, so there's that. Otherwise, it's kind of awful.
I will say that it is nice that no one expects anything from you. People expect a lot from attractive people; they are suppose to have their lives together and everything is supposed to be easy for them. People expect nothing from me and are all the more impressed when I surprise them with something.
…That last sentence just made me kind of sad.
Female here. Honestly, I've grown to enjoy it as I've gotten older.
I'm a solid 4 on my very best days. It left me heartbroken in my youth that I'd never have the fairytale love story the TV told me pretty girls get. No one ever offered to help me. No one asked me on dates. I never got the awesome work shifts.
It forced me to work harder, so I have an awesome personality now. People tell me I have a charm and sense of humor that is both non-threatening and seems to make people want to hang out with me because I'm entertaining. I'm a good friend. I'm successful in my work.
And now that I'm a late 30s female aging gracefully, I have no hang-ups. My friends are having these existential crises about becoming invisible as they age. Dude, I was born invisible. It's a super power. Use it well. I figure I'll have my moment when I'm 70 and none of us are pretty anymore.
Answers edited for clarity (and awesomeness).