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Fighting Ugly

July 24, 2008

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Joe Newton

I'm a 22-year-old female, and the older I get, the more often I am ridiculed by straight men for being ugly. Just last night, a man asked me if I was jealous of my pretty friends and if I wished I could look like them. I know I'm unattractive, but I've met wonderful girls who I think are at least as physically unattractive as me who have managed to find someone to love them. I need to know if I should even bother anymore—it's hard to find a job, make friends, and basically just find people who will treat me like a human being. I shower every day, try to dress well, and wear makeup, but none of it seems to help. It appears that my only options are plastic surgery or suicide, and the older I get, the more appealing the latter becomes. And no, I don't have body dysmorphic disorder, I am absolutely sure.


P.S. I can't trust my friends to tell me the truth, because they love me, which either (a) clouds their judgment, or (b) makes them reluctant to hurt my feelings. The only commentary I have to go on comes from people I don't know who feel a need to inform me that I'm ugly. But I'm not sure. Should I send you a picture?

You can send me a picture if you like, Anonymous, preferably one taken by the brand-new therapist that you're going to get. Because you may or may not have body dysmorphic disorder, and you may or may not be ugly, and your friends may or may not be shining you on, but you clearly need more help than I can give you in this space. But I'll accept your self-diagnosis and say this much...

Things will get better as you get older. Not your looks, Anonymous, if your looks are truly the problem, but your peers. People are assholes in their 20s, and pouring alcohol into assholes doesn't make 'em stink less. Straight boys raised to believe that women exist for their pleasure will sometimes feel personally affronted by unattractive women, and alcohol makes them feel entitled to comment. But the passage of time makes monsters of us all, Anonymous, and the young, relatively hot straight guys tormenting you today are the bald, paunchy, and if there is a God, burn victims of tomorrow.

So the numbers of guys who can appreciate what you bring to the table—your humanity, your compassion, your ability to love—will grow over time, kiddo, and you may find in middle age what your girlfriends found as young adults. Unless you off yourself in the meantime, Anonymous, in which case you won't be around to watch those cruel, drunken boys deteriorate, wither, and die. And why would you want to cheat yourself out of that?

I've been with my husband for two years and married for one. We eloped in June of last year and didn't have any sort of honeymoon. Instead, about a month later, my husband went on an overseas trip with an old college friend. "Bill" is poor and my husband is well-off, so my husband paid Bill's way. I joked at the time about how my husband was going on his honeymoon with Bill. Fast-forward to last week: My husband tells me he is going to a conference in Europe and meeting Bill there. I thought, okay, no big deal. Well, the day my husband was leaving, I found out that he was spending the first four days with Bill, Bill's fiancée, and Bill's sister just hanging out, and that the actual conference didn't start until the end of the week. I didn't say anything before he left, because I was so caught off guard. Today I went to a therapist who, after hearing all this, asked me if I thought my husband was gay.

We only have sex once a week, because I've forced him to make it an appointment with me. He does not have a sex drive at all: nothing, nada. So my question is, should I dump the therapist or is she on to something? My husband comes back from his trip on Sunday and I'm dying inside. Help!

Really Uncertain

Do you really want to stay married to a man who makes you feel this way, RU, even if he is straight?

It's been weeks now since you republished that "canned ham" comment about the aesthetics of women's genitals. The battle of the sexes is creepy enough, Dan, when it's being fought by people who want to fuck each other. At the end of the day, straight and bisexual men and women know that they want what the other side has got. But when lesbians and gay men do it, not only is it cruel and dehumanizing, but it makes Republicans smile. Conservatives already do a fantastic job of making it seem like lesbianism is the ghastly consequence of man-hating; the more gay men keep going on about how much women disgust them, the more it makes them seem like deranged misogynists, rather than sane men who just want to sleep with other men. (Never mind that if misogyny caused gayness, the entire Republican Party would be a mad gay orgy.)

Too Sad For A Pseudonym

Your points are well taken, TSFAP, and I hear you. Hell, I agree with you; I frequently tear into faggots who play up their disgust with female genitals in a misguided attempt to justify their gayness. But my comparison of female genitals to canned hams dropped from great heights wasn't grounded in disgust, TSFAP, so much as it was unfamiliarity. And, hey, I deserve some credit for comparing women's genitals to something I will put in my mouth. Ham? Love it! Baked or canned, dropped from a great height or grilled to perfection—can't get enough! It would have been infinitely ruder of me to compare women's genitals to something I would never, ever put in my mouth, something like... uh... women's genitals.

And, excuse me, but haven't you been paying attention? The entire Republican Party is a mad gay orgy. Brace yourself, MSP!

So, Dan, I agree that men in their 30s and 40s who "date" legal teenage boys have a good chance of being scummy. But what about men who make no bones about just wanting some of that sweet twink ass and are honest with their just-out-of-high-school playmates? Is the 40ish man who says, "I am not in love with you. I might think you're cool. I do think you're hot. Let's fuck!" a refreshingly honest learning opportunity for a barely-legal boy just out on his own? Or does the inherent power imbalance mean all older guys are self-deluding scumbags?

Thirtysomething Realizes Oldsters Lack Luster

The campsite rule applies here: So long as older persons leave younger persons in better shape than they found them, it's all good. And emphasizing to a young, horny, potentially love-struck teenager that, while there may be a mutual attraction, love isn't in the cards is one way an older person honors the campsite rule. But, as I wrote last week, since almost all older men willing to sleep with teenagers—gay or straight—are total scumbags, the older person should be regarded as scum until proven otherwise.


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Comments (7) RSS

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there was a time when I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. It wasn't because of ugliness but because I was obsessed about BEING ugly. I'm turning eighteen tomorrow and I've never had a proper girlfriend or boyfriend. Now that I'm looking back, I can see that there were plenty of opportunities, I just put myself down too much as 'that face' with 'that body'. I sold myself pretty short. Your letter really touched me in a wave of empathy and (admittedly) self-pity. Do you remember when Susan Brick got all that shit for talking about how much attention her 'beauty' grabbed her? A little obnoxious? yes. Self-obsessed, sure. All the same, now a days it is so looked down upon to even mention our self-worth. Maybe Ms. Brick deserves a bit of credit. Just remember that you have friends for a reason, and that beauty standards change every time Anna Wintour picks her nose (a little too graphic but everyone knows it). I know that beauty unfortunately matters during college, I'm not going to deny it, but it's a very, very, VERY short-term phenomenon. I completely agree with Savage.
PS. Whenever some shit-head comes up to you and insults you face-to-face, just imagine HIM in a wig. Ask him just how pretty he thinks he is. Or just smile and wave.
Posted by Xiao on May 12, 2012 at 6:29 PM · Report this
To Anonymous
Your letter really touched me. I can in no way give advice like savage (i'm just not as smart lol), but i wanted to remind you that beauty is sooo subjective. Not all of us are looking for accepted standards of beauty, some of us actually find them to be well, "standardized" and boring. Personally I look for the things that make people unique and to me THAT is what makes them beautiful (physically anyways).
One thing that i find really hot is called vitiligo, it's the skin condition michael jackson struggled with. A lot of people find it weird or ugly, but i really hoestly truly find it to be very beautiful to look at. When i see someone with it i can't stop looking at them.
My point is, not everyone is out looking for the same things, and not everyone is quick to buy into the mass media driven standards of beauty.
And how is this for you, apparently i look a lot like lilly cole (i'm actually confused for her) who is a well paid top model that a lot of people think is extremely hot....i find her ugly...just ugly. I don't like her facial structure i don't like her features, i feel horrible that this is "who i look like" when people tell me that, it makes me feel like shit. BUT, I wonder how much of my dislike of her face, is linked to my own lack of self esteem about my own face. I bet i would find her beautiful if i didn't look so much like her. Something to think about.
Posted by stuff n things on January 12, 2011 at 2:06 PM · Report this
My comment might surprise you, I wont start repeating all the sleazy cliches ab out "personality" and the stupid jerks who refuse to see anything behind your appearance. Youve heard it all before, you will hear it again, and it wont make you feel any better. I know. I ve been there. Emotionally Im still there although I managed to find a boyfriend who's "sugar and spice and everything nice" (yes, there IS hope for all of us) but the problem is that finding a life partner - although important - will not change your self image that much. I still feel ugly, when i'm alone. I still slouch when walking outside, apologize to rude bus drivers and basically feel that my looks somehow insult the happier, more attractive population. Seriously. I feel guilty about the way I look. After 10 years with a cute intelligent guy who shares all my interests and tells me every day how great I am. He's no angel of course, there are problems but he - god bless him - does everything humanly possible to reassure me about myself. And yes, I'm ok when we're together _alone_. But his friends, coworkers, even parents still make me feel guilty and disgusted with myself. I people please, I overcompensate, I basically am still that 14-yr old girls who laughed with the whole class after discovering a piece of paper with the words "ugly cow" ducktaped to my back. And i'm not sure thats gonna pass anytime soon, therapy or not - it's just something you grew up with, part of yourself. Maybe it's just better to count your blessings and accept the rest, I dont know.
Now, about your friends. Once again - I dont know, your friends may be amazing, caring, honest people, but sometimes attractive girls take in an unattractive one, maybe to look better by comparison, to boost their self esteem or maybe for some twisted comic relief. Having a beautiful group of people around someone like us, well... that's what attracts those drunken assholes you're writing about. A quiet, boring group of adult nerds is usually invisible :))) Once again - it's not a solution, it's just one of my methods to confront reality. Or maybe ignore it. Anyway, so many words, so little common sence ))) sorry about that. I'm just telling you - i understand completely how you feel. Maybe, to find a partner, we should not try to get them to like us, but to decide what exactly we want ourselves, and to look accordingly - not in bars or at parties, but somewhere where guys are actually interested in what we have to say. Me and my guy met on the internet, by the way.
p.s. and stop asking those close to you "am I ugly?" it's annoying as hell :)) for both of you, you get sick of their "condescending" lies, and they are sick of having to repeat them again and again :))
Sorry for the huge post...
Posted by ugly on April 9, 2009 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Also, to anonymous: When the guy asks you if are you jealous of your prettier friends, you might smile sympathetically and ask if he's jealous of his friends that have personalities and social graces.
Posted by Don't bother with 'em on October 20, 2008 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Re: the anonymous 22-yr-old gal who said she gets ridiculed for being "ugly" ... said was great, and to Anonymous, if she reads this...hon, I am truly sorry that so many guys don't bother to look beyond your physical looks to see the beautiful person you most likely are beneath.

Too many guys have their heads up their asses and go by looks first and personality dead last. I used to do this myself, I'm sorry to say, and I'm glad I finally woke up and got my head out of my ass. Always wondered why I always ended up with asshole's because I was an asshole myself, not looking for anything beyond superficial good looks, and ended up with women who were pretty and had shitty personalities.

Today, I am married to a woman with a facial disfigurement. She's whip smart, funny, warm, the mother of my children and the woman of my dreams -- I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, I am a lucky man to have married her, and to me, she's the prettiest gal in 5 counties. Maybe 6.

In the words of Dean Martin, "You don't love a woman because she's beautiful. She's beautiful because you love her."

Pls hang in there, anonymous, and try to forgive the guys who don't bother to look beyond the surface. They're the real losers here. The person of your dreams is still out there, keep looking and you'll find him/her.

.Also Anonymous.
Posted by anonymous on October 12, 2008 at 11:26 AM · Report this
I really liked what you told Anonymous. Don't know how to describe it, but you avoid that sleazy "but you are not ugly" and said just the right things about those 20something asshole condescending future burn victims (loved that part). Made my day :)
Posted by anna on September 25, 2008 at 11:05 AM · Report this
I'm straight, and so are most of my friends. We all agree... A good plump pussy looks like a Arby's sandwich, buns and all. It's a beautiful thing!
Posted by Straight Guy Into Ham on September 22, 2008 at 7:53 PM · Report this

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