Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I have what some folk consider a rather unusual attraction to some women who appear unattractive to others. My most difficult task with such a woman is convincing her that she really turns me on. She is so hung up on negative past experiences that she actually refuses to believe that anyone could possibly be entranced by her image.

It's so pathetic that public perception of beauty is limited to the harsh and cold visage of the typical “Super Model”. I want a real woman, not a plastic display piece.

I know of a woman who had plastic surgery to conform herself to the most popular view of desirability. She was delighted with the result, as were many others of her acquaintance. Conversely, I was extremely disappointed with the change. Oh, did I say “disappointed”? That's rather mild, considering the fact I was livid with rage. I thought the operation made her look absolutely hideous.

I think most men base their initial interactions with women on whom they consider most appealing. That sounds a bit shallow, but it is a fact of life. I think it's a fact that most women have learned to tolerate, whether they like it or not. For those who don't fit the popular mold of what is considered “sexy”, this can be a painful ordeal. They seem to think that since the majority of folk don't view them as beautiful, no one will.

This is an attitude that has caused me much anguish. A woman whom I consider hot has such low self-esteem regarding her appearance that she kills the mood of an intimate moment. Regardless of what I say or how I act, she presumes herself to be repulsive.

How dare she presume what I think! How dare she presume what turns me on! How dare she defy me!


Take the Taken In Hand Tour


How Dare She?

KrosRogue, those words aren't going to entice a woman, especially one who has learned to think of herself as not attractive enough to interest the majority of men. Do you think you can wave the baton of your male authority and she is going to get with the program?

Why don't you take out your anger on the male jerks who put her down all her life because she didn't fit the mold? Oh but that would mean dealing with the problem where it starts instead of blaming the victim, wouldn't it. Also why not boycott the advertising industry which makes women feel inadequate if they are not anorectic supermodels?

Finally you are making the same mistake as the other guys: assuming a woman's self worth should come from YOUR appraisal. Women need to break AWAY from male appraisal and love themselves for themselves.

It would be nice if it were true

But it is generally women who are ones who are cattiest about each other's looks, rather than men. It's women who sneer at other women for being overweight, unattractive or whatever. Magazines and newspapers are full of articles by women picking away at other women's looks.

There is an appalling but very popular TV programme in the UK called 'What Not to Wear' in which two self-appointed fashion experts lecture other women about their dress sense, sneer at them and put them down and make them reform themselves to suit the tastes of the 'experts'. This in spite of the fact that, as comedienne Jo Brand put it, one dresses like the secretary of an Eastern European dictator, and the other like 'a slightly deranged milkmaid'.

Women who are obsessed with being thin are not generally driven to it by men, but by their own vanity. I read an interview with Rene Zwelleger, is it, the actress who starred in the Bridget Jones movies. She admits that men found her more attractive whem she put on weight for the movies, but she's slimmed down again because it's how she prefers herself. I'm not saying that men can't be critical of women's looks, but the weight of evidence suggests to me that it is women who are the most savage critics.

Behind Closed Doors

Louise, you see what the media wants you to see and not what is happening quietly behind closed doors. I had a mastectomy in 1997. A year or two later, trying to revive our sex life, I asked my husband what his sex fantasies were. The genius said he wasn't as attracted to me anymore because he is a breast man.

Now the marriage has continued and let's hope he has managed to grow out of his short pants since then. I believe he has. But don't think that is an isolated instance. The putdowns that come from men are quiet and devastating.

Then to turn around and punish a woman for having been the victim of those putdowns? Men should hang their heads in shame and do what they can to support us in a positive way. What nonsense to think they can command or spank us into thinking we are gorgeous.

Bridget AKA Rene

Odd that she would choose to conform to the women's assessment rather
than the men's. There are many things, I suppose, that I will never


Male Appraisal?

Two people who love each other should place their reciprocal appraisal
above all others. That may sound a bit overly simplistic and perhaps
fit only for an ideal world, but in real life both need to work toward
that ideal for the sake of their mutual happiness. A self-degrading
attitude is harmful to a relationship that should be a safe haven for
both partners. If the attitude is allowed to persist, it could fester
and destroy the relationship, devastating the people it was supposed
to nurture.


A refreshing change

I have to admit I rather liked Krosrogue's piece too. My husband has on more than one occasion had words with me for presuming myself to be unattractive (and spanked me for it when it's got too bad!). However, there was a lot of patient work on his part before he felt he could justifiably get angry about it :)


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, somewhere.

Building Self-Image

I have the impression your husband shares my opinion concerning this
subject. A good self-image is essential to a good relationship.


Self Image

I do seem to share some of KR's opinion. C being comfortable with and (as a result) having a good self image and the confidence that arises from that are to my mind very important to me. Not neccessarily for our relationship, rather for her well being and happiness.

My reason for spanking her on that occasion was that she had sunk into a state of mind that said "But I don't look like a supermodel / women on TV, I'm fat, how can you find me sexy and attractive, I'm horrible!". Not good.

I really don't like the way women are being conditioned by the media that unless they look like "x" then they're wrong.

And don't get me started on Trinny and Susannah. They irritate me immensely how they carry on, but I must admit, they do seem to know theirs stuff about what suits certain body shapes and looks.

"Now, as fond fathers, having bound up the threatening twigs of birch, Only to stick it in their children's sight for terror, not to use, in time the rod becomes more mock'd than fear'd." Duke Vincentio (Measure for Measure Act 1 Scene 3)

A woman's self-image

First has to be nurtured until it is acceptable. Not perfect, but acceptable, as C said in her post. It was awhile before B could then 'take her in hand' for her putting herself down.

Q has only swatted me once for my self-deprecation, but I don't do it too often anymore. I have accepted myself, and the fact that Q loves me and I now term myself a 'Renaissance beaty' (look at Michelangelo's art)for I sport more of this type of figure, than I do the media's expectations.

It took awhile, but I got there. And, truly for us, looks do not matter. It is our relationship and what is inside that is most important. I don't even wear make-up. Never did much anyway, now I just don't.

Q would much rather give me a sloppy kiss on bare clean skin, with no perfumes or make-up to get in his way.


The thing is, low self-esteem isn't simply the result of internalizing the negative perceptions of others. If that really were the case, then having a partner offer positive appraisals of one's looks would serve to annihilate self-image problems, but by KrosRogue's own admission, that hasn't worked. I don't really see how KrosRogue's piece counteracts the pressure on women to look a certain way: he seems to want his partner to exchange society's judgment of her looks with his own judgment of them. Either way, the woman is being encouraged to depend on outside evaluations for validation.


Why is it a positive attitude on Kros's part, that he became "livid" at a woman who chose to have plastic surgery? She happened to look like "his type" and he is outraged that she decided to look like some other type. He's fine with her bending to HIS pressure, but it's just awful if she bends to someone else's pressure.

Pressure is pressure and outside interpretations of a woman's looks are irrelevant and unwelcome whomever they come from.

And Louise, if women may snipe at another woman's looks, it is generally jealousy and fear that another female will get the man. Also they don't usually snipe to each other's faces..while men have been known to tell their wives right out, you're getting too fat, etc. etc.

As for that TV show, that's an example of the advertising world that is also at fault. Check out who is advertising on that show. Bunch of beauty products, hm? I shouldn't wonder. Those shows hire women to do the dirty work but the idea behind it: sell clothing and cosmetics to women once you've made them insecure...comes from the male dominated ad industry.

Women have formed support groups and there's been movements and associations of Big Beautiful Women to support the fact that beauty comes in all sizes and shapes. I think that's a lot more positive than a man saying "how dare she defy me and feel insecure about her looks? WHACK!"

Is the media to blame?

I'm sorry, but I just don't believe that. The media is market-led, in other words, it supplies people with what they want , or what it thinks they want. Women are obsessed with their looks to a degree that has nothing to do with seeking male approval.

The programme I mentioned—'What Not to Wear'—goes out on the BBC, which doesn't carry advertising, and it is phenomenally popular. The book of the series was top of the bestseller list for months. The rudeness of the two harpies who present that programme is unbelievable, yet women queue up to go on it and be flayed. There is no end to women's obsession with their looks, and there's no use blaming it all on men, because it's not all about them.

My father, for instance, did not at all care for the makeup my mother used to plaster on her face. "Why do you always cover yourself with that claggy muck," he used to grumble, but she kept on doing it. She was doing it almost up to the day of her death, which was ten years after my father had shuffled off this mortal coil, and five years after she had gone into a nursing home, where there were very few men about at all. It was nothing to do with male approval, she did it for herself.

Women never stop obsessing over their looks, and other women's looks. I mean, a few weeks ago, a supposedly intelligent woman journalist, writing for a supposedly serious newspaper, devoted a good half of her column to bitching about the size of Cherie Blair's thighs in a picture taken of her on holiday which had appeared in other papers. It's no use saying that it is men who make women behave like this, because it isn't, it's something women do to themselves.

If You Read and Watch Trash...

that is made for the lowest common denominator, you will believe that this is how women are. Likewise, if you watch stuff like the Jerry Springer show in America you will think no one could possibly have a good relationship, and that everyone is a vicious harpy out to tear down friends, relatives and neighbors.

In real life however...

I do not know or associate with ANY women who have nothing better to do with the brains God gave them than to complain about how some other woman looks. As for men complaining about "all that makeup" a woman wears, let her just leave it off and hear them crab that she looks old and worn out. Men generally have no clue when a woman is wearing makeup or enhancers of any kind.

The media is not always market driven. They also wish to create a need. You create a need for expensive clothes and beauty products by making women feel insecure about their looks, weight, etc. Then you sell them the magic solution.

In real life.....

If you know any women in real life who've never made catty remarks about other women's appearance, then you must know some very unusual women, I've never known one who wasn't guilty of doing it occasionaly (myself included).

As for men not noticing whether or not a woman is wearing makeup, again you must know some singularly stupid men, all the men I've ever known have been able to tell the difference (and most, in my experience, prefer women without).

Disatisfaction with their looks seems to be a female condition that has nothing to do with attracting men. When my sister was a teenager, for instance, she longed to look like a model called Jean Shrimpton, she yearned over pictures of this woman in magazines, although as she was short and plumpish she had no hope of ever resembling the Shrimp. Now this had nothing to do with a desire to attract men, because my sister had more men chasing after her than she could shake a stick at (if that's your idea of a good time).

Nobody forces women to buy these idiotic magazines full of pictures of impossibly perfect models, they buy them because it's what they want to read. And nobody forces them to spend their money on ludicrously expensive clothes and beauty producest when they could be spending it on something more interesting (like books, for instance). The fashion and beauty industries would collapse in secondes if women stopped wanting this stuff, but it won't because they don't. It's no use blaming it all on the media, women have minds of their own and can make them up themselves.

Re In Real Life

I can't speak for "never" because that's an absolute statement but the women I know don't base their opinions of other women on appearance. Furthermore, if men's opinions weren't the damaging ones, it would be women that other women would be afraid to be seen naked in front of, rather than men.

There's an implied threat to many women when they see their men with eyes out on stalks when a woman with a trimmer figure, bigger hair, or whatever the current fashion statement might be comes into view. There's an implied threat when they find their husbands reading porn magazines and gaping at internet porn, and they know their own bodies don't measure up to the impossible standards portrayed there.

But of course, the victims are to blame for feeling lousy about their appearance, and they must be duly whipped until they mumble, "Yes Sir, your opinion is all that matters, I am beautiful as you say."

I'm sure that will be extremely effective on every possible psychological level.

The fashion industry would be starving to death if they had to rely on women like me.

Appearances and stuff

Most women I know dread being naked in front of another woman. And I know I'm not the only one who hates "open" changing rooms in shops (not open so anyone shopping can see people trying on clothes, but no cubicles to try-on in)—they have to have been thought up by a man.

As for this comment:

But of course, the victims are to blame for feeling lousy about their appearance, and they must be duly whipped until they mumble, "Yes Sir, your opinion is all that matters, I am beautiful as you say."

That seems to be going completely against the spirit of Kros Rogue's article.

But—and possibly unintentionally—there is a degree of truth in that comment. The "victims" are at least in part to blame for feeling lousy about their appearance. And I say that from the perspective of a "victim". And I'm putting "victim" in quotes because, despite having had major problems with body image (which are now minor problems), I do not see myself as a victim. I cannot point to anything (or anyone) and say it was to blame for my feelings. However hard it is, however much the world of TV and advertising pushes a certain type of body-image, the only person I can really blame for my problems is me. And apart from a few very low moments when I've blamed the NHS, I've always realised this. The hardest part is working through it, and my husband has been a real help in that.

It's not about him telling I'm beautiful and spanking me until I agree. It's about him making me accept he finds me attractive the way I am, and that beating myself up over how I look is only going to make me feel worse.


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, somewhere.

Whose opinion matters?

I'm not saying men aren't capable of making snide remarks about women's apperance, I know my husband is, though as the gist of his remarks are generally how much more beautiful I am than the women he criticises, I can't honestly say I object all that much.

Of course women want ot attract men, and that has something to do with how they dress etc, but it obviously isn't the whole story, otherwise why would women persist in doing things that men don't care for, as with my mother plastering on make up for instance?

I don't know if it's true that women don't mind other women's opinions of their looks. In 'Reflections in a Jaundices Eye' Florence King, writing about the reason why lesbians don't chase after young girls the way gay men do after young boys says: "Female vanity being what it is, Lesbians do not chase spring chickens—no woman of fifty is going to undress in front of a woman of twenty no matter how much she might desire her."

All men look at other women from time to time, just like women look at other men, as I've said, being married doesn't make you blind. It doesn't mean you actually intend to do anything about it though.

There's got to be some reason why women persisist in adopting certain fashions etc whether men find them attrractive or not, or slimming down even if men prefer them with a bit of flesh, for instance. Male approval certainly has something to do with the drive to be beautiful, but it isn't the whole story. Knowing that the man you love finds you attractive is a great ego boost, but a lot of women's behaviour re their looks doesn't seem to be about that at all.

Now it for me has been a comb

Now it for me has been a combination of things. I have a large gap in my teeth. All of my younger years and adult life I have endured a lot of traumatic criticism that has led to this lowly self-image. How can I think possibly that my smile is beautiful when I have never once in my entire life recieved a comment about how beautiful my gap was? When at halloween there are plastic mouth pieces that resemble the smile I wear on a daily basis. Faulty smiles are a outlet for comedians, so am I to smile so that everyone can get a good laugh out of it?

I also have been blessed with an incredibly small chest. I agree that the media has shaped my image of what was ample and what was not but the general public plays a large part as well. Many nights of going out with girlfriends and becoming a third wheel, the token "ugly girl." Going to every prom with out a date. Clothing fitting baggy in the front and bras that are too small. Having trouble finding the perfect lingerie outfit for my wedding night because the outfit is not meant for the tiny. Feeling by all standards uncomfortable in my own skin. Was that my doing or societies? So the option becomes...comfort. How do I cope with this?

1. Love myself, make my own clothing and bras and refuse to go out with anyone who is more busty or attractive than me.

#2 Stay the way I am a wall flower constantly being disappointed and uncomfortable in public and in private. Or #3 Modify my body to fit comfortably within the publics depiction of what beauty is. I would be able to wear the sexy cloths for my husband with confidence I would become his fantasy. I would no longer feel like an outcast when I see my friends. I could smile. I could laugh out loud and not cover my mouth. I would not be embarrassed anymore.

Of course in a perfect world there would be no war, poverty, sickness, divorce, murder, molesters, or views of what is and is not beautiful but that's not the world I live in. I have made the decision to conform rather than be put down by my looks, and if that means veneers and implants than so be it.

A Less Than Perfect Appearance

I think most folk have an ideal image in mind of what they "should"
look like. Bad teeth can be a problem, but a good attitude can help
where finances fail. Cheryl's ex-bf knocked out a of few her front teeth
some years back and she hasn't been able to repair the damage yet.

I'm not exactly an "Adonis", either. Most of my teeth are gone as a
result of heredity and I haven't been financially able to correct that
problem, either.

She and I both have a problem with obesity, but our interactions will
most likely correct that in the near future. ;-)

A good attitude can cover a multitude of "imperfections". We are who
we are, the way we are. Happiness and contentment start with one's


Blame The Victim

For an intimate relationship between a man and a woman to remain
healthy, I think there should be a strong sexual attraction between
them. Also, each partner's belief and trust in that mutual attraction
is equally important if not more so. I won't waste my time and effort
to cultivate such a relationship with a woman with whom a mutually
strong attraction doesn't exist. That would be cruel and unnatural.
Besides, if I were stupid enough to lie about such a thing, that would
become embarrassingly evident the first time we attempted to become
intimate. The truth can't be hidden indefinitely.


Low Self Esteem

My self esteem sucks. Every day I have to repeat over and over agian to myself that I am in fact NOT ugly. I have been called ugly numerous times. I can remember the cutting pain of each remark. And every single one was made by a man. Women were not responsible. Media was not responsible. Just the arrogant, rude males who in my opinion weren't too beautiful themselves. I think the reason for image related problems vary. And they're not that easy to "snap out of".

Critical Analysis

One can never please everyone, but I have found that with enough
concerted effort, it is possible to please no one.


The pain of feeling ugly

Me, I have acne scars, I am 5'11" and went to 205, I have been told my entire life how ugly I am. I been called all sorts of thing. I was called scary. "Lost cause" is my favorite. I always wore my hair long to cover my face, and hide behind glasses. I was so ugly in grade school males in my class loved to gang up and breaking into extreme laughing. I know what I look like, I can't even look in a mirror. I was dying on the inside so I lost weight to 114. I looked awful, but finally I had men paying attention to me, in fact in college a nice looking guy said hi to me, I turned around to see who he was talking to, then I got scared because I never had men make comments to me and I quickly put weight on, so see, people who are ugly really have no reason to live.

Reasons to live

I am sorry about the lousy time you had in school, it sounds horrible. But people get picked on for all sorts of reasons, my oldest son had trouble with bullies when he was in primary (grade) school, and it had nothing to do with looks,he's a very good-looking boy. I mean it's nice to be good-looking, but it doesn't solve all your problems or make you immune from unhappiness. For instance, my husband's niece was ditched by her fiance last year, three weeks before their wedding day, and she's a very beautiful girl. But she still got dumped, all the time they were planning their wedding he was seeing someone else.

You probably aren't as unattractive as you think you are, if one nice-looking guy said hi to you others probably will if you give them the chance. In any case, you have to have more reasons to live than just relationships. Every relationship ends sooner or later, through death if nothing else, there have to be other things in your life worth living for. You're obviously a clever girl, if you went to college, you must care about other things, books, music, art, science, sport, nature, there's got to be things to attach you to life other than relationships.

I know I feel nervous when, for instance, I read someone saying that she expects her husband to be responsible for her physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, that is way too heavy a burden to place on anyone in my opinion. You must have inner resources that make life worth living for you, because you simply cannot rely on a relationship to satisfy all your needs. People come and go, you need things that make life worth living for you that are within yourself.

Death Preferred Over Acne Scars?

You think you have no reason to live because of acne scars? Wow! I
have seen many fine looking women who have acne scars, and while some
think that is ugly, others, including me, do not. You said that a nice
looking guy said hi to you, and you got scared. Well, that won't be
the last time some guy will say hi to you, so don't run for cover the
next time it happens. When it does, if you can't be confident at least
*pretend* to be confident and see what happens. You may be pleasantly
surprised. A friendly word of warning, though, for your own happiness:
accept compliments about your appearance in the spirit they are given.
That could mean a step toward more happiness for you. I don't make
compliments unless I mean them. The man who gives them to you may very
well feel the same way. Don't let your life history determine your
future. Don't let your lack of confidence scare away someone who could
probably make your life pleasurable.


Middleschool is hell for all

No matter how nice your hair or skin or figure. Everyone is tense and mean. You got thru it, and it will likely go up hill from there.


I would love to see men go through what we do. How can one try to relate something so diverse from their comfort? def. easier said then done.

I like this idea

I think it is sweet that a man would say to his woman that I love the way you look, and I do not want you to change anything about the way you are, that would be wrecking a perfect thing. Despite what people say about self esteem, it feels good to know that the man you love finds you attractive and sexy. Lots of women do not understand their own beauty. If a woman does not believe how beautiful she is, keep telling her. It is nice to hear someone call you beautiful. Coming to understand the sincerity of someone's profession of beauty can be one of the most remarkable and enjoyable things in life. I love being called beautiful by my husband even, or maybe even especially, when I am not feeling particularly beautiful.

Take care,

Selfish Lordly Judgement

For a relationship to be worthwhile, there must be harmony.
Self-doubt creates a destructive discord that could ruin that harmony
beyond recovery. In many ways it can be more insidious than deliberate
malicious intent.


The Scars of People's Words

Your story about "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" really struck home with me. In my childhood, so many negative things were said towards me such as: stupid, fat, ugly, dumb, you can't do anything, you are not good enough, ugly, and all kinds of words pertaining to the words fat and ugly. This past year I have put my graduation picture up on the wall (because my daughter wanted it up there) and friends of mine ask, "Why weren’t a model!" or "You are so BEAUTIFUL!" and people say that even now. For a long time I could never receive nice compliments that were given to me, because those words of FAT and UGLY were so embedded in my brain. I thought they were lying or just telling me something to try and make me feel better or good. Frankly I thought they were full of shit (pardon my language) when they said nice things about my appearance. It has taken time for me to slowly change my attitude about myself and I am getting better about it, but those old words still linger in my brain. Especially when I am down or depressed, but like I said I am doing better.

Patience is the biggest key when it comes to a woman acting like that. She does not do it on purpose (most of the time). It's obvious something and sometime in her life something negative about herself came from someone that must have hurt her enough to not forget.

Someone in my life has had to tell me constantly and even spoke firmly to me about the fact that I am a beautiful person and not just the inside but the outside also. And believe me there were times I had this feeling he wanted to take me across his knee because of my negative attitude. If he did, I might have stopped a lot quicker when I whined about myself being so ugly.

So just be a bit more patient about it and maybe ask why she thinks she's ugly and if you care about her enough try and find out what the source was that made her thinking about the negative thoughts in the first place, then work from that point onward to help her esteem grow stronger. You seem like a caring enough person that you would want to do that for a woman you care about.

So the next question is.... are you still available?? *smile*

Curing Negative Thoughts

I am fully aware of the reasons behind her self-doubts, and I think
I did make some progress with her, although how much I don't know. She
and I have since parted ways for other reasons.

As for my own availability, I have much personal baggage to shed
before I can consider myself ready for any involvement through the
internet. Until I am able to complete this task, I will restrict my
activities to my local environment. I really do hope to accomplish
this task in a very short period of time.


It is hard for women to accept the way they look

I can understand the frustration that a man must go through hearing a woman constantly put herself down. And while I understand what a lot of posters are saying when they say that it's blaming the victim to get angry at a woman with low self-esteem, after a while how is a man supposed to feel? I know if every day my boyfriend told me how ugly he thought he was and asked how I could ever be attracted to him I would find it extremely off putting. For one thing, I am attracted to him. I wouldn't want to have to constantly defend myself for feeling attracted to him, or constantly defend him from himself. For another thing, who wants to be with someone who is constantly down on themselves? I want to have fun with the person I'm with, not feel like I needed to constantly break up their pity parties.

This being said it is hard for women to accept the way they look, myself included. I'm not as thin as I'd like to be, my hair isn't is straight as I'd like it to be, and if I really wanted to sit down and depress myself I'm sure I could come up with countless other things.

It is extremely hard for me to just say "thankyou" when my boyfriend tells me I'm beautiful. My more common reaction is a rather unlady like snort. When he wants me to sit on his lap I do comment about my fear of breaking his legs. I spent a lot of my life making these comments before anyone else could, as a means of protecting myself. Usually I could even get a laugh if I delivered the line just right, but he doesn't find it at all funny. It's a really hard habit to break, but because I love my boyfriend, and I know the comments hurt him, I try my best not to make them. The fact that he cares enough to get angry when I make such comments lets me know that he does find me beautiful.

His Anger Says You Are Beautiful

I hope one day you will be able to see yourself through his eyes.
When and if that happens and you no longer view yourself as joke
material, I think that will enhance your relationship immensely. I
think in your mind you already know this, but sometimes it is more
difficult to convince your heart of such truths.


Many men think they are ugly, and are insecure

I have heard the "Why are you with me.." thing from men before. I am a woman, and I think I am attractive. I like what I see in the mirror. And I'm not that mortified at having to reassure someone either. It's part of dating.

Snap out of it!

Thank you KrosRogue for stating you opinion in a strong, no apology fashion. The tone of it broke through to me. I am a woman who saw her strong curvy body seeminly morph into mush from medication and lack of mobility due to an acquired brain injury. The tone of KrosRogue's remarks are an example of why I want to be with a man who will take me in hand. Sometimes I need someone to help me get a grip. A strong tone, with a positive undercurrent, can do that for me. I did not see KR's piece as something for indepth analysis. I just heard him say, “Snap out of it!!!”

Nice to hear it from a guy.

I think my own lack of self confidence started in middle school, when life sucks no matter what. But I have never, at least to my own knowledge, even been considered by a guy for a relationship. Many women tell me I am beautiful. Many of my lesbian friends tell me they would date me if I wasn't straight. But guys just don't look at me at all and, if what you're saying is true, I don't understand why. I have even asked many of my guy friends for advice and THEY can't even tell me what is wrong. (I am going to guess that they are just trying not to hurt my feelings.) My best friend looks just like me..I mean JUST like me, and even she has someone who has a blatant crush on her, and I don't (that I know of). Whenever I gain some semblance of self-confidence, this fact always seems to bring me right back down into the gutter.

I know how painful that is. I

I know how painful that is. I don't know how old you are, but maybe you just need to give it more time. I met my first boyfriend (online), when I was 24 years old. I also couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. Sure, I was heavy, but I saw a lot of women way heavier than me with boyfriends. I think with me it may have come down to confidence. Like I said, I met my boyfriend online. I met him at a time that I wasn't really looking for a boyfriend. He was just some guy in a chatroom that seemed nice enough to talk to. I think that because I wasn't looking, and was more at ease with myself I may have been more approachable.

I'm not suggesting that you go out and try to meet some guy online (though if you're careful, I wouldn't rule it out either). What I am suggesting is that you try your best to stop thinking about: "what's wrong with me" and instead just focus on being the best and happiest you can be.