Recently on Lovelyish a blogger posted an entry entitled “Should I Change My Appearance for Love?” The basic gist of the post was that while someone’s personality usually determines if they’re datable, it’s their physical appearance that draws people in. The author feels this is unfair, and at one point in time I would have agreed whole-heartedly. However, there seems to be a common belief that the “physical appearance” issue is black and white, i.e., you’re shallow if you take someone’s looks into account, end of story.
Like it or not, your physical appearance speaks to people.
The old adage “actions speak louder than words” holds true in what you do to yourself to show the world. When I was a young teenager I didn’t love myself. I didn’t do anything to improve my appearance or take care of my body because I felt I didn’t deserve it. I felt like I only deserved to wear drab, conservative clothing that covered me up from head-to-toe. “What’s the point?” I would say internally, every time I thought about putting on makeup or jewelry or trying to do anything to my curly hair besides yanking it up in a ponytail. I never had a boyfriend in high school. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted one. I was a sweet, caring person on the inside but no one ever saw that.
What everyone did see was a surly girl who walked with her head down in the hallway. They saw the same sweatshirt and baggy sweatpants I had worn three days in a row because I didn’t give a damn about what I put on my (too fat, in my opinion at the time) body. People saw the frizzy hair, snug in its ponytail because I didn’t think it was pretty enough to show off. People saw that I didn’t do anything to my body and that I didn’t like its shape because I hid it with baggy clothes. “I don’t love myself”, my physical appearance said to the world, “And I am not good enough. I am not good enough for myself, and I am not good enough for you.”
I was “That Girl” in the movies who desperately needed a makeover. I was the shy kid in sweats with no makeup, jewelry, or shoes that weren’t orthopedic. I had eyebrows that looked like two caterpillars and didn’t bother to pluck them. The movies deceive you, because they are not able to show you the whole story. Take them at face value and the “girl-gets-a-makeover-and-the-guy” chick flicks make you believe that if you just change outwardly you’ll suddenly get a guy or more friends or that dream job. What the movies don’t tell you is that true change that makes you lovely happens internally first, and then externally.
Am I telling you to lose a hundred pounds to prove to the world that you love yourself? No. My beauty routine in the morning takes less than ten minutes. It usually consists of some anti-frizz spray, a little eyeliner, and some tinted moisturizer. That’s it. I don’t go all-out, but I do take better care of my appearance (and my body) now because I love myself. I want to show everyone that I’m not the same girl who once felt like she was ugly and not worth anything. Small things, such as taking a little time with your hair, taking care of your skin, holding your head up, or wearing clothes you actually like and fit well, can speak volumes.
The bottom line is that your physical appearance talks to people. What you want it to say is up to you.
Do you agree, Lovelies?