Not Your College Beauty Queen
Posted by diagnosemylife
If college has changed one thing about me, it’s my confidence level. I went to high school in a small, semi-hick town with a graduating class of 182. There wasn’t much to do, and the guys weren’t much to look at. But now I’m in college, and there are people EVERYWHERE. And there are all different kinds, from different places. Back at home I felt like a big fish in a small pond and here I’m the tiniest fish in the sea.
And it’s not just the number of people. In college there is so much interaction, so much hyped up hormones in one area that things get a little crazy: parties, social media…expectations change once you get here. There is so much ambition, mischief, information and sex surrounding you–it’s hard to know what you should get swept up in and what you should stay out of. My first semester I was swept up, but now I’m just standing in one place watching everything happen around me. I feel so much more like myself this way, but at the same time, this atmosphere around me puts a weight on my shoulders.
I don’t measure up. I don’t wear makeup very often, I throw my hair back into a ponytail all the time, I haven’t worked out in a while–my body is softer and curvier. I’m not one of those beautiful girls that guys look at anymore; I’m just one of those people would melt into the walls. And I’ll never wear crop tops because my abs are buried under cushion, I’ll never have beautiful straight blond hair, I’ll never be that girl who can just go up and talk to anyone. I’ve accepted that. But it’s hard to see those girls and know that I will never get that kind of attention from the world.
Now, beauty isn’t everything. I’m proud of my sense of humor, my openness to new ideas, my kindness, and my introspection. But guys don’t see those things unless you are also attractive, and let me tell you something: looking attractive is exhausting. Picking out a cute outfit with perfect accessories takes time and thought. Putting on makeup is meticulous and you can’t touch your face without smudging something. And curling your hair takes more time and patience than I have, not to mention it’s bad for your hair. So I don’t bother with those things unless I want to look cute for my boyfriend, and since my boyfriend isn’t at school I always look plain. And I feel fine looking plain, because I’m not trying to impress anyone, but….
I’m a woman. And women are supposed to perfect. Smooth, tan skin. Big eyes with long eyelashes. Precise eyebrows. No acne. Full, red lips. Small nose. Defined cheekbones. No double chin, no extra hairs. And that’s just our face. Everywhere I look I see men ogling parts. Breasts, butts, abs, thighs, you name it. Women are supposed to smell good, only have hair on top of their head, be thin but curvy in the right places, be toned but not masculine… Every moment of our lives, women have a new expectation shoved down our throats.
And I hate it. I hate not feeling good enough to be worthy of praise and admiration. Do I really care what these guys at school think? No. But like society has taught me, I feel better when guys like me.
That’s such a crappy realization. My self-worth should NOT be based on how many men I catch drooling at my breasts. I am so much more than that, and the only opinion that should matter is my own. But the pressure is hard.
Girls dress up to go to parties, spending hours on looking good. Then they go and drink too much, just so they might have the possibility of hooking up with some horse-faced guy who won’t ever give them a second thought after he finishes. And finally they stumble home, throwing up, all to feel better about themselves.
Not all girls do this, but the majority do. How sad is that?