It’s funny how hyperaware you are of yourself once you’re interacting with someone you want to matter to. All of a sudden, you start seeing yourself through their eyes, and oh boy, is THAT mirror unattractive. You start to question your physical attributes. Your word choices. Your past 5 meals (was it necessary to eat that garlic bread 3 days ago? Why don’t you just have halitosis and be done with it, hmmm?). Your personal hygiene regimen, which as of 10 minutes ago was completely acceptable, is suddenly scrutinized and picked over with a fine tooth comb. Like, when I was next to this guy, I started to get just a little bit high off the scent of his cologne. Which made me then wonder what I smelled like. Did I apply the appropriate lotion, deodorant, perfume mix? Or do I now smell like some sort of Bath and Body Works atomic bomb? And then, while I was looking up at him because he looked down at me (as I’m sure he was wondering why this girl was invading his personal space while inhaling deeply and creepily with a good amount of headgear-remniscent mouth breathing), I became incredibly aware of how often I blink. One, two, three, seventeen, four hundred. What am I, some sort of naked mole rat who can’t stand light? OPEN YOUR EYES, MOLLY. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER. THEN I realized all of a sudden (while reaching out my hand to move something) just how much arm hair I have. Have I always had that much? Since when? Have I recently been on the same steroids that disqualify female athletes from professional sports? Good god, I’m the missing link between man and ape!
I think the most interesting (and most shallow) part of this whole interaction was that based on nothing but this guy’s cheekbones and well-toned arms, I wanted him to notice me. What I felt wasn't "right", and I'm not proud of it. But it made me think about the effect our looks have on others. Beauty is an interesting thing. Country music tells me beauty is a girl with baby blues, long legs that can worrrrrk a pair of jeans, and soft hair. Chick lit says that it’s a tall guy with thick bountiful hair and thicker and more bountiful muscles. Playboy says….duh. Hipsters say beauty is someone who looks put together “without trying”, (but to me, they just look fashion-confused and crazy). Disney movies say it’s a girl with a button nose, giant eyes, and a waistline roughly the size of a thimble. Pinterest says a lofty quote about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and then shows me a picture of a Mason jar. Cosmo tells me beauty is being my awesome confident self, but then fills their magazine with airbrushed photoshopped-beyond-belief models. Cologne advertisements say it’s a guy who’s climbing out of the water, riding a horse, playing polo, or just looking generally pouty. All in all, I’d say beauty is relative.
I’ve taken some pretty drastic measures for my looks. I don’t regret my choices, but they do put into perspective for me just how important looks can be to people, although the subsequent statement “and rightfully so” is up for debate. I do think there's something to be said in beauty relating to how you take care of yourself, and how you present yourself. At the end of the day, the most beautiful person is the person who is proud of themselves, and shows themselves off because of it. It turns out that this tall dark and handsome gentleman that had me all atwitter actually has a personality that made me not so inclined to stick around (and by that I mean I'm running in the other direction). It really is about what you bring to the party, and who you are as a person. One of my guy friends recently reminded me that it’s a whole lot more important to be clever and witty than it is to be pretty or handsome, both guys and girls included. I mean, one day we'll all hit a point where the only thing that takes the focus away from our wrinkles and osteoporosis is a good sense of humor. So Mirror Mirror on the wall, who cares? ;)