Overdoing to Make Do

A sexy woman walks confidently into a bar. She has confidence because she knows she’s sexy.

Or is she sexy because she’s confident?

It’s been said many times that confidence is sexy. Even assuming a certain minimum aesthetic value is present, is she attractive because she’s sexy? Or is she attractive because she’s sexy because she’s confident?

People tell me I should have better self-esteem. If I take the time to do my hair and makeup I tend to put myself at about a 4.5. It’s a number I’m comfortable with, but isn’t high enough to fall into the range of what I’d consider “pretty”. It’s hard to have self-esteem when you don’t think you’re pretty.

A 4.5 is not going to start a conversation with a stranger in a bar because she’ll assume he’s looking for a 7 or better. Hell, I would be, too.

The thing is, there’s no reason I couldn’t be a 7. There isn’t anything terribly wrong with what I see in the mirror, or at least nothing substantially worse than the girls who I’d consider to be 7+. I can quibble about the shape of my jaw or my ever-fluctuating weight, but there’s nothing especially wrong with my facial proportions. My skin is clear. I’m reasonably symmetrical. There is nothing about my face that is an egregious error beyond that which you would find on any other face. Even the face of a 7.

(Besides, if you’ve ever seen candid pictures of supposedly beautiful celebrities without makeup, a lot of them aren’t especially attractive. All things being equal, some of them might actually be less attractive than me.)

The problem is, having rarely received positive comments about my appearance, I’ve convinced myself that they haven’t been said because they aren’t true, and thinking I’m attractive when nobody else ostensibly agrees is tantamount to voluntarily self-delusion. I have all the building blocks of a 7, except for one: the belief that anyone would consider me a 7.

If the only way to develop confidence is to get validation (which, in my case, it certainly seems to be), and the only way to get validation is to be confident, somebody’s going to have to make an extra effort. Either people are going to have to start giving me more compliments than ever before, without any prompting on my part (I’m going to go out on a limb and call that ‘unlikely’), or I’m going to have to pretend I have a better self-image than I actually do, exude the confidence a girl with similar features and a different mindset would have, and hopefully elicit the compliments she would receive in order to build up the self-esteem I’m pretending I already have.

It seems like a lot of work just to reset the status quo to a point it could have very easily been at all along, but if I want it moved — and I do — I have to try.

So I will.

To hell with it. I’m a 7.

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