beauty and her beast

The men in my life – past, present and future – have always looked at me funny when I confess that I am truly ignorant to the perceptions of others about who I am.  To me, I am just Carrie.  A 5’2, 120-something 20 something with brown hair and honey-brown eyes, olive skin and an athletic build.  Sure I’m top-heavy, but that’s neither here nor there.  I have small eyes and even smaller lips, braces on my tiny teeth and a voice to match the body; light, sweet, and with the potential to be piercingly high (think high E given the training).  I am as I am; not overly beautiful, but not ugly.  I think I’m average.

Here me out: it’s that damned bell curve statistic we learned about in research.  The majority of the population will fall in the bell portion – some -1 or some +1 of the standard deviation.  So it is for intelligence and other measurable skill.  You’ll always get those out-lyers who are either brilliant or not, talented beyond understanding or not, and the rest of us?  Well… we’re somewhere in the middle. And happily so; as our faults are just as beautiful as our strengths.But with beauty… it truly lies in the eyes of the beholder. While some may swoon over Angelina Jolie, others go ga-ga for Kate Bekinsale.  My girl friends simply adore Colin Farrell while I tend to ponder over Christian Bale.  Beauty is so subjective that I find it hard to rate or put on a scale, because each persons vision of beauty is so unique that it’s quite impossible to standardize such a personal choice.

And I don’t see anything wrong with that.

So do I think I’m pretty?  I don’t know; who’s asking?

Maybe it’s because I went to a school for 2 years where beauty lay in the make up bags of each girl; where I’d arrive for my early morning class to see the ‘hottest’ chicks applying their faces since 7:00 am.  Where those same girls wouldn’t even acknowledge your existence and when they did … boy did you ever feel like an outsider; like you were below the dirt on their 200$ shoes.

Maybe because when I was 9-12 I had ezcema on my face from October until April and all of my classmates, even my teachers, treated me like a monster.  It was right along my lips, it was red, itchy, swollen, and my parents made me put vaseline to ‘treat’ it, and assumed that it was my fault for licking my lips when they were dry.  Now we know that ezcema is genetic/idiopathic and not at all related, and it’s been over 3 years since my last flare-up, but those memories are still burned in my mind and my soul – so far that when I see people looking at me for extended periods of time my thoughts automatically go to ‘what’s on my face’ as my hand reaches for my lips.

 Maybe because of all that… for the longest time I thought I was ugly.  And not ugly in the cute sense, like Ugly Betty. Truly, honestly,  ridiculously ugly.  The kind you read about in books of haunted souls and lonely lives lost to society’s cruel intentions.  The kind that follows you around for the rest of your life.

So when I get solicited by men, like The American, the Fireman (who gave me his number on a wedge; sketchy!), the Giant (I swear he is 6’7; I have to crane my neck to look at him!), the Tech-Support man, and other random strangers I meet in my day-to-day life; I’m confused as fuck.  And when my friends have to point it out to me that ‘he likes you, I’m even more confused.   My first response?  “What? No…”Like it doesn’t make sense.  Like they’re wrong.  Like they don’t know what they are talking about.  Like they are talking about someone else.

Corporate finds this both frustrating and amusing.  Frustrating in the fact that I don’t realize that I am being hit on (but neither does he so we’re even) because I don’t see myself the way he sees me.  My defense?  Not every man in the world is attracted to me.  And it’s true.  I once had a friend who thought every man who looked at her wanted her; this may be true or this may not be true; I don’t know.  And that is the whole point, isn’t it?   We don’t ever really know what goes on in someone else’s head, let alone a strangers. So just because a man talks to me doesn’t mean he wants in my pants.  Maybe he just wants directions.

I know that this is an inner beast I’ll have to struggle with from time to time.  But I don’t think that it’s all bad.  I’d hate to become one of those girls I described above, or to lose myself in complete and utter self-adoration that gorgeous people often fall into.  Because I am not one of them; I am just me. 

And that’s the way I like it. 

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~ by Carrie on February 15, 2008.

21 Responses to “beauty and her beast”

  1. […] Something… and Half of Something wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt The men in my life – past, present and future – have always looked at me funny when I confess that I am truly ignorant to the perceptions of others about who I am.  To me, I am just Carrie.  A 5′2, 120-something 20 something with brown hair and honey-brown eyes, olive skin and an athletic build.  Sure I’m top-heavy, but that’s neither here nor there.  I have small eyes and even smaller lips, braces on my tiny teeth and a voice to match the body; light, sweet, and with the potential to be pierc […]

  2. A lack of self-awareness can be pretty cool. It means that a person is thinking about the outside world a little bit instead of just themselves.

  3. @ Thomas ~ hi! thanks for stopping by! and thanks; its nice to hear a males perspective.

  4. Girls are hard on themselves about the way they look. It’s good to know you’re just like the rest of us.

  5. […] BLORGE.com wrote an interesting post today on beauty and her beastHere’s a quick excerpt The men in my life – past, present and future – have always looked at me funny when I confess that I am truly ignorant to the perceptions of others about who I am.  To me, I am just Carrie.  A 5′2, 120-something 20 something with brown hair and honey-brown eyes, olive skin and an athletic build.  Sure I’m top-heavy, but that’s neither here nor there.  I have small eyes and even smaller lips, braces on my tiny teeth and a voice to match the body; light, sweet, and with the potential to be pierc […]

  6. As long as you’re happy Carrie, that’s what matters.

    My awkward adolescent self definitely still lurks inside of me with all of her awkward adolescent issues – but like you, I like that. It keeps me grounded as long as I don’t let it get out of control.

  7. @ Leanbean ~ We are SO hard on ourselves… but really; at the end of the day we’re just human. Some of us forget that.

  8. @ Kyla ~ hey again girl! I am happy; and it really IS all that matters.

  9. You? Are adorable. I’ve gotten to know you through your writing (and I’ve seen a picture- you ARE beautiful, by the way!)… and I just think you’re wonderful. Your humble nature is part of charm. You’re like, my blogging little sister. You rock.

  10. You? Are adorable. I’ve gotten to know you through your writing (and I’ve seen a picture- you ARE beautiful, by the way!)… and I just think you’re wonderful. Your humble nature is part of charm. You’re like, my blogging little sister. You rock.

  11. Most interesting post. Attraction is a complicated thing…you see, we can think someone is hot but then the moment we get to know him, decide that he’s not. And likewise, I’ve known guys who initially I wasn’t particularly attracted to, but once I got to know them, the attraction grew. And thank goodness we don’t all like the same person. What a depressing world that would be.

  12. @ brookem ~ aw; you love me SO much you posted twice!! And YAY! I have always wanted a twin sister and to have a blog twin as amazing as you??!?!? I’m so lucky!!

    @ Carla ~ thanks girl; it’s true – it does make for an interesting world.

  13. Sweetie … you are everything that can be said that is nice … you know, the sugar and spice and everything nice type of woman. You are extremely pretty, very intelligent, and even though I have never met you 😦 I feel that you are kind, considerate and thoughtful. What is there not to be attracted to? You always have my attention.

  14. i can so so relate to that. i was such an awkward geek throughout my teens and even now sometimes its hard to accept attention without questioning the other person. but beauty definitely has different difintions for different ppl :-).

  15. @ George ~ Aw…. thank you so much George; that really means a lot 🙂

    @ utopia ~ hi! thanks for stopping by! Ah that is the perfect word for it; awkward.

  16. I know where you’re coming from here – when you are younger and think you’re ugly, it’s hard later in life to understand that guys might find you attractive, and if that’s why they’re talking to you. But you seem to have a sensible attitude towards it all!

  17. @ PrincessPolly ~ aw; thanks. I try too… at least I think I try to. OH how confusing!

  18. Simply put, I think I just love how you addressed the topic of beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My best friend and I were discussing how I’ve grown more attractive as I’ve gotten older. Partially because I’ve started wearing clothes that accentuate my body, rather than hide it, and partially because I’ve become aware of my own self-attractiveness. By no means do I think I’m gorgeous or that every guy in the room is staring at me. But I’ve come to learn that my confidence and easy personality make me approachable in most places – leaving me with a number of entertaining pick up lines and stories. I really think it’s how we perceive ourselves and portray ourselves, unknowingly, that determines how others perceive us.

  19. I loved this post… shows how authentic and humble you really are. You’re amazing! Oh and the skin issue? I sooooo struggled with it… man can that keep a girl from believing she has any beauty underneath. I struggle with believing men could be attracted to me too. I’m SO glad you have Corporate reminding you how attractive you are. Way to keep it real girl! Thanks for this post!!

  20. @ distracted spunk ~ I really like the last line of your comment – “I really think it’s how we perceive ourselves and portray ourselves, unknowingly, that determines how others perceive us”. That’s exactly what’s been going on. Thank you… and thanks for stopping by!

    @ desireenb ~ thank you for loving it! And thank you… 🙂 *blush*

  21. This was a great post.
    It is funny how it isn’t universal– at first, you think it is some sort of complex formula, add in all the equal parts, and, voila, pretty!!
    But, really, people shine in different ways than are perceptible to different people at different times.

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