Since I wrote the last post my understanding has changed. My last post was close to, but not quite, hitting the mark.
The turning point was when I read Emily Ratajkowski’s “My Body”. In case you don’t know who she is, she’s a Victoria’s Secret model. I don’t consider her to be particularly mature yet, and there is a lot of anger in her book, which I correctly surmised came from her living in America (there, people are always outraged/offended about something). But after reading it, it became as clear as day:
Beauty is a front.
Imagine you’re a happy little girl. Life is good, you’re not thinking about sex or boys or anything.
Suddenly, at school, beauty starts to become important. In fact, people start to treat you worse and treat others better – and it seems that it’s all predicated on being hot.
(this happens for guys too, except that it’s about being cool. not that the girls notice that they’re doing the same thing – they can only see the guys who are cool)
Everybody is now rated on beauty, and it’s the one dimension you’re ushered into. You can’t escape. Even into your twenties and beyond until you’re a grandma, everyone keeps harping about how hot you are or how hot someone else is.
Understandably some rebel, “why is it all about looks”, they say. Some opt out entirely, becoming the girl that no one notices, even if genetically they have what it takes to compete. Of course looks are important. But overemphasis on looks can create a subconscious rejection that, if one is not aware of their subconscious, can last a lifetime and stunt one’s potential.
This is for the girl who didn’t win the beauty contest. What if you won? You might end up angry and… I don’t know what’s the word for it but I’ll go with superficial for now… like Emily Ratajkowski.
Guys can’t escape the coolness ladder in high school/university – but in real life, it is skills, success, intelligence that you are judged on. Success can be interpreted in many different ways, and is entirely under your control (unlike beauty, which is up to your parents), so there is more freedom in that dimension.
Now you know a beautiful girl is just another girl, just with her own set of problems. But let’s not stop there.
Luxury brands aren’t actually rich and prestigious – once you subtract marketing costs, their profitability is only average, according to Jean Noel Kapferer’s New Strategic Brand Management.
A lot of work goes into making a front. On the small scale, you see girls trying to find the perfect angle in the selfie. On the larger scale, observe the efforts expended to convince you that a perfume you made is worth more than 20 Euros, because it’s prestigious/you’re going to be sexier/exclusive/you deserve to pamper yourself every once in a while with only the best. No, it’s worth 200! The price tags are the real achievement, not the product itself.
But we can take it a step further.
Your perception is a front.
I remember once when talking to a girl I liked, she said “but you don’t really know me, you just like your perception of me”.
I replied: “but that’s exactly why I’m here – I’m curious and want to know more about you.” Back then her objection felt silly and easily resolved with common sense – today it feels more understandable.
Anyway, women put up the front to attract – but they don’t want men who are bedazzled by the front! In a way, it is an intelligence/character filter.
(this is a human thing, not a man/woman thing – if you spent energy to put up a front to attract attention, you’d also hope that people would be interested in the person behind the front)
Master the front to not be blinded by it
Everything in my previous post simply comes naturally from this realization and applies to all other areas of life, which is why this is the true answer.
I spent YEARS overcoming this, but you know how it is when you learn something – it becomes part of you, and you start to think “of course it’s like this!” You forget all that hard work and mindset shifting you did.
Before this becomes common sense to me, I’d better write it down so that others won’t have to ruin their lives any further.
I was always afraid of talking to the girls whom I found really beautiful. Cute enough? yes, I could behave myself. But stunningly cute or hot?
In middle/high school I wouldn’t even admit to myself that I wanted to look at them. In university, there was one girl I liked a lot, called Anne. I immediately started flirting with a girl sitting next to me that I wasn’t interested in the least. Everyone thought I liked her instead and started teasing me, that’s how good I was at fooling myself.
One day, after I was talking with another Chinese girl (I’m usually not interested in Chinese girls, especially this one), a friend asked me if I liked her. I said no, why? He said “because that’s how you talk when you’re flirting with someone”. And he was right. I knew that already, but somehow she was the only girl I could talk like that with (and somehow we both knew that I wasn’t really interested anyway).
How could I unfuck myself?!
In fact, first I would have to learn how to talk to strangers; how to talk to women I wasn’t attracted to; how to ask women out; how to ask women that I was attracted to out; and then I could start talking to women I was VERY attracted to. Oh, and asking them out too.
Dude, you say: what about “actually getting with the girl I was really attracted to”? Well, no. Firstly, whether such a girl is available or likes me is out of my control. Secondly, such girls are rare, and it’s rare enough that a normal girl likes me anyway! Thirdly: I really don’t need another reason to be needy.
It was easy to live with my defect in the clubs. The hot girls were so popular that you couldn’t get a word in anyway. I looked instead at the demure girl in the corner who actually would’ve been the belle du jour if she had taken the effort to dress up more. At the bus stop – I forced myself to talk to them, and resented them because they could just brush me away like a fly – apparently men all “have the freedom to go for what they want”, and what they want is sex, so they have to be on guard.
Well, not always. If someone just started talking to you somewhere, wouldn’t you be a bit wary until you knew what the deal was? I got into the habit of telling them that they were attractive right from the very beginning.
When I started dancing, it was the same story all over again, even though now I actually had something to offer (a dance) instead of an awkward conversation leading nowhere. Still, I was afraid to ask the “good” girls out to dance, and anyway everybody wanted to dance with them so they were hard to get hold of. I also had my hands full figuring out what a “good dance” was.
After some time I noticed that women have the same issue… they sometimes get afraid of dancing with this particular guy. They’re nervous they won’t be able to dance as well as they normally could. Or something.
Then one day, that started happening to me. The beginners would be hesitant and shy. Sometimes, when making a mistake with women whom I thought were better at dancing than me, they’d quickly apologize, make an excuse. Ah, they were a bit tired after work, were hungry, hadn’t danced for a while, whatever. They knew how to dance, so why were they making excuses for little mistakes that always happen anyway?
Sometimes, at dance parties where people know each other socially, women who knew me always wanted to dance with me so I could never get off the dance floor. Wait a minute, this situation sounds familiar – aren’t those hot women always hard to get ahold of because they’re always being asked to dance?
But nothing about me had actually changed! It was just their perception. I had just been improving myself linearly.
IT WAS JUST THEIR PERCEPTION.
I’m cool? I dance really well? …some people actually consider me cute? is it just because I’m 30-something these days?
Imagine, a girl probably goes through all this when she hits puberty. Just because she suddenly grew some breasts or maybe a butt, guys look at her differently and want to ask her out. It’s not like she became a better person. Maybe that’s why women aren’t completely bowled over by good looks like most men are. They know firsthand that it’s all a matter of perception.
Once you become the person others fear talking to, you realize there’s nothing special about anyone.
Today I have more female friends than male friends from dancing. For the most part, they don’t understand this struggle, nor do they really care. Tell your girlfriend about how difficult it is to ask out women whose beauty scares you, and most likely they will make it about their egos “so you find other women more beautiful than me?”
For them, getting the attractive partner is not the problem. Keeping the attractive partner is the problem.
A male friend once told me that one of my female dance friends was so beautiful that he didn’t dare say much when she was around. I thought for a while. Yes, she was very feminine for a German woman, and was cute too. But I don’t think of her as a 10 (let’s think of scary girls as a 10), more like a solid 8. Remember, you’re already friends with 10s. They’re just not 10s to you. Neither are the 10s you’re afraid of really 10s.