Do You Define Yourself By What Men Think of You? #atwys

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Is it my nose?mirror

Comment: Dear Moxie,
I have a large nose for my face but my ex told me daily how beautiful and stunning I was. Too bad he was probably saying the same things to his mistresses. My sense of self took a real shot to say the least. I’ve worked very hard to recover and become even stronger. But I can’t shake obsessing about my nose. Now I can’t look at men when they pass or make eye contact. I’m afraid they are thinking, “Tall thin, brunette, blue eyes but that nose…” I tried online dating but couldn’t get myself to put a picture up. One of the responses I received came from what seemed to be a potentially interesting man who asked for some photos. I sent him two I thought were flattering. His response was, “Gee, I don’t feel any chemistry. I feel awful that I got your hopes up. i guess I learned my lesson.” At first I laughed at his hubris and told myself that my looks were not the most important thing about me. It’s haunted me for almost a year. I can’t shake it. I have a rhinoplasty scheduled next month. I fantasize running into him in town and he’ll realize I am a stunner and just sent some unflattering pictures. I know this is really unhealthy thinking of me, but it’s persistent. Thoughts?
Sincerely,
OG
Age: 51
City: Portland
State: Or

 

I think that if you want to get surgery, you should do it. If it’s going to give you peace of mind, then go ahead with it. Just ask yourself what you’re going to do the next time someone sees your photo and rejects you. Because that’s going to happen. It happens to all of us. What are you going to do when you don’t have your nose to blame?

I do find it alarming that you are placing so much value on the opinion of one random guy on the internet. It’s hard to ignore such comments, of course. As someone who write son the internet for  a living, I understand how sometimes the things said about or to you can seem cutting. But, like I said in this post, we are all vulnerable to it. People are more bold with their opinions online. If it’s not your nose, it will be something else. What then?

You say that you’ve worked on yourself, but that’s not what I hear. I hear a woman who defines herself by what other people (read: men) think of her looks. How often do you hear men doing that? You want to undergo elective surgery in the hopes of finally being “good enough.” You’re not doing it because of a deviated septum or health concern. You’re doing it to become more aesthetically pleasing to men. Really let that marinate in your mind a bit. You want to spend thousands of dollars and endure bruising and swelling and possible complications in the hopes that it will fix everything. Remember, there are no guarantees here.

Will it improve your options? Possibly. When I lost weight, it certainly opened more doors. But did it help me get the guys I wanted, the ones who partly inspired me to lose the weight in the first place? Yes and no. I got them, but after two dates with them, I realized they were douchebags. Oh well. Lesson learned.

You will never be good enough for some people. That’s a reality of life. You will never please everybody. You’re assuming the problem is your nose, but you don’t really know if that’s the case. More concerning is how you’re basing such a major decision  as altering the face you were born with on the opinion of random and probably douchey guys.

Everybody has something about their appearance that they are sure is standing between them and romantic happiness. Weight, skin, nose, hair. There are people who actually believe having curly or short hair makes a woman less attractive to a man. It’s time we stop paying attention to nonsense warnings like that. You are what you are. I truly believe that if we embrace those things and stop apologizing for them that level of confidence and happiness will help us find what we’re looking for. Of course, that also involves fixing that broken needle we use to choose relationship prospects.

You’d rather go through surgery than fix that, which really bothers me.

I think we should change what we can control and accept the things we can’t.

 

 

 

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10 Responses to “Do You Define Yourself By What Men Think of You? #atwys”

  1. Tinker Says:

    Just because your ex cheated on you with several women doesn’t mean he didn’t find you attractive. Truly. If you had no problems with your nose before then, please don’t let a cheating spouse create them. I totally agree with Moxie- after your nose is ‘fixed’, what will you blame if your dating life still doesn’t go as planned? Women with big noses find love all the time and women with ‘perfect’ noses suffer heartache- so it’s not all about that. Get to the root of the issue and deal with it and you won’t find yourself fixing symptom after symptom. And despite what you think, your nose is not the root of your issue.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

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  2. Chris Says:

    From the male perspective:
    Most of us don’t even realize that there is a nose attached to a woman. There are other body-parts that trigger way more interest. If you’re confident and beautiful, then the last thing your typical guy is thinking is “.. but that nose!”.

    And if someone is really thinking that, then he’s an idiot anyway, no loss there.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

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  3. Lisa Says:

    I don’t think the OP is going to cancel the surgery. So I’m not going to try to talk her out of it or make her feel guilty now so she is ambivalent about it when it’s done. If she’s gonna get it, she might as well embrace it, look wd to it, love it! Lots of ppl get cosmetic surgery performed…bc it makes them look better. That’s an understandable motivation, and not that different than getting braces, dieting, lifting weights, wearing make up, etc.

    Surgery or no surgery, my thought is: DO YOU.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

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  4. Aksarben Says:

    I think it’s a mistake to advise people to not try to “improve” themselves to look better to other people. Why do men who live in the wilderness grow beards and forego bathing while men in cities shave daily and wear expensive clothes/shoes/watches? Because they want societal approval and all the perks that entails. Societal approval will help you in life and self-improvement solely for the sake of approval from others is usually worthwhile.

    That said, unless your nose is a giant overripe strawberry, I’d say its not the problem. Sometimes a quirky facial feature, like a front teeth gap or a biggish nose can improve a woman’s attractiveness. Google “Jennifer Grey” who said of her nose job “I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

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  5. LostSailor Says:

    Do You Define Yourself By What Men Think of You?

    No.

    The OP got hung up on her nose, but honestly, most guys probably won’t really care. I dated a woman for quite a while who had a crook in her nose due to a childhood accident. I was aware of it, and, yes, it bothered me a little bit, but there were so many other great aspects to her, physical and personality, that it never made a difference. We all have flaws, we’re human.

    The OP is going to have surgery, and that’s fine if it helps her self-esteem. But she should have put up photos in her online profile before and let men make a choice without her knowing. The men that contact her wouldn’t care and she would never even know about men who didn’t contact her because of what she perceived to be a flaw.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  6. Yvonne Says:

    Lots of (mostly) women get cosmetic surgery in order to conform to a societal image of Barbie doll beauty. If someone really dislikes something about themselves, however, it is a personal choice. But since the OP is 51, I wonder if she has always disliked her nose that much, or if this need for surgery has more to do with her ex’s betrayal, and her lack of self-confidence. Who knows why the guy on the dating site rejected her? Maybe to him, her nose was too small. Can you imagine Barbra Streisand with a little, turned up nose?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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    • Eliza Says:

      Your imperfections do make you unique…but if surgery is going to boost your self-esteem, and inject some confidence–why not embrace and go for it. Just be sure you are doing it because YOU are dissatisfied with your nose…not for anyone else’s approval. The cosmetic surgery business is a billion dollar business–because there are absolutely ridiculous unattainable standards for women, young and old alike. It’s a shame, women are held to such expectations…but we, as women have to be strong enough to not allow society to govern how we feel about ourselves. The sooner you embrace and accept yourself as you are–the sooner you will find someone that shares those feelings.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  7. Aksarben Says:

    There’s no such thing as “standards” for women. You can dress and act however you want. Bellyaching about “standards” is just a euphemism for not wanting people to judge you on criteria you don’t like.

    People gonna judge and, guess what, YOU DO IT TOO! If you saw two men walking down the street one of whom was sharp dressed, muscular, and well groomed while the other was slovenly, slouching and unkempt, you’d make a dozen judgments about those two in 1 second. And you would be wise to do so.

    You’re never going to propagandize people into giving up their natural right to size people up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

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  8. jane Says:

    I think Moxie is right…most of us women have something like this. The one physical quality that we pinpoint as our downfall. If only I didnt have ______ flaw, I’d be unstoppable. For me its my (to me) ugly smile. But years ago it was my weight. Notice the pattern…it doesnt go away, it just transfers to the weakest link we perceive in ourselves at any given time. It might take a lifetime to reinforce but every single person on this earth has a reject-able feature/quality. And every one of us will be rejected. The hardest thing to realize is that Angelina Jolie could walk into a bar and there will still be men who go “no thanks – too skinny, too old, ugly big lips for my taste”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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