I'm not the most attractive looking guy. I suppose I could make some effort at trying to present myself in a more physically attractive manner to others, but in my personal philosophy, I really can't be bothered to do so. I feel like its a waste of my time to make myself look like something other than how I am or how I feel. I want people to see what I really look like, not what they want to see.
So why are people so obsessed with outward appearances? Everywhere you look, there are very savvy advertisers trying to convince us all that we should look a certain way, and that to look differently from that would make us less desirable. Among my favorite examples of this type of advertising is any which focuses around cosmetics (people will like you more if you slather the stuff on your face?) or hair (so, when all of your hair falls out, does that mean your going to die or something? Are you really less attractive simply because you have less hair?) These are the messages the advertisers want us to believe. Frankly, I just don't buy it.
To me, the most interesting things about a person have nothing to do with their appearance, unless there is something particularly striking about it, whether that be by choice (purple hair, anybody?) or by circumstances (Gorbachev's birth mark makes him very distinctive looking). Such physical attributes are usually not the kind that most people would find terrifically attractive, but I'm not attracted simply to the physique. True, that might draw me in a little, but I'm personally far more interested in a person's personality (how they think, how they talk, their personal values, their sense of humor, etc.) than their appearance. I'm even somewhat militant when others try to give me unwanted advice about how I might make myself look better in a physical sense. I'm just not interested in looking nice. I want people to be attracted to me in the same way I am attracted to them, not by their appearance, but by their intellect, their sense of humor, and other aspects of their personality. Is that too much to ask?
This post was originally published on www.thisisby.us on Aug. 17, 2007 at 12:34am.