What does it feel like to go from physically unattractive to attractive?

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Answer by Siri:

It feels good most of the time, but it can be quite frustrating. Many people assume I've always looked the way I do now, and that as a result I must be a snob, or have some sort of sense of entitlement.

My case is extreme in the sense that I went from literally being invisible to men for the majority of my life, to receiving comments daily from men all over the world telling me I'm beautiful. As an adult film performer I am somewhat in the public eye, so I get a lot of attention for and comments about my appearance.

^ Freshman in high school

^ Sophomore in high school. Theater geek.

I've always been friendly and outgoing and I had great friends growing up. I was a tomboy and never looked very feminine. I was always "the weird one" in my group of friends. I was fortunate to not be so far from the mark in attractiveness that I was bullied for the way I looked. Instead, I was simply completely ignored.

I was fortunate to have friends in high school (mostly from theater) who knew me for the person I was, so I wasn't tortured over it. But I wasn't happy either. Nobody was yelling in my face, "You're ugly!" But I felt unattractive and invisible. Nobody ever asked me on a date. Boys I liked wouldn't even look twice at me. Nobody told me I was cute. Nobody even told me I had potential to be cute. The psychological effect this had on me was pretty much the equivalent of being told I was unattractive. I was sure everyone was thinking it, but instead of saying it out loud, they just ignored me.

I thought I looked okay. Not terrible, but not good. In other words, I didn't look in the mirror and hate the way I looked. I was just clueless! I literally had no idea how my appearance could translate to other people. I had no concept of caring for and cultivating my appearance and how that might affect the way others perceived me and the opportunities available to me. I thought, naively, that everyone would always notice my personality first.

After high school I had my first serious dating relationship. With a woman. I'd always had crushes on girls, but never did anything about it. Dating a girl for the first time made me realize I was a lesbian, and shortly after I came out to my family and friends. And… I began to look more like a "stereotypical" lesbian. A borderline androgynous/butch look. This was also when I realized for the first time that I wanted to be in adult films. (At the time my ambition was to do lesbian films specifically. Obviously that changed eventually. We'll get there.)

This look was fine for me. I attracted a number of women with this look. However, after a few years I began to realize that I was still attracted to men, and I did not know what to do about that. I realized that I had adopted the more androgynous look not because I liked it or felt that it suited me well, but because I had no idea how to be confident in my appearance, so it was easier to act like I didn't care about the way I looked. I still had very little confidence in my appearance. I didn't think I deserved to be confident.

For me, my outward appearance has been a gauge of my overall comfort in my own skin. When I felt least confident in myself was when I also looked the least conventionally "attractive." I'm much more confident now, but that's not a result of my appearance. My appearance is the result of building my own confidence slowly. I've made changes to my appearance in small steps over the course of several years, but I decided to make each change because I felt confident enough to "pull it off," so to speak. In other words, I didn't go through some 10-hour miracle makeover and look completely different. In fact, I don't really look that different from my high school self, I've just found a more accurate way to express myself.

After an incredible amount of self-discovery and embracing my sexual flexibility, I am now happily married to a man whom I met and fell in love with before I was "a swan," (who in many instances saw beauty in me before I could see it myself), still identify as bisexual, and I have built a successful career as a popular adult film performer, despite not fitting the adult industry's mold of what a typical porn star should look like.

This is me now:

Out of necessity, because I often do my own makeup for photo shoots, I've also learned how to do makeup really well. I'm totally comfortable wearing little to no makeup, as in the photo above, but I especially enjoy enhancing my features and playing with different looks, as in the photos below.

I'm constantly fed jokes about how I must have gotten tons of attention in high school for my large chest. Most people assume I've always been conventionally attractive, that I've coasted through life on a steady train of ego inflation. I feel like telling them about how I had absolutely no confidence when I was younger. I feel like telling them about how confused and hurt I was all through my adolescence, because my unpolished shell obscured what I thought must be a reasonably tasty nut hiding inside. (For the record, if I were an actual nut, I'd be an almond.)

I'm happier now than I ever was before. But not because others look at me now and see a swan — and surely, I'm not everyone's type! Nobody can be a swan to everyone, and why would you want to be?  — But because I know what kind of person I am inside, and I feel like my outward expression of myself, physically and otherwise, finally mirrors what's inside of me.

What does it feel like to go from physically unattractive to attractive?

About AvatarNemo

V: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valourous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.

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