I’m not even sure how to approach this topic, so I’m just going to come right out and say it:  Truth is, I’m kind of vain. I try not to be and, as a matter of fact, I’m a pretty low maintenance kind of girl. But I think my looks might be somewhere slightly above average, and I like to look nice…and I like it when people notice that I look nice, and it makes me feel good when they say so.

All that said, this recent lover of mine is perhaps less vocal than I’m accustomed to as it relates to the usual, “you’re so hot” and “you’re beautiful” and the like that men (who want to get a woman into bed) are often inclined to say. Of course, I propositioned him, in this case (as I was simply unwilling to wait any longer for him to ask me out). So…he doesn’t exactly lay it on, and he’s not overly attentive when we’re not together.

I’ve noticed this phenomenon and, while I’m trying to decide whether it matters to me, I’ve considered several lenses through which to observe:

  • It could be assumed that I’m accustomed to being picked up by and getting into relationships with shallow asses, who see how easily their hollow words work in their favor.
  • Is this aloofness (for lack of a more apt descriptor) just who he is? Or is he just not that into me?
  • Does the fact that I find him fantastically gorgeous (oh, those eyes! those perfectly colored eyes and skin and hair! his nose and the line of his jaw and all the proportions are exquisite!) turn him off? Does he find it off-putting that I’m so phenomenally attracted to his physicality? (Of course, all this is true because his pheromones are calling my name and his mind is brilliant…still, I can hardly help but gush!) Is he simply more evolved than all this objectification?

I suppose I’d be a fool to let it go unsaid that the (comparatively few) complimentary things he has verbalized are probably deeper and more meaningful than the usual drivel…take, “I know I’m going to love holding you all night,” for example — and he said it with my name. Kind of hard to beat that, actually.

Among the life lessons I’ve been working on lately are letting go of expectations, living in the moment and enjoying the present. I think I’ve done pretty well at that (relatively, at least). I’m interested in getting to know this fellow for who he is — and I’ve found a lot to like so far…he is different from other guys; he’s exceedingly respectful. Time has a way of providing answers to our questions, but I’m enjoying the now — and I’m not attached to any particular outcome.

So, does it matter? Am I okay with not constantly having my ego stroked in a superficial manner? Put another way:  If he doesn’t find me preternaturally beautiful, am I okay with that?

Finally, I have reached a point in my life at which I can say honestly, truly, I would rather a man find me beautiful inside than merely having a physically beautiful outer shell. I guess I’m learning to let go of ego a bit more, and that a little wisdom is catching up with my age. And that, my friends, is a happy realization.

just shoot me

I had occasion recently to appear as a talking head in a video for a little project my neighbor and I are doing. I dressed carefully and put on make-up.  I rehearsed my talking points a few times and, as I was already passionate about the subject matter, felt pretty confident about it. We did just one take; she said I nailed it.

And then I saw and heard me in the rectangular box, and this is what happened in my head:  “oh, do I really look like that? why did I choose that top / neckline? my arms look fat! does my tone of voice always sound so harsh? is that how my mouth moves when I talk? I wonder how I look when I eat? ewww! look at me — I am fundamentally flawed and unlovable! I look just like my sister when I do that… no wonder I am single! how could someone watch me talk or eat or merely look at me every day and still want to be around?! it is simply not possible. I am destined to die alone. with ugly gnashing jaws and pursing lips. aaarrgh!”

Attractive? Not so much. Irrational? Decidedly. Unique? Not at all.

I suspect there are very few of us on the planet who actually enjoy watching video of ourselves talking or eating or doing much of anything. Even more than a photograph, video brings out the self-conscious, self-critical voice in all of us. Regardless of how we look or talk or gesture or carry ourselves, our inner critic is the great equalizer. I suspect even Hollywood hotties feel this way. Take Eva Mendez, for instance (because I’m pretty sure she’s one of the sexiest women on the planet):  does she like the way she looks when she eats on screen? is her inner critic as obnoxious as mine? or is she just used to it by now? did acting lessons or professional training teach her and other starlets how to look good talking and eating? or have she and these other leading women just learned to silence their inner critics or not watch?

I’ve been a part of bigger shoots in what now seems like a previous lifetime. There was professional lighting, film shot from the most flattering angle (and it is so much softer and more forgiving than video), air-brush applied make-up and super-hold hairspray, a stylist to drape my wardrobe just right… And, oddly enough, after all that external manipulation, I felt perfectly at ease and natural!

But right now, there is an unflattering video of my talking head out there on the web. I’ll have to live with it, because it’s part of a larger scheme representing positive forward movement in my life. Let’s just hope I can afford the full crew next time…or get used to myself!