A Woman’s Physical Appearance and Confidence

Why, particularly for women, is physical appearance inextricably tied with confidence? Sure, we’ve all heard “Look good, feel great,” which I do think is true to some extent, for both genders, but that is not the topic for this post. What I’m talking about here is if a woman says she doesn’t care much about how she looks, people automatically assume that she is lacking in confidence and that she does not believe her body is worth the effort to look good. While it could be true in some cases, it isn’t always that way. Everything that I state here is the opinion of one woman, so while there definitely are women who think differently, it is likely that there are others who have similar attitudes.

Not wearing makeup or shaving legs on a regular basis has little, if anything, to do with one’s sense of self worth. I don’t regularly wear makeup because I don’t think it’s important, not because I don’t think I’m important. Can’t a woman simply not find those things necessary to do because she thinks there are more significant things for her to focus on than looking pretty?

I have classes to attend. Outside of class I spend most of my time in my room or in the library, studying (or attempting to study). I have a fifty-paged thesis to write by the end of July. These things are currently a higher priority to me than my superficial appearance. There are some girls who care about it all and can pull it off. They always show up to class fashionably dressed, with makeup on, and manicured nails. Good for them; they are they, and I am I.

When I say I don’t care much about my physical appearance, I am referring to makeup, styling my hair, manicures, dressing fashionably, and wearing sexy but uncomfortable shoes. Note that I did not say “I don’t care [at all] about my physical appearance.” I am not saying that I think it’s fine for me to look like a total slob. I still care about my health, hygiene, and basic grooming. I shower, brush my teeth and floss every day. I remove unwanted hairs from my face and axillae when needed. My nails are always clean and I trim and shape them every two weeks. I do my best to stay fit by eating a balanced diet and exercising nearly every day. I am happy with my weight. It is a healthy weight for my height, and that is what matters to me.* Bottom line is: a woman can express love for her body by eating healthy foods, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining good hygiene, and not engaging in self-destructive behavior.

To me, makeup is icing on the cake. While I will admit that I do look prettier with some eyeliner and mascara on, it simply isn’t important enough for me to use it every day. I go natural because I don’t see a need to hide any imperfections on my face. If I really wanted to let all my blemishes bother me, I would be walking around with a paper bag over my head. In my opinion, a lot of it is mind over matter. I will, however, use makeup for photos and important events.

I might fret more about my appearance when I first become interested in a man, but currently, none of the guys I’m surrounded by on a daily basis are ones that I’d actually want to attract. Besides, the special men in my life found me attractive the way I naturally am. I understand that there are men with different preferences, and they’ll seek women who share the same priorities.

In no way am I implying that women who put a lot of effort into their physical appearance are insecure. Everyone has their own style, and it’s important to be respectful and to not make assumptions about people based on their appearance.


*If you’re wondering, I am 5’5″ and 125 lbs. I think that I have a nice body underneath my clothes. While I have turned heads in the past by wearing a halter top and mini skirt, I no longer seek such attention. The only people who get to see more of my body are those who deserve to.

Written 5/11/13

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3 thoughts on “A Woman’s Physical Appearance and Confidence

  1. I think I remember this post from before, but you have it backwards:

    Confidence makes you look pretty.
    Trying to dress nicely to impress people doesn’t make you look confident.

    For an example: my current CEO (who is a woman), is self-conscious about her height, so she always wears high-heels (she is perfectly fine in other areas, like leading a company, which is what matters). But every time I see her feet, I think, “oh, she is self-conscious about her height.” So it doesn’t give her the appearance of confidence.

    • It looks as though you misinterpreted my post. My point was that a woman can be confident without trying to dress nicely to impress people, but certain people (in fact, I believe it was you who left a comment like that before) will interpret her not dressing nicely or not wearing makeup as lack of confidence.

  2. it is my understanding that women dress etc. for other women. or at least that is what i have read. i would say, that the women that i am attracted to the most, are those that wear little or no make up at all. but is they do wear make up, it only enhances their natural beauty and it is limited or appears that they are not wearing any at all. i do have my exceptions.
    if you dont want to wear any, then dont. if you want to wear it, do. being clean, well groomed, nicely dressed is showing confidence in one self. it is the overall appearance that catches my eye.
    many people seek to have plastic surg. to gain confidence in themselves or have make overs. we are all different, and what works for one, is not what will work for another.

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