Our friend Dave Chen — who, by the way, filmed the major part of his Stephen Tobolowsky documentary this weekend (and his behind-the-scenes posts on the Kickstart project have been fascinating) — posted this to his Faceboook wall last week, and it’s stuck with me for several days. It’s an answer on Reddit from a female on “What is life like for an unattractive woman?”
I would not advise reading the comments on Reddit, because people on the Internet can be terrible and judgemental and sh*tty even to those who allow themselves to be honest and vulnerable, but I was very moved by the answer this woman provided about her experiences.
“You’re basically completely ignored. In a lot of situations, it’s fine: honestly, I don’t know how my more attractive friends deal with the onslaught of unwanted attention. People are always approaching them like they owe them something, their time, their attention, etc. and I don’t really deal with any of the prototypical ‘girl cattiness’ that people talk about. No one calls me a tease, or easy, or attention-mongering. many of my attractive friends get those insults lobbed right to their faces. I don’t. Women tend to like me a lot.
But it can be lonely, too. Men just like… don’t want to talk to you. They don’t see you. Wingmen, no matter how talented they may be in any other situation, seem to lose all ability to conduct small talk. For many people, I am a chore, a roadblock. I see, here on reddit, everywhere, this idea that all women are “taken care of,” that men buy them drinks, hold doors open for them, help them lift heavy suitcases and boxes, etc. and I see that amongst my attractive friends. None of that happens for me. I am always served last. bartenders forget my order.
I recognize I’m not owed anything, but people just assume that women are showered with that attention for being female. No, women are showered with that attention for being desirable. I am not that—I do not receive that attention.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s nice to be invisible … Sometimes I feel like I could be an amazing criminal, because when you’re a woman, no one suspects you, and when you’re ugly, no one remembers you.
But on the other hand, it’s impossible to find a retail job, or a desk job. No one wants to hire an unattractive women for front-of-house. No one wants you to be the face of their company. And that whole “but attractive women are treated like they’re stupid, so at least you have that going for you” is an absolute myth. People still talk over you, still talk down to you, on the off-chance they talk to you at all …
Sometimes people are attracted to you, and when you are not attracted to them … I mean, I’ve had people get mean. Because there’s the idea, the implication, that you aren’t going to do any better. Sometimes from your friends. Sometimes from the guy. Because no offense, but… aren’t you being a bit picky? You aren’t getting any younger, and there aren’t exactly many men—any men—falling over themselves to talk to you. But in general, you’re friendzoned more than you friendzone. My entire life is in the friendzone. People have laughed—openly—at the idea of dating me. To my face. “Her? No way.”
I’ve done everything humanly possible to make myself look better, barring surgery, and the particular architecture of my face insures that I’m just never going to be anyone men want to be around. And I’m over it.
I don’t know who this woman is, and I wish I could offer encouraging words to her, but I don’t know what it’s like to be an unattractive woman, but I appreciate her honesty and candor and hopefully there’s someone out there who also prioritizes those qualities over physical appearance. Should doduo stumble upon this post here, I do hope our commenters are kinder and more understanding than some of the the shitheads on Reddit were to her.
You can read her response in full atReddit via Dave Chen