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Dear Gay Best Friend,
I’m 26 years old, employed, childless, independent, and have been dating a man for over a year now. My problem is that I’m not a very attractive girl. This statement doesn’t come from overwhelming insecurity, but rather from self-awareness. I’m overweight, have problem skin, a narrow smile, and alopecia (a condition where my hair does not grow). I try to overcome my shortcomings by dieting, using make-up, strategic posing, and weaves, but my pursuit to just look “average” is expensive, time-consuming, and ultimately, unsatisfying. The alternate of walking around looking like whatever doesn’t appeal to me either. (After all, I want to keep my man!). Are there other girls who feel the way I do? How can I get myself motivated to care more? Thanks! – Struggling With My Looks
Dear Ms. Struggling With My Looks,
You sho’ is ugly! Hehehehehehehe (In my Shug Avery voice) - Naw, let me stop.
One thing I don’t do and that is pity party. I don’t care who you are, what you look like, and the drama you have in your life. I will give you one opportunity to vent, cry, lean on my shoulder, and let it all out of your system. After that, don’t come to me with the same ish over and over and over again. I will hang up on you, delete your number, and not answer your emails.
With that said, this is your last and final cry to me. And, honey, I sympathize with you. I commend you on acknowledging your shortcomings, but DIVA, don’t beat yourself up over how you look. It will bring you down and make you look even uglier. Don’t you know there are lots of beautiful people out there, but once you get to know them their bad attitudes, stank disposition, and nasty ways make them out uglier than the ugliest person in the world! So, no matter if you may not be the most beautiful or the most attractive, you can accentuate your attributes and what work you have.
Haven’t you watched America’s Next Top Model? Tyra Banks is always telling those girls, “You have to learn your and know your angles. Learn your body and know what works when you photograph for the camera.” She is sooooo right. You have to learn your angles, learn and work your body, and whatever your unattractive features are learn how to work them to your advantage.
Don’t you know that a nice smile, warm personality, genuine personality, and being outgoing makes someone more attractive despite their physical dysfunction.
And, girl, you can do something about your weight. Yes, you can eat healthier, get into a gym, and slim it down. You don’t have to be a size two, or four, but get to a weight and size you feel comfortable and happy. Your weight is something you have control over. Don’t let your low self-esteem prevent you from working on yourself. And, I would stop using the word diet. There is a negative connotation with the word that prevents lots of people from losing weight. Choose to say you are ‘enjoying a healthier eating lifestyle.’ Choose and eat meals that are healthier for you. And, on the weekends you can have your splurge days. Don’t deny yourself because if you do that’s when your mind doesn’t sync with your body and when you lose the weight, you end up putting the weight back on a few months later and plus some because you want to reward yourself for eating well and losing the weight.
And, invest in some hair, style, and make-up books and magazines for African-American women. There are plenty out there on the market. You can Google professionals who have written books on these various topics – Sam Fine, Lloyd Boston, June Ambrose, and Essence even has a book on hair and make-up for women.
Also, yes, there are plenty of women out there who feel the way you do. It does take a lot to make yourself attractive and it is expensive, but knowing is half the battle. The rest is all up to you. I would also strongly suggest you invest in spiritual and inspiration books to help you build your self-esteem. Know your worth and value. Yes, we live in a world that places more emphasis on beauty and sex, but not all persons fall into that disbelief of the images of beauty and sex that is projected upon us. When you can smile at yourself, appreciate and love who you are, then you will find that others are naturally attracted to you as well. And, girl, you got a man! Hell! There are beautiful women who can’t find or get a man. If he treats you well, loves you, empowers you, and lifts you up, then girl hold on to that man.
So, girl, find what works for you. It will take a lot of experimenting to discover what fits you, your budget, and your lifestyle. Don’t give up and don’t beat yourself up. There are so many people out there who are not honest and truthful with themselves about their looks, and chile, they look a hot ass mess. I’m glad you’re willing to do the work and build yourself. You go girl! – Straight From Your Gay Best Friend
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Make sure to get your copy of my new book, STRAIGHT FROM YOUR GAY BEST FRIEND – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Work, and Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden – October 2010; $15). It is available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, HERE!