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What is your Relationship to your Physical Beauty?

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    Stumbled upon this quote today, keeps popping up in my mind
    Click image for larger version

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      Male here.

      I'm vain enough to admit that I'm capable of being vain, but I don't promote it. So long as I can experience it, that's enough.

      And when it feels like it's beginning to fall off, (me, I'm beginning to fall off...... 'the next belt hole') I start to buckle down. Maintenance mode. I have a fractured relationship with maintenance mode though, bittersweet to say the least. I enjoy this connection, to the extent of wondering why I ever got away. There's the lactic burn, better sleep. Clear head? I dunno, it hurts more than it used to.

      And it takes longer to get there anymore. At some point you have to reconcile with yourself that you are already age-appropriate. That's life. We get old and then you get even older just waking up the next day.

      Sometimes I fall asleep with the TV on. Some months ago I remember waking up to turn it off and odds-on there would be this gigantic-long commercial playing that featured 'julianne hough'. (lower case for emphasis). She would be talking about her regimen and the fight against age or something to the effect.

      I noticed recently that she is 32 years old. Bitch, shut the front door.


        I grew up transgender. I used to say I "didn't care" about my physical appearance, but the truth was, I hated my body.

        I tried for years to say the body doesn't matter. I wanted to escape the body, to be a non-physical existence. I resented the apparent need for the flesh. This kind of mentality will do a lot to the body. It hunched to hide the features I didn't want. It refused to grow better muscles. I ate what my impulse called me to, not what was good for the body, so it grew into bad habits. I stayed up all hours of night, so the body didn't grow like it should have. So now I am short and find it hard to change the body much.

        That being said, surprisingly, the body still retained its fitness fairly well given all I put it through. Parts of it rotted but most of it is fine, and it still holds me up without huge diseases or problems. And hormones at least help some with it.. albeit not as well as I'd like.

        I think my ultimate problem is, the cleft between me and any kind of physical being grew very large to try to overcome. At the pit of me is a fear of BEING PHYSICAL. I do not like being a physical being. Immersion in my own body scares the shit out of me. It means experiences I can't control or didn't choose. It means powerlessness. And it means a nature I don't feel like I chose, or would have chosen, for myself.

        With that big a gap between me and the flesh, what ties would I have to its physical beauty? I know that I have impact on it, but it is very hard to turn around my personal mentality in this realm, to become OK with being human. The only universal truth among life is that the soul shines through it - and that is the only part of the flesh I truly accept as me. I struggle against this, especially lately, trying to find what will let me accept the flesh as part of me and bring my power back to it, but I find I always retract back to my depths.. the snap back of the stretched rubber band.


        • Animal
          Animal commented
          Editing a comment
          I find physical beauty is so much more than "raw looks." It's in how someone moves, how their personality shines through, how their eyes move when they talk. You have deep compelling eyes because most of your focus goes on the inner mind, so you draw the attention there when you talk. To me, things like that which show certain markers of the soul are what intrigue me. Of course, I cannot be so gracious when talking about my own physical beauty... my own physical body also makes me feel helpless most of the time.

        When I'm doing my best to respect my body, I feel beautiful. When I get lazy and let stuff slip, I feel less so. Usually depression is the primary factor in the latter. But I always have faith in my ability to get back on top of things.

        - basic hygiene (shower, shave, etc.)
        - basic grooming (hair, brows, nails, etc.)
        - getting sufficient sleep
        - drinking sufficient water
        - eating right (no crazy diets or junk, just meat and veg and fruit)
        - daily exercise, pilates, lots of walking
        - well-fitting, well-maintained clothes *that I like wearing*
        - intact healthy habits for coping with stress

        When you treat your body like it has value, it becomes beautiful. Objectively. The care shows through in health and aesthetic.


          physical beauty is extremely important to me. not just for myself, but to make sure my partner is satisfied. I think a lot of people resist this notion because they are allergic to any concept of duty, particularly when it comes to relationships.


            My relationship with my own appearance is... uncomplicated, I guess. I didn't really notice what I looked like when I was younger; I was privileged enough to grow up in a body that didn't really prompt commentary and I was too busy daydreaming to care that much. When I did care it was usually for different reasons; I fixated a lot on different fictional characters and would try to look like them, but it wasn't so much about beauty as just another outlet for unrelated obsessions. I found some of the routines fun though, like nail care, but I suck at sticking to routines. I don't think I really registered my own reflection the whole time I was in high school; unless I was working on a self portrait for art class I basically didn't know what I looked like.

            One turning point in my relationship to my appearance was my hair. I'd been trying to get hairdressers to cut it short since I was eleven, and had been met with everything from insistence that I would have to straighten it every day to outright refusal. When I finished high school I finally found a hairdresser who had curly hair herself (mine is wavy though not curly), and she was willing to cut my hair how I wanted it. I looked in the mirror and I felt like myself. I've gotten variations on that hairstyle since then, but until my most recent haircut where I decided to try something different since my hair was so long after COVID and I didn't want to just chop it all off at once bc I have no plans to grow it this long again - I kept the same basic concept. It works for me and I love it.

            As an adult I really fell in love with fashion. I was always fascinated by modern twists on Victorian fashions, and I love getting into things that have lots of rules and culture around them, so I was drawn in by lolita fashion, an alternative fashion substyle. I had a job and could afford to invest amounts in it I definitely couldn't have asked my parents for as a teenager, and once I had clothes I really loved that's when I started to put more care into my appearance. The slow fashion approach means that it can take years to really perfect an outfit, and having to work away at things exercises my patience and also gives me such a rush of payoff when I finally see a look I've been daydreaming about or which I was struggling with come together in a way that really appeals to me.

            I have a few insecurities with my appearance, but overall I think starting to care about it has made a more positive difference in my life than a negative one. I'm a very deliberate person and I put a lot of thought into everything I do, it's fun and exhilarating for me, so it's nice to have another area to do that in. I also have Gender Issues(TM) and I feel like because I dress really expressively, I force people to make assumptions about me that are actually grounded in something I'm doing instead of just looking at me and making a bunch of inferences based on the tiny amounts of information they're getting like what they think my gender is. I don't care if they're good assumptions or not, if people think I'm obnoxious or whatever, but at least they had to make that assessment based on what I actively thought about and chose to put out into the world.