I tend to doubt that many people are as truly and awfully unphotogenic as I am (it's true, even my mom agrees!) so I'm not sure how many people can relate to this. I feel fine when I leave my house, I look in the mirror and often even like the way I look, but then once I get to my destination I can't help but begin to feel hideously unattractive by comparison. Where I am from, the petite girls with tan skin and long black hair are lusted after the most, and it has always been that way. If you have seen me, I am basically the complete opposite - tall, pale, gawky, mouse-y brown hair. I see myself in the pictures people take of me and I wonder, is that what I look like? Can that be true? I feel so comparatively ugly next to friends and it gives me incredible anxiety about going places. Lots of morning I don't even want to leave my house because I feel so ugly.
No one hit on me in high school or college. The only guys who ever went out of their way to express interest in me were undeniably strange, and honestly I think in a lot of way that made me feel even worse about myself. When I go to bars with friends, men line up to talk to them but they only chat with me when they have to play wingman for their buddy who is trying to talk to my friend.
People tell me not to worry about those things, that men are just intimidated by me, but I think that's a cop-out. That's putting the fault on everyone else, not taking the time to look at myself and figure out why I am far and wide deemed not worthy of approach. Even when I transitioned over to engineering school where the men outnumbered the women 9:1, where the "normal" looking girls were so few and far between that they were treated like supermodels, no one talked to me. No guy asked for my number or asked me to hang out, except, again, for the guy in all my classes with Asperger's who was so strange I eventually had to stop responding altogether.
Is it me? Is it them? Do I focus so much time and energy onto my appearance by putting on makeup and brushing my hair all for nothing, or does it make some minor difference and would I be even more unappealing without it? How do I stop caring enough to be able to kick myself for something else that's less out of my control?