Imagine how it feels to have heads turn and all eyes on you when you are simply trying to get to where you need to be,” “It doesn’t make me feel beautiful or sexy. It makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me. The scrutiny is never ending.” I wonder if there’s something stuck to my shoe, if I forgot to put on some item of clothing, anything that could be wrong with me that would cause people to stare. But it’s typically just because I’m “pretty,” and sometimes, it seems like that’s all society will perceive me to be.
I dulled myself down, personality – and appearance-wise, for years, trying to be appreciated for something other than my looks
We should get something straight here. I don’t find my “attractiveness” so magnetic that it should cause men to stop what they are doing and be compelled to whistle, catcall, or tell their friends to turn and look at me. I am just a young woman trying to get where I need to be. I’m not bragging that people comment on my appearance; in fact, I despise that anyone thinks this type of behavior is acceptable.
Coming to terms with being perceived as “beautiful” wasn’t easy. It soon became how people knew me. People seemed to forget or simply ignore my accomplishments. They disregarded the fact that I’m an athlete, I’m intelligent, and I’m incredibly ambitious. Others did not bother to look past my appearance and actually get to know me, satisfied with the kind of person I looked like I could be.
As a teenager, I found this frustrating. I was still trying to figure out who I was for myself, while the rest of the world simply decided who I was based on my appearance. I went through different phases as I tried to find a way to draw attention to other aspects about me. I only wore sports jerseys and oversize T-shirts, I tried to brag and bring up my achievements during conversations so people would know that there was more to me than my looks, and when all else failed, I simply tried to blend in.