To find it amusing how women that are obsessed with how they look and are in love with themselves...

(238 Posts)
Nonalphamum Tue 03-Sep-13 10:36:27

.......are often perceived by others to be 'very beautiful' when often they are not.

I am thinking of two examples really; the first is a mum from my DCs school. Early forties and totally obsessed with the way she looks and constantly putting 'selfies' on Facebook of herself posing. she is average looking but I know lots of women that are far prettier and more natural. Yet because she thinks she is gorgeous everyone queues up to tell her how gorgeous she is and lots of mums at the school seem to be taken in by it too 'X's mum is so beautiful'. I think they are taken in by it as she wears nice clothes, has hair extensions, fake tans, nail extensions etc.

The second is a woman I know from an online forum. Again average looking but totally in love with herself and absolutely covered in fake tan and make up, and posting constant selfies again on Facebook. She is known as the 'beautiful' one from the forum but in all honesty I think lots of other members are far prettier and more natural.

I know I'm going to be accused of being jealous, and I'm truly not. I just can't understand why people are taken in by that kind of person. It's like if a person loves themselves then everyone else assumes they must be beautiful. A bit like the Emperor's New Clothes scenario.

Confidence makes a lot of difference.

In the same way that the most beautiful people can appear quite plain because they have no confidence in themselves.

KingJoffrey Tue 03-Sep-13 10:39:52

Why do you care?

Also, these women may not "love themselves" at all. They dress in a certain way and that's fine. Doesn't mean anything.

Nonalphamum Tue 03-Sep-13 10:40:34

I just find it amusing, that's all. I wouldn't say I'm losing any sleep over it or caring all that much

Also "taken in"? In a society where even the most stunning women are criticised for the smallest things I think those with the confidence to rise above it should be applauded.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 03-Sep-13 10:42:15

I know what you mean OP. In school there were two sisters who were not conventionally pretty at all...but had the best clothes and nice long hair../as a result they were treated like princesses!

OctopusPete8 Tue 03-Sep-13 10:42:22

I think confidence is key, plus most people do infact look better with tan,there's a lot of pale. pasty people in this country.

ElaineVintage Tue 03-Sep-13 10:43:09

You sound really nice.
And yes, I am being sarcastic.

KellyElly Tue 03-Sep-13 10:43:33

Better to have confidence and think you look good than to be lacking in confidence.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 10:43:43

I think you are annoyed by the fakery. I dont think fakeness is beautiful and do wonder sometimes what people ACTUALLY look like!

Nonalphamum Tue 03-Sep-13 10:44:24

NeoMaxi, that's exactly the type of person that I mean; has nice things but isn't particularly beautiful yet they get treated like royalty. I think it gets into a cycle too; everyone says the person is beautiful as everyone else does and they all follow suit.

Crowler Tue 03-Sep-13 10:44:58

I think it's cool when a woman doesn't submit to all this nonsense and is secure in her own skin. Very few of those about.

I'm not crazy about women who are uber-groomed and uber-smug. I'll admit I feel different varieties of irritation based on whether they are actually beautiful or not. The former is straightforward irritation, whereas the latter is laced with a bit of pity.

Nonalphamum Tue 03-Sep-13 10:45:22

Yes KellyElly I do agree but sometimes there is such a thing as too much confidence, that's when it becomes arrogance IMO.

squoosh Tue 03-Sep-13 10:45:28

'I think confidence is key, plus most people do infact look better with tan,there's a lot of pale. pasty people in this country.'

There's also a lot of orange people, these days I always notice the pale person out of a crown of tango people. Looks far more elegant than fake tan.

KellyElly Tue 03-Sep-13 10:45:41

LimitedEditionLady But it could just be perceived as making the best of yourself. I don't see the difference between false nails and tanning and having your hair coloured.

SoleSource Tue 03-Sep-13 10:45:42

Loving oneself and being very vain are two different things.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 10:45:42

The confidence thing is true,i wouldnt dress myself up as much as some because I dont like drawing attention to myself.

KingJoffrey Tue 03-Sep-13 10:46:57

Maybe they're really nice people and that's why they get so many comments? They're popular and people will gravitate positively to pleasant, outgoing characters.

Also, they sound fairly "groomed" and people will pick up on that and will compliment accordingly. Just because they choose to dress in that way doesn't mean that they are "obsessed" with themselves at all though! I think that's a really harsh thing to say.

" there is such a thing as too much confidence, that's when it becomes arrogance"

Oh yes, don't get too confident, people prefer to be able to knock you down a peg or two. Bloody hell..

Feminine Tue 03-Sep-13 10:47:33

Is it because you think it unjust perhaps?

You talk about how they are not natural etc...

If they were beautiful/ natural (in your eyes) would it sit better with you?

squoosh Tue 03-Sep-13 10:47:46

But good for these women and more power to their confidence, there are enough people who can't even look at their own reflection in the mirror.

Although I'd question if they're actually confident at all if they're constantly posting selfies on facebook looking for people's approval.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 10:48:21

I didnt say there is a difference with tan and nails and getting your hair done?Its not making the best if you completely change it.

Nonalphamum Tue 03-Sep-13 10:48:34

Squoosh, that's exactly the thing that makes me think perhaps they are not confident after all

DowntonTrout Tue 03-Sep-13 10:48:51

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that.

As murderofgoths says- confidence is a huge factor. Maybe the grooming, hair extensions etc gives them the confidence to feel good about themselves.? As someone who tries very hard to look my best, not to the extent of extensions or fake tan but just generally, I am well aware that other people are slimmer, prettier, more attractive naturally than I am. Perhaps people think I am vain. Maybe people like you judge me?

So why bother? Because it makes me feel better about myself.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 10:49:11

There's a difference between ego and healthy self esteem though. I think somebody can have an ego the size of Russia and still have low enough self-esteem that they provoke situations where they will be validated or admired.

Take miley cyrus. Very extrovert, very confident, but confused low self-esteem or an insecure sense of self??????

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 10:49:31

Don't let it get to you. I do know what you mean about women like this, there are some, but they are probably like that because they need reassurance, and that set-up is a (rather convoluted) way to get it.

On facebook, as at the school gate, people tend to revert to playground-like/12yo behaviour and you get a queen bee and her followers who prop them up. The followers get the queen bee's approval and so it's a mutually beneficial relationship.

Just observe them and resolve not to be like that. There are always people who are out of that loop / can't be arsed with the game-playing and they are better people to be friends with anyway.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 03-Sep-13 10:49:55

I don't think the OP meant to be's more a comment on how people perceive what they're told to....I remember a young 20 something, I always dressed very day I had an interview and borrowed clothes for it....I noticed how differently I was treated in my mate's designer gear! It was remarkable.

Nonalphamum Tue 03-Sep-13 10:50:07

Zoe909 you have hit the nail on the head!

ouryve Tue 03-Sep-13 10:50:23

Octopus - a lot of us "pale pasty people" can't tan. Our skin is incapable of producing melanin in sufficient quantities.

I'm sure if we stayed out in the sun for long enough, the freckles might join up, though we'd do untold damage to our skin in the process. The alternative is fake tan, of course, but why should I cover my skin with chemicals purely for the sake of some people's idea of beauty?

Feminine Tue 03-Sep-13 10:50:34

pete you think orange people look nicer do you?

What should poor fair skinned humans do? hide away? Wear a bin bag?

Your post has really annoyed me. Actually more than any other crap I've read over the past few years...

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 03-Sep-13 10:50:38

Lady we've got one of those but nobody will follow her! grin

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 10:50:51

Ps, agree that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are people I consider beautiful because although they like themselves, they are confident and validate others , that is beautiful to be around. A photo of a person like that might not catch your eye though.

tanfastic Tue 03-Sep-13 10:51:12

I think some women think that you can only be beautiful and glamorous if you don fake nails, fake tan, fake eyelashes, fake hair etc. however it's up to them. I don't think this is necessarily a good look but I do know lots of people who love this kind of look so I do understand where you are coming from.

HotCrossPun Tue 03-Sep-13 10:51:54

Why are so bothered by it?

People tell these woman they are beautiful, you don't think they have 'earned' the comments by being naturally beautiful.

You sound very, very bitter OP.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 10:52:12

Nonalphamum, I'm reading a book about self-esteem at the moment! it's not that I was a wreck or anything, but it's really clairified a lot of behaviours. My own amongst them! It's a learning curve.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 10:52:44

Yes, you're absolutely right you do sound jealous. And clearly you do care quite a bit, certainly enough to make the effort to write posts about it on mumsnet.

God forbid that some women might think they're attractive eh, even if they're not really? Let's shoot the deluded biatches, yes?

Nonalphamum Tue 03-Sep-13 10:53:17

Zoe, I'm fascinated by things like that. I love to know the reasons behind peoples' behaviour

Conclusions so far from this thread, it's only ok if people are beautiful in a very specific way, and they are not allowed to be too confident in case they seem arrogant. Oh and if they happen to be quite plain but dress themselves up in a manner that makes them feel happy and confident then they are taking people in. How awful of them.

Feminine Tue 03-Sep-13 10:54:05

Its always the ignorant that refer to fair skinned people as pale/pasty.

I'm fair, I can tan though. I choose not to.

For this I have been rewarded with looking younger than I am.

A forced tan is a bad way to go.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 10:55:17

I am my natural skin colour,i dont feel like i need to put tan on to feel good but I dont care if anyone else does.It annoys me that people will say oh look jow pale she is.I dont what colour you made yourself so why is my skin something to be disgusted about?

squoosh Tue 03-Sep-13 10:55:55

Naturally Pale People Unite!

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 10:57:51

Meant to be i dont care what colour you are

TheSmallClanger Tue 03-Sep-13 10:58:19

Tanning is shit. It ages the skin if real, and makes you look orange and smell faintly of cat wee if fake. And don't try and convince yourself that expensive spray tans are subtle and non-smelly. You are still orange and smell a bit like a vet's waiting room.

To get back on topic, I find that I instinctively don't trust very confident, popular people. I can't articulate why, but it must be a hangover from being at school.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 03-Sep-13 10:59:16

I know what you mean. I think some people get complemented a lot because it's so obvious they want to be. You kind of feel you have to. But it's obvious people like that have pretty low self esteem.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 10:59:37

And I know it's a popular mumsnet song but are people truly really more enchanted by the beauty of someone's inner spirit, and oblivious to their physical apperance? Like really?

I'm not saying that people can't have beautiful personalities, and they do, but that never blinds me to the realities of their physical appearance.

physical beauty is generally considered to comprise of symmetrical features that are well proportioned, clear skin, nice eyes, good teeth good hair etc. It's quite rare to have all of that and that's what makes such people eye catching.

Some people try and 'cheat' these attributes but it's obvious they are cheating.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 11:00:39

I have to admit (and I think I am BU, personally) that I can't help feeling wound up by the whole posting-of-beautiful-"selfies" thing. It's just so irritating!

However, it seems to me that it's more of a problem with "society" (us) than with the individuals who do it. We (collectively) are the ones who are "taken in" and (collectively) impressed by it all. They get positive responses from it, so continue to do it.

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 11:01:18

Actually I don't think the OP is saying it's only OK if you are beautiful, or that being vain is a shooting offence.

It is true that a queen bee-type woman (or girl) will often have a kind of beauty that is all about maintenance, highlights, amazing skin treatments etc etc and is not natural prettiness but she will be constantly requiring people to tell her that she is beautiful and a certain group will comply.

In fact people who are naturally stunning without a shred of make-up of designer gear have no need for this kind of circus do they. They will always be admired.

It is interesting, in terms of sociology, group dynamics etc. I mean enough american high-school films have been made about this situation - it is well-known. If you are on the sidelines or not in the clique then it can look ridiculous. I don't think the OP should be put down for commenting on it.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 11:02:32

Is the OP still at high school then. If so I apologise.

SmallClanger I was like that at school, there was this stunningly beautiful girl in my year. Looked like a porcelain doll, just perfect in every way, always well dressed and I hated her. Never spoke to her, but I hated her anyway.

Until eventually I got talking to her and found out she was a wonderful person, with more demons then I could dream of. Couldn't hate her then.

Has made me check myself when making assumptions now. She didn't deserve my hate and distrust. That was all me.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 11:03:13

Some people try and 'cheat' these attributes but it's obvious they are cheating. I'm not sure I find it obvious, TUF. I don't think it's that easy to tell if someone's had their teeth whitened/hair done well. Think of the (very expensive) work that goes into creating the "natural" look of slebs....

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 11:04:04

I love my natural skin colour! It's creamy and elegant and sort of a bit pearly. Tanning takes the glow off me and makes me look a bit grubby, doesn't make me look "healthy" at all. I don't think everyone who uses fake tan should TBH.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 11:05:11

You dont have to have fake hair,tan,nails to the excess to have beauty in a physical way the ugly fuckling?Although obviously everyone has a differing perception of beauty.
i dont have anything fake except my foundation and eyeliner etc and i dont use a lot but people still say im pretty?

"In fact people who are naturally stunning without a shred of make-up of designer gear have no need for this kind of circus do they."

I don't think how naturally attractive someone is actually makes a difference with whether they need the "circus". If they are lacking in confidence and been taught that their self worth is intrinsically tied up to how they look then they probably will need all of the comments/adoration to fight against their own self image. Being pretty wont save them from that.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 11:08:25

I think you can tell ZipIt. Many slebs have the basic beauty structure in place. They already have the symmetrical well proportioned features and good skin and nice eyes, good hair etc. So all they need is a little extra polish.

I'm more talking about the people who don't have the basic beauty structure and so start whacking on the hair extensions, and the heavy make-up.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 11:09:31

Ok OP,is it the looks of these women or is it the attention they get you dont like?

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 11:10:01

I was actually arguing the opposite LimitedEditionLady. I don't think you can fake genuine beauty with adding fake hair and fake tans. You don't end up looking beautiful, you just end up looking slightly fake.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 11:12:14

i agree MurderGoth. IME often very physically attractive women still struggle with low esteem because all their lives they've come up against women who resent their good looks, and make their lives difficult because of them.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 11:13:12

Oh sorry

kaosak Tue 03-Sep-13 11:13:21

TheSmallClanger you sound quite bitter, tanned people can look beautiful and fair people can look beautiful. Shoving all tanned people - fake or real - into room 101 does seem a bit odd to me.

A good spray tan can look just as great as the real thing in a way that a bad one will look as awful as people with burnt shoulders etc. It's all in the application and yes it can smell dire when it is applied but how on earth could you possibly smell it 3 days later when presumably the wearer has had several showers in the interim confused.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:14:07

yeh and to me that screams that they've never accepted or dealt with the fact that they're not beautiful.

I remember the day it dawned on me, at about 11 that I was not conventionally 'pretty' (never mind beautiful) .. it made me sad. But I guess if you face up to it and you are content and you don't feel that you are obliged to be conventionally pretty to deserve your space on earth then you get over it.

People with false eyelashes and hair extensions and an over the top tan with full make up and high heels and nails etc,,, it's like they haven't accepted that they're not eye-catching. Well, that could be a load of bullshit.

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 11:15:47

You don't have to be at high school to notice high-school-like behaviour among people you know. I don't do facebook for exactly this kind of reason - I can't be bothered with all the nuances of making sure people feel sufficiently complimented/have had enough attention paid to them, it reminds me of being 12 and I don't like it. The fact that I've noticed it and would rather opt out of it doesn't make me childish, and likewise with the OP.

And actually to get a bit feminist I think it is a bit of a problem that a certain number of women are caught up in this dynamic, whichever role they're playing. It's a waste of time and feeds insecurities. I'm totally in favour of women enjoying clothes and make-up - I do - but the insecurity about and obsession with appearance that affects some people is debilitating.

" it's like they haven't accepted that they're not eye-catching"

Why should they?? For fuck's sake, society layers on the pressure on having to look a certain (unattainable) way, in a way that causes so much damage, if people want to believe they are beautiful then fucking let them.

Sunnysummer Tue 03-Sep-13 11:21:08

YWNBU to find it amusing, but you don't do you? Instead you find it annoying, which is BU.

Aren't we always saying that with kids it's more important to praise for effort than for something intrinsic and unearned? Well, people are just responding here to these women's obvious efforts. People thinking that they are pretty does not affect them thinking that any of your more 'natural' friends are pretty. Or that you are pretty. There is not a limited pot of pretty to go around.

If you have a broader societal point about standards of beauty or the focus on female prettiness, I'll totally be on your side! But this smacks of the (junior) schoolyard.

Glitterspy Tue 03-Sep-13 11:21:22

It's not about fakery; I believe what you may be "jealous" of, if anything, is about these women's supreme confidence and willingness to lavish attention on themselves. You think these women truly believe "they're worth it". It's self confidence that is attractive/ reassuring to others.

Inside however, these women might be more lacking in confidence than you and other "natural" beauties - that's why they can't be seen without tonnes of makeup, hair, nails etc.

I know two women like this. One is an absolute star and has a heart of gold. The other is a total bitch. You can't judge by appearance.

Of the two, the nice one once told me "you gave to blow your own trumpet; no-one else is going to do it for you unless you do it yourself". Too true. Look after yourself, give yourself attention, and others will follow suit.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 03-Sep-13 11:21:28

there is nothing wrong with accepting the way you look feeling happy about it (wish i did now) and working on it

i used to be very very pretty always told and had great figure without any effort

i occasionally had bad vibes from other women, ones who would be bitchy about anything but admitting that i thought i was good looking was always meet with how can you be so big headed etc

but people place an awful lot on good looks, being told as a child constantly that you are beautiful, going to be stunning when you are older is not good its like a pass to everything that just does not exist you do not necessarily get better jobs, better partners and often can leave you feeling that is all you have to offer which men get bored with after a while as people want more i had it but felt the best part of me was my looks that is very shallow but that is what i had been bought up to beleive

all children are beautiful but no child should be made to feel extra special because they are pretty to most it is damaging believe me

TheSmallClanger Tue 03-Sep-13 11:21:28

kaosak, only a bit bitter from repeatedly having snarky comments made about my own natural skin tone, often by someone with an orange face and a distinctive whiff of cat piss about them. Who often witters on about how her "Fake Bake" is sooooo natural-looking.

murderofgoths, it isn't that I mistrust genuinely attractive people. It's the popular, confident ones who have people flocking around them for no obvious reason.

DowntonTrout Tue 03-Sep-13 11:23:07

So only people who are beautiful already should bother? And if you're not, give up now because you will be perceived as fake. You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear.....

smallclanger Maybe they have people flocking around because they are good to spend time with? Maybe people flock around because they think the confidence will rub off on them? Maybe they've brainwashed everyone into flocking around them? Hard to know. Best not to assume though.

TheSmallClanger Tue 03-Sep-13 11:26:57

I did say I didn't understand it. It is instinctive and probably irrational, but I can't stop.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 03-Sep-13 11:27:22

the people I know who do this most likely do have low self esteem. They are also show off's and have a smattering of the arse about them.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 03-Sep-13 11:27:49

So, if you're naturally beautiful its fine to be complimented. But if you work hard at looking the best you can - that's a bad thing and show's you have low self-esteem? Or maybe you just like clothes and stuff.

The selfies on fb - surely that's a bit teenage though? I don't have anyone on my fb who does that as we're grown ups.

I do wonder now though if everyone on mn is looking for a QueenBee/Wendy at the schoolgate and in truth, they're aren't that many around.

I understand that, done it myself. It's a shame though that we fall into these traps so easily.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:31:05

Females have so much help at their disposal nowadays, when I think back to when I was younger I remember no one having false eyelashes, hair extensions or false tans (only holiday tans). If you had bad teeth you just put up with it. Girls had hair appointments but not for every night out. Times are very different now and I think we have become a bit obsessed with how we look. I don't know who to blame glossy mags, models becoming the new Hollywood stars, reality TV, newspapers full of trash about celebs, low education expectations, the list goes on. My young daughter describes Towie type characters as being gorgeous whilst I prefer a more natural look. It makes me wonder what the next 20 years will bring

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 11:32:04

So only people who are beautiful already should bother? And if you're not, give up now because you will be perceived as fake. You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear.....

As others have said confidence is very attractive. These non-natural beauties are making the best of themselves, they may not have been blessed with your version of natural beauty (which is subjective) but their personality/charisma/confidence makes them alluring to others.

I think I would prefer it that way than people liking others based purely on their looks, which are a matter of luck/genetics and not something someone has worked on iyswim.

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 03-Sep-13 11:35:24

Exactly Lizzylou, exactly!

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 11:37:52

I dont care what anyone looks like as long as they dont live with the belief that everyone SHOULD look the same.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 11:39:33

I just don't understand all this bitterness and angst towards people who want to 'try' and look nicer (because, yeah it does make you all sound quite bitter frankly).

Personally I don't happen to like the look of hair extensions or badly applied fake tan (though I think some good fake tans look natural) but if that's what someone wants to spend their time doing, then fair enough. I don't see they should be mocked for it, because who are they hurting exactly.

Or just because they don't happen to have been born looking like Monica Belluci, should they refuse to wear make up and drag on a ratty fleece and stand at the school gate defiantly average and plain, because 'how dare' they aspire to anything else.

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 11:39:34

Seriously, how many people do all of you know who go round in false eyelashes fake bake hair extensions etc all the time? Is it really such a huge social problem? Maybe I live under a rock or something. It just feels to me like someone's invented new female stereotypes for other females to disapprove of and handwring over, and very few of these people actually exist or pose much of a problem to society at large.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 11:40:46

I know of four people

ANormalOne Tue 03-Sep-13 11:49:15

Wow, this is such a bitchy nasty bitter, post.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 11:50:56

"Aren't we always saying that with kids it's more important to praise for effort than for something intrinsic and unearned?". Good point, Sunnysummer. We brits still can't get away from despising effort. It feels like we're still hankering, deep-down, after that "gentleman sportsman" image of the totally untrained cricketer emerging from the bar after a couple of Pimms to score a quick 100.

TheUglyFuckling, yes, I sort of agree with you, but I do think slebs (and others with enough money) can sometimes make a hell of a difference without it looking fake in the way you're talking about. Jennifer Aniston? Nicole Kidman? They look brilliant, but I bet they could look pretty ordinary if they gave up the effort.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 11:54:44

Underneath it all, are we often really bothered by how easily men are "duped"? Are we threatened by how easily women can make themselves appealing to men? Do we feel that making an effort is an explicit attempt to compete? (e.g., for men's attentions)

Fair point ZipIt, you do have to wonder what the perceived threat is?

Mumsyblouse Tue 03-Sep-13 11:56:26

Seriously, how many people do all of you know who go round in false eyelashes fake bake hair extensions etc all the time? Is it really such a huge social problem? Maybe I live under a rock or something. It just feels to me like someone's invented new female stereotypes for other females to disapprove of and handwring over, and very few of these people actually exist or pose much of a problem to society at large

All my students look like this, some have a little less tan, some have naturally long hair, but the long hair, nails, false eyelashes, it's the look all the younger girls have even if they are quite classy (they do less fake tan and wear slightly different clothes). There's not much call for individuality, although many of them are very pretty (if you can look behind the spider eyelashes).

Thistledew Tue 03-Sep-13 11:56:34

I don't see that there is anything wrong with admiring somebody's physical attributes, but I do think it is shallow and wrong to make that the most important thing about a person.

To me, all the fakery of false nails, hair extensions, fake tan etc is a deliberate attempt to make appearance the most obvious and important thing about yourself.

It is a shame that we live in a society where so many people agree with the idea that appearance is all-important, and it is both frustrating and sad that there are people who perpetuate the problem by buying into the the cult of image.

It is irritating to try to teach our children that what counts is the person you are, not how you look, when there are so many adults who appear to believe that popularity is bought by looking attractive.

mumsy Teens and young adults have always tended towards more OTT fashion choices, and a kind of tribal identity. Individualism has never been massive in that age group. That's normal. Part of the process.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 11:59:37

"All my students look like this". Yep, me too, mumsyblouse. I work at a highly-ranked university, and this could describe quite a high proportion of the students. Alarming.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 12:01:58

MurderOfGoths, this is also true I think. Somehow it feels really different from the grungy look we aspired to in the 90s, but that was just as much an appearance thing as the nails/fake tan, etc.

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 12:04:10

Agree MoG About half my school year group had perms, I doubt they all have them now. All the undergrad students I see around here have teeny shorts and those huge hair buns that got such a slating on a thread here recently - again, probably not going to look like that all their lives (though most of them look very good on it anyway envy).

Every generation tends to believe the next generation is obviously going to hell in a bucket.

WetGrass Tue 03-Sep-13 12:04:28

It's manners.

I don't give a shiny shit about dogs - but if I am speaking to someone with a poodle on a leash, I'll compliment them on their well turned out dog.

Being visibly into beautifying yourself gives an easy clue that you'd like to be noticed for your looks.

Rewindtimeplease Tue 03-Sep-13 12:06:19

.......are often perceived by others to be 'very beautiful' when often they are not.

So let's be clear. They think they are beautiful and others think they are beautiful.

But you don't think they are beautiful, therefore they are not beautiful.

An odd, non sensicak and frankly very dull discussion OP! I am guessing the root cause is jealously.

ZipIt I like to pretend I was an individual, but I was a goth. I looked just like the other goths. grin It was OTT, and extremely fake. Most of the goths I knew have toned it down as other things have become more important, but a teens we were so concerned about figuring out our identities, and fashion was the most obvious way we showed that. Of course teens are still doing that.

Hell, I'm only 29 and struggling with not having a "look", it's been such a big part of my life for so long, it's hard to let go.

I can't judge those kids in their hair extensions and fake tan, they are doing exactly what I did, just with different specifics.

anonnymousey Tue 03-Sep-13 12:10:57

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
― Roald Dahl, The Twits

20wkbaby Tue 03-Sep-13 12:17:15

A bit late to this thread but I notice a similar thing with people claiming a particular type of knowledge. That is their 'thing' and because they bang on about it and make a big deal of it other people support them in their belief either out of politeness, or because they don't care, or because they believe them, or even because they just want to stop talking about it.

I know someone who is all about 'spooky feelings' - nothing substantiated of course and all very obvious 'predictions' but she has got several other people going with her.

I think it is definitely self esteem related - no other kind of authority or 'specialness' in their own eyes at least.

I sometimes think people are too quick to call others jealous. If you take an example not involving something people value i.e. beauty is seems a lot less like jealousy and more like bafflement.

therumoursaretrue Tue 03-Sep-13 12:19:28

I think a lot of people don't see the difference between being naturally good-looking/pretty and being well groomed!

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 12:19:59

MoG, "they are doing exactly what I did, just with different specifics". Yes, it's so true.

But... don't you think that with some looks there was/is a more appealing aethetic being pursued? Like dressing androgenous as a teenager in deliberate defiance of certain gender stereotypes? (Even if it doesn't get so much attention from boys?). Getting a little off-point here, I know.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 12:21:06

anonnymousey grin definitely some truth to this one. Wish it were more true, though. There are some lovely kind-looking psychopaths out there...

Well, obviously I think the goth look was hugely more aesthetically appealing than say the grunge look, or the townie look. And of course we felt like we were challenging societies perceptions. I am of course biased.

And I'm sure the fake tan/hair extensions lot think that the emo lot look silly etc. Every group think their one is the better one.

SomethingOnce Tue 03-Sep-13 12:23:48

Hmmm, the 'envy' argument being wheeled out again.

It's so common these days - anyone who questions anything must be in some way envious.

Worried about inequality? Envious of wealth. Think vanity is fast approaching an epidemic? Envious of beauty.

Lweji Tue 03-Sep-13 12:26:50

I see your point a bit.

Like Paris Hilton and the Kardashians.

It's possible some people in those groups called them the beautiful in a slightly cynical way, though.

SomethingOnce Tue 03-Sep-13 12:27:35

Yes, 20wkbaby, I've noticed that too.

Similarly, try-hard 'funny' people who become known as the 'funny one' despite being not very funny.

Punkatheart Tue 03-Sep-13 12:27:44

My daughter is very beautiful. Yet she takes three hours to get ready, is plastered in heavy make-up, false eyelashes and thick liquid eyeliner.

But no - it's not vanity. She hates her lovely face and has dysmorphia and depression. Fakery helps for her - she says it gives her a mask to hide behind.

wordfactory Tue 03-Sep-13 12:28:25

I really really dislike the plastic/barbie asthetic that is currently a la mode...

Fortunately, my DD and her friends feel the same.

However, this isn't to be confused with not making an effort on appearance. I spend a lot of time and money on that. It's just probably less conspicuous.

something If the thread was about vanity approaching an epidemic I'd agree, but the OP specifically talks about people being "taken in by that kind of person" as if it's some sort of con. And subsequent comments have acted like these women are doing something harmful. Or accusing them of being "too confident".

punk That's hard sad Dysmorphia is evil. I'm so sorry she's suffering with that

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 12:30:52

MurderOfGoths I'm usually the one arguing your point, tbh, so will probably have to give in. Personally, I probably just dressed "grunge" to attact the right type of boy (one in doc martens) rather than to challenge any stereotypes. Still find it disturbing when yet another Jenna Jameson lookalike enters my office asking for help with her stats homework though grin

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 12:31:14

To be fair though SomethingOnce, the OP didn't post a long tedious exposition about the vanity epidemic, self-obsession, glossies, slebs etc. She just had a bit of a slightly strange go at two women she knows and what they post on Facebook.

Haha I bet. And yes, I wanted to "win" the goth boys and gain the love of the goth girls. My real motives for dressing that way were less than idyllic, much as I'd have fought tooth and nail to deny it grin I was "making a statement" honest!

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 12:33:08

"Do we feel that making an effort is an explicit attempt to compete? (e.g., for men's attentions)"

yes, I think there's probably something in this. I think some women get annoyed at other women's attempts to pretty-up themselves because they resent it. They resent someone taking that amount of time with themselves. They perhaps resent that someone has the money for hair extensions or a fake tan. They perhaps resent the attention it brings them. Like you say they may even resent it (subconsciously I'm sure) because men may be attracted to that person.

And of course people dress their resentment up as mocking but to me, the over riding emotion I take from these posts is definitely resentment and annoyance. And I really can't see why. if you're pretty happy and happy with yourself why the resentment?

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 12:33:10

Punkat - really sorry your DD's struggling. Must be so hard for you. Is she in treatment? (I believe there's a good psychological treatment trial going on in London for under 18s, or at least there was a few months ago).

missinglalaland Tue 03-Sep-13 12:34:59

Yes, it's the confidence! And of course, it's ok to fall in love with yourself.

I can think of some mums like this down at swimming lessons. My husband had to pick up dd2 once. I told him there were lots of gorgeous young mums down here that made me feel a bit plain and frumpy.

Bless his heart, he came home and told me they looked terrifying to him. He may have said it to bolster me, but he definitely seemed put off by the orange skin, fake hair/eyelashes and super high heels. There is something hard edged and aggressive about so much artifice for casual day wear.

ZipIt Tue 03-Sep-13 12:35:04

(treatment for BDD, that is)

higgle Tue 03-Sep-13 12:35:59

I tend to think that niceness and a natural inner beauty shine through all the false tat people put on top. One of the most attractive women I know is a bleached blond with some extra false hair, a bit over weight. She always dresses beautifully (though I know quite a lot is from charity shops) and wears quite a lot of make up too. She is simply one of the nicest most friendly people I know and has a wicked sense of humour. She is adored and thought of as very good looking by all who know her - and rightly so!

wordfactory Tue 03-Sep-13 12:36:48

TheUgly I'm not so sure.

I loath the asthetic of hair extensions/fake tan etc...but I don't resent the time and money spent. I probably spend as much if not more. Just differently, and in my eyes, to better effect.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 12:38:33

I sometimees wonder if actually the resentment is just rooted in annoyance that the other person 'takes the time and makes an effort'. Because fuck knows, hair extensions and elaborately applied make up and the fake tan stuff takes a lot of time, to lavish on yourself. And it requires a lot of motivation and effort to keep it up.

Is it the level of effort and commitment that other people find annoying? When the very most they can motivate themselves (or have time for) to do is scrape their hair back in a ponytail because they haven't had time to wash it that morning, and just pull on an old fleece.

I know I look at those people in their fake tan etc and feel jealous that I don't have the cash to spend on myself that way. Or the time!

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:41:11

no no no!

In my opinion it's annoyance with another person for constantly provoking situations where they manipulate others into listening to them, validating them, admiring them. Even when your own self-esteem is healthy it can be something you do notice in other people. I know I notice it. It doesn't chew me up because I don't want to be like that. I don't want people to be manipulated into giving me validation. I want a more genuine sort of affection or validation. But all the same, if one person is getting a lot of attention it can make everybody else feel like they're ghosts, shouting and never heard or seen.

"In my opinion it's annoyance with another person for constantly provoking situations where they manipulate others into listening to them, validating them, admiring them."

So don't listen/validate then? Other people can do it if they like. Are they holding a gun to your head?

BrianTheMole Tue 03-Sep-13 12:43:37

I think confident people can and do look beautiful. It radiates out. How can you have too much confidence? Should confident people be brought down a peg or two then as they may not be as physically attractive as someone else? Why shouldn't they be confident and happy with themselves?.

Pinupgirl Tue 03-Sep-13 12:58:39

Oh great another thread where women bitch about each otherhmm

Does it really matter to you op how this women dresses or how she chooses to present herself? Why does it threaten you?

I as ripped to shreds on another thread and told I had "issues"grin because I dared to post that I am happy,confident and fairly attractive at a size 16. I was told I was too confident and it must be fake lol. You cant win on here<shrugs>

OrmirianResurgam Tue 03-Sep-13 13:04:39

I think we should all feel very complimented when people make a lot of effort to look nice. After all we are the ones who look at the end result. Hurrah for us! The fact that we might personally not give a toss about how they look shouldn't take away from the fact that they cared! wink

Orm I like that smile

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 13:11:57

Well i agree Ormirian, I salute someone who takes that time and effort with themselves, I actually think it's quite nice. Of course people who don't make any effort about their apperance are probably too busy curing cancer or solving world peace.

And who knows, maybe the lady with the lavish hair might actually also be a really nice person despite the glamorous make up and the nice clothes. Or is that against the mumsnet rules. Yes I think it probably is wink

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 13:14:53

zoe99, so the glamorous person aside from the fancy hair and posh clothes also has mind control powers? Is she The All Powerful one at the school gates surrounded by mindless sheep chanting in unison about how purdy she is?

Are grown women genuinely forced against their will on a regular basis to pay someone else compliments?

Parmarella Tue 03-Sep-13 13:21:10

My most glam and beautiful friend ACTUALLY works on a cure for cancer, so it is not mutually exclusive.

I know plenty of women in fleeces who don't work on world peace or cancer.

Without any irony, or sarcasm, I would like to salute all those people who make an effort with their appearance. And the fact that people can be "tricked" into believing someone is beautiful is great, a lot more democratic than having to have been lucky with genetics!

We can CHOOSE to be beautiful, isn't that great?

WhiteLlama Tue 03-Sep-13 13:24:48

Looks like interesting thread! I will read when I have time smile

WhiteLlama Tue 03-Sep-13 13:25:19

And maybe even contribute grin

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 13:30:27

How can anyone say how soneone looks tells you about what they do?so a lady who isnt bothered about looking immaculated does and is what?a lady who is immaculate does and is what?

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 13:41:18

There is a difference between "making an effort with your appearance", which is one thing - and something many women and men do, in fact I'd say it's normal - and the thing the OP wrote about which is being covered in fake tan, hair and nails, constantly posting selfies and being in a relationship with those around you where they constantly have to tell you you are beautiful.

They are two different things! The OP was not attacking anyone for making an effort with their appearance.

I think the OP has drawn wrath by pointing out that the person in question is "average looking" so people think she's saying that's some kind of failing. I think what she meant was that the beautiful reputation and comments persist despite that - that what people are responding to is the expensive paraphernalia.

I really don't think this has anything to do with the fact that you can be a beautiful, glowing person while having a wonky nose or whatever - and vice versa - obviously that's true. It's about this particular phenomenon of people being appearance-obsessed and taking the role of "most beautiful" and other people propping them up.

And I think most people on this thread would actually know the difference between that and someone who simply takes an interest in their appearance and may look great because of it.

Not that it matters - but people are really getting the wrong end of the stick.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:41:22

Uglyfuckling, you're misunderstanding what it is that people might potentially find annoying; ie, behaviours that are irritating.

glamour and beauty in themselves aren't irritating.

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 13:42:32

And actually, the situation the OP describes is depressing because it's actually about insecurity, conformity and controlling behaviour. Whereas that's not the case with someone who just looks good.

lady What is the difference between the way you make an effort with your appearance and the way those wearing fake tan do? Aside from the tools/application. As far as they are concerned, they are just making an effort.

The OP talks about people being fooled by these people, like they've been conned into finding them attractive. That's just weird.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:46:51


Lot of issues being confused by posters here.

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 13:51:38

It's not about the fake tan itself, it's just that the large amount of fakery is typical.

I think the key difference is why you are doing it. Clothes/general look because you like them and enjoy them, or for the selfies and the applause.

In which case the fakery is no indication.

Someone could be wearing all the fake stuff just because they like it.
Someone else could be going for the all natural look for the praise.

And even if it is done for the praise isn't it awful to be nasty about them when they are obviously suffering from low self esteem?

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 13:54:39

But why should this "taking the role" and "propping up" business you speak of affect or bother anyone who doesn't want to be a part of it? Attention isn't a finite resource, I do not suffer because somebody fishes for compliments on their FB page.

Of course, if people are self-obsessed to the point of being boring then I am likely to detach from them, but that's because I'm bored, not because I think there's some kind of school nativity play of life going on in which I have been cast as sixth sheep or whatever while they get to be Mary. Adult socialising just doesn't work like that (or if it does for you, get some new friends sharpish).

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 13:58:06

I think it is subtle difference and also it taps into a bigger issue to do with what is valuable in a person. Look at all the clothes aimed at little girls that stress that being "gorgeous", a "princess", or <shudder> "sexy" is what they should be aiming for - what they should be. While for the boys it's about being an astronaut, bug-hunter, racing driver or whatever. Boys/men can still care about their appearance, of course, but they don't get this message that it's the be-all and end-all, while girls do.

The woman the OP describes is someone who's reached adulthood with that view and must reinforce it to maintain a sense of themselves - and that's a bad thing for women IMO. Someone who has healthy self-esteem and doesn't think they are nothing more than their appearance, but who happens to like clothes and dressing nicely is not the same.

I agree, but think the OP (and a few subsequent posters) have condemned the woman and not the society she is a product of.

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 13:59:55

And even if it is done for the praise isn't it awful to be nasty about them when they are obviously suffering from low self esteem?

Well yes ok you are right. But then low self-esteem leads to many other behaviours that are annoying or worse, and not easily forgiven - controlling behaviour, narcissism, alcoholism, misogyny to name a few.

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 14:02:06

I totally agree madbuslady - just detach from such people, as I said earlier - and I don't FB precisely because of this.

I've just got sucked in because I was annoyed by people not getting the point. Ought to get back to work blush

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 14:04:32

But we don't know from the Op why the two examples are posting selfies do we?

One of the examples is from an online forum, and is the supposed "most beautiful" from the forum. I doubt she gave herself that title. Though I have to say unless the average age of the forum users is 13, it sounds a grim place!

I don't like the overdone, over made up look one bit. I can think of a few aquaintances who (to my mind) looked far better before they started the teeth whitening/self tanning/false eyelashes etc. But is fairly obvious that some people like that look, not least the women praising the two examples in the OP.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 03-Sep-13 14:05:09

I find it a little sad rather than amusing when someone regardless of gender spends an inordinate amount of time in front of the mirror,and thinks that artificial enhancement is more attractive than the natural,clean, and (hopefully) healthy 'look'.

Each to their own though so long as they aren't expecting me to fawn over them.Because I won't.

Saffyz Tue 03-Sep-13 14:08:35

Hear hear VerySmallSqueak

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 14:11:24

But you still see the world in terms of these people "taking a role" LadyBigtoes. At some level you clearly feel it's a zero sum game. And other people have said related things about these kinds of women taking all the attention or similar. It just sounds like a strange and self-defeating way to look at the world to me.

Also, I think you (and others) are very generously reading a whole load of sociological observation into the OP which I don't see there at all. Her beef with these women seems to be that they're not beautiful enough to do fake tan and dress nicely and don't deserve the compliments they get, rather than that fakery as a whole is a social evil.

Anyway, do some work! So should I smile

Maybe they don't think of it in terms of "more attractive" though, maybe they just enjoy it. I know when I was spending hours on my makeup (way back in the mists of time) I was actually enjoying that time. Might not have been the most worthy hobby, but it made me happy.

I find it sad when people feel they have to do it when they don't gain any pleasure from it.

I find it sad when people judge others for having different priorities/interests.

I don't find it sad when someone does something they enjoy which harms no one.

Wuxiapian Tue 03-Sep-13 14:15:49

It's usually the ones who are constantly putting selfies up, who are tanned/fake-nailed/slathered in makeup who are actually lacking in confidence.

Real confidence doesn't need the approval of others.

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 14:18:37

Well, real confidence probably doesn't need to observe those who may be lacking confidence and start threads about their shortcomings.

Saffyz Tue 03-Sep-13 14:21:59

> It's usually the ones who are constantly putting selfies up, who are tanned/fake-nailed/slathered in makeup who are actually lacking in confidence.

There are sometimes criticisms though of people having "not made an effort" if they prefer not to wear makeup/fake tan or have plucked eyebrows or spend a lot of time choosing clothes.

VileWoman Tue 03-Sep-13 14:22:17

There was a programme on BBC4 a while back about the golden Age of glamour. One of the points that was made was that in the 1920s, for the first time ever, a poor woman could look as good as a rich woman. Artifice was cheap and therefore gave poor women power they didn't have before.

Having said that I think 20wkbaby has it right when she says people compliment people who make a fuss about 'their' thing because it's an easy thing to compliment on. But does it matter? And people will congregate round these obvious totem poles because we all use them as shorthand to describe the kind of person we are, whether they are our books, or the way we decorate our house, or the way we make ourselves or our children look. As the PPs who spoke about dressing grungily or as a goth did as teenagers.

SubliminalMassaging Tue 03-Sep-13 14:22:42

Nona I completely and totally agree with you and I've said the same thing myself on MN before. There is a huge difference between being beautiful/pretty/attractive or whatever, and merely being ridiculously highly groomed in a very fake way. Of course if you are average or below average looking you could make yourself look much better if you were prepared to spend out on dental veneers, botox, expensive hairdressing or a nose job, but even then you can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. You only have to look at some of the plainer minor slebs in Hollywood to see that - they are still not beautiful even with all that money and effort. Well fair enough, we can't all be gorgeous.

The difference is lost on some women though, especially the ones with over-inflated self esteem. I have nothing against any average looking woman having great self esteem (in fact I am delighted about that) and I have nothing against anyone making the best of whatever they have, should they so choose, but some of them do seem to be in love with themselves to a quite laughable degree.

lottieandmia Tue 03-Sep-13 14:26:12

What was the point of starting this thread? Your OP sounds very catty tbh. Maybe this woman is perceived as beautiful because she's a nice person and that shines through.

Crowler Tue 03-Sep-13 14:35:11

I agree that a good number of young ladies I see these days are tanned/eye-lash extended.

I spend quite a lot of time and money on my grooming, but I like to think it's not obvious. I may be wrong.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 15:38:19

Its awful to be nasty about ANYONE whether its someone with low self esteem or not.where do you think low self esteem more often then not branches from?
I take people as i find them,its hard not to judge someone on how they look to a certain degree because everyone judges,if they say they dont they lie.But how someone looks tells you absolutely JACK about who they are.I find ladies in burqas are very hard to judge...

SubliminalMassaging Tue 03-Sep-13 15:39:31

It's usually the ones who are constantly putting selfies up, who are tanned/fake-nailed/slathered in makeup who are actually lacking in confidence.

I disagree. They may claim that, but it's nothing more than false modesty. Anyone who does that is fishing for compliments because they think they deserve them. Someone with true low self esteem or a lowish opinion of their own looks would not do taht - they don't put themselves forward to be judged, orht ey can just never find a photo of themselves that passes their own ridiculously high expectations of themselves.

Some people with low self esteem act that way subliminal it varies person to person

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 15:44:59

I agree subliminal,if you have low self confidence you dont want attention drawn to you.If you want a reaction or attention you perfirm actions that say LOOK AT ME I STAND OUT

"I agree subliminal,if you have low self confidence you dont want attention drawn to you."

So you can 100% guarantee that all people with low self esteem act exactly the same way?

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 15:46:47

Theres girls who do it to " fit in" with the crowd,thats not low self esteem thats dressing yourself to fit in.

SubliminalMassaging Tue 03-Sep-13 15:47:24

My daughter is very beautiful. Yet she takes three hours to get ready, is plastered in heavy make-up, false eyelashes and thick liquid eyeliner.

But no - it's not vanity. She hates her lovely face and has dysmorphia and depression. Fakery helps for her - she says it gives her a mask to hide behind.

I understand that. But I would bet, therefore, that she is not the type to be plastering her fb page in photos of herself, taken by herself, with the only purpose being to draw attention to herself and receive compliments from others. If she does then I don't believe she can be dysmorphic. Just vain and self-absorbed and needy. There is a very thin line between the two.

And why do you think fitting in is so important to them?

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 15:48:48

Wuxiapan is right Sublima, why do people up put up selfies need validation do you think? because their self-esteem is healthy? hardly.

It's possible to temporarily inflate the ego through arguments, attention, drama, sexual approval and still have a very low self-esteem.

Oh christ, I've known girls with BDD and eating disorders, their self esteem has been rock bottom and they've posted selfies because they desperately wanted someone to tell them they were pretty. And yet you know better than their psychiatrists??

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 15:52:12

To be part of something.
I didn't say I can guarantee anything MurderofGoths. That's one of my opinions, I can have whatever opinion I want, whenever I want and it can change whenever I want. It's my right as a person.

Have the opinion, but it's a bit short sighted to think that people only act in one way.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 15:53:59

Every single person in the world is different so noone on here will ever be right or wrong unless you know every person in the world and find out everything about them

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 15:54:07

That is right MurderofGoths. That is the point. confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing.

I'm really surprised by the number of people on this thread who don't seem to understand the difference between ego and self-esteem. It is perfectly possible to be an extrovert (which is confused with confidence very often) and insecure with a poor self-esteem, just like it's possible to be a quiet introvert with a very healthy self-esteem. I had no idea so many people didn't get this. So this thread has been one of the few lately that I feel I haven't read it all before.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 15:54:29

You are telling me that people only act one way?

Well obviously, hence why making comments about "people with low self esteem wouldn't do X/Y/Z" is daft.

SunshineMMum Tue 03-Sep-13 15:55:19

I'm lovely I am wink

No, the opposite. I'm saying that some people with low self esteem would never dream of posting a selfie. And some would. And that posting a selfie doesn't negate them having low self esteem.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 15:57:39

Im not arguing with you about it,what are you hoping to achieve. I've said what I think,I don't waste my time arguing.

zoe Growing up I was painfully shy, hated attention, hid away - everyone assumed I had low self esteem when I didn't.

My brother on the other hand has always been the centre of attention, life and soul of the party, and happy to make everyone look at him - he has always had painfully low self esteem, but no one believes it.

Funny how easily people can be misled.

I'm hoping that people will stop dismissing those suffering with low self esteem because they don't act in an "acceptable" way.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:00:28

I havent even mentioned "selfies" I don't have FB and have no interest in it (I'm presuming this is a FB thing)I mean there will be people who dont have low self esteem and do this look for complete attention. I know this is true.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:01:10

OK well good luck with that MurderOfGoths.

Sorry, maybe I'm getting confused, thought you were agreeing with subliminal about those posting selfies not having low self esteem.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:01:45

There is no such thing as acceptable btw,acceptable is down to the individual

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 16:03:07

I agree subliminal,if you have low self confidence you dont want attention drawn to you.If you want a reaction or attention you perfirm actions that say LOOK AT ME I STAND OUT

Limited, with that statement you are saying that all of those with low self confidence would never post a selfie.

The op hasn't even come back and explained what she meant and she doesn't really seem to even know the two women she has described in her op.

sisterofmercy Tue 03-Sep-13 16:03:22

Glamour used to be a an old word for a spell. Whether you are confident or shy, you can use glamour to bewitch people. Obviously now that means fake tan and nails for some people but if they are enjoying the ritual who am I to judge. I still haven't grown out of the goth thing.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 16:09:49

Lizzylou that simply isn't true.

A lot of people can inflate their sense of self temporarily with attention. It doesn't mean their self-esteem is healthy. Far, far, far from it..............

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 16:11:28

Zoe, I know. I was quoting another poster. Hence the bolding.
I completely agree with you smile

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:14:38

No i never said all those.Everyone is completely different.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 16:14:48

oops sorry. !

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:17:09

In turn are you saying that everyone of them has low self confidence?


LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:19:15

No dya know what if you are a person who has true low self confidence you wouldnt behave like that.No you really wouldnt if you genuinely did.

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 16:19:51

Not at all. As you say, we are all different!

Just that having low self esteem doesn't necessarily preclude a person from wanting to gain positive comments/affirmations.

So we're back to you knowing how every single person with low self esteem acts are we?

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:21:29

Theres a difference in needing a boost and having a real issue.Im thinking of people who dress up for attention and pretend they think they look crap.Believe me I know tens of people like that from growing up.

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 16:21:46

Limited, you keep contradicting yourself!

First the broad brush "Noone with low self confidence would do that..."

Then "we are all different, we don't know everyone in the world"

Then, categorically stating that you know that no one would act in a certain way.

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:22:14

LimitedEditionLady you keep saying on the one hand that everyone's different (true) and then stating what people with true low self-confidence "would" or "wouldn't" do. That's why posters are getting confused.

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:22:36

x-post with everyone, sorry, I was not piling in on purpose.

Odd thread.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:22:50

Well you are also saying you know everyone too by telling me there are people who just use thisas a cloak to hide behind but there are people that want attention.

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 16:23:51

Erm. No. No I am really not!

I'm really not. I'm telling you that people act differently and you can't assume they are act the same from the same motivations.

This doesn't require knowing everyone, just knowing that people are different.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:24:58

Madbuslady yes youre right.yeah i guess what im saying is that people pass off mild self issues and it gets merged with people who have really intense self confidence ussues.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 16:25:26

Limited, I recommend you read Anne Dickson's book "a woman in your own right". It is very informative on the issues of low self-esteem and the different behaviours associated with low self-esteem. It's true not all people with low self-esteem act in the same way but are reading confidence in to behaviour where I see 'extrovert'. You can have an extrovert with low self-esteem.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:25:31

Not you lizzylou i mean goth

Lizzylou Tue 03-Sep-13 16:26:25

blush sorry!

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:27:47

Yeah i guess so zoe,i do understand people are different but ive known a lot of girls in my life say they have real self confidence problems and its not that.Whereas then theres me who is scared to dress up too much etc as i dont want people to stare at me

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:29:28

Can you see what i think along the lines that someone who takes lots of pics of themselves and dresses to be noticed perhaps has less of an issue than someone who walks with their head down in a big baggy jumper?

Ah ok, so I guess to you the very idea of posting pictures of yourself is beyond belief. So harder to put yourself in the shoes of someone who does, and I imagine it does feel like salt in the wound to see others claiming low self esteem when they might not actually suffer from it. If it's any consolation, probably some of them feel as bad as you do, they're just trying a different coping strategy.

I can see how it would feel like they had less of an issue. But I don't think it's any indication of how low they feel.

MadBusLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:31:39

I don't know, I think some of the most attention-seeking behaviour can be among the most destructive and result from the most dire confidence problems. People who've been abused as children for example, and only know how to boost self-esteem through sex - that usually involves attention-seeking behaviour but no-one would deny they have a real self-esteem problem.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:34:33

To me it is you see,it must be classified differently somewhere because one extreme wants attention,the other doesnt.Whats weird in my case is I know Im not hideous in my brain but I hate photos and id hate people to gawp

SubliminalMassaging Tue 03-Sep-13 16:35:50

Surely if you truly believe you are ugly/plain/fat the last thing you do is seek validation? Validation of what, exactly? How would you feel if you didn't receive any comments along the lines of 'Guwjus Hon, U R stunning.' ?? confused Would you feel worse? Why risk it?

Think of it with a different issue.

Say you have two girls, both hate their bodies, want to punish themselves, both hate themselves and have low self esteem. One turns to anorexia, one turns to bulimia. Is the bulimic suffering less because she still uses food as a comfort?

LadyBigtoes Tue 03-Sep-13 16:37:00

I totally second that book "A Woman In Your Own Right" recommended by Zoe. It changed my life, at 16. I came from an abusive, misogynist household and could easily have ended up crippled by low self-esteem - it made me a feminist and gave me an understanding of myself and other people that has been useful ever since.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 16:37:00

Do you feel equipped to be the judge of who else has a confidence problem? and do you understand the difference between ego and self-esteem? or that an introvert can be very secure?

Interestingly Limited, another way of inflating the sense of self temporarily is to put other people on the defensive where they have to defend something. The exchange is very draining for the person who is defending or justifying or exchanging but it has an energising effect for the challenger.

Drama-baiting can come across as aggressive but it's a sign of low self-esteem too, in the wardrobe with attention-seeking, drama-loving, approval-seeking...

subliminal As we are talking about the kind of girls who wear a lot of makeup there is validation to be had in that they've disguised themselves. Put on a mask as it were. They probably would feel worse if they got no compliments. Why risk it? Because the reward is high for them.

Zoe909 Tue 03-Sep-13 16:37:46

Ladybigotes, I wish I'd read it at 16!!

Lazysuzanne Tue 03-Sep-13 16:39:06

the whole fake tan false lashes and 'selfies' on face book tends to go hand in hand with lower socio economic status.
Presume the people fawning over her percieve themselves to be a bit lower than her in the pecking order...such that she is (to them)something to aspire to

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:41:45

Isnt it hard to work out who is doing it for attention and who isnt?how would one gather this?is it a persin who cant cope without make up ever?or cant go out as themselves as ill put it?

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:43:11

Sorry im not with you,what exchange?

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:44:03

See this is interesting,explain away im very open to listen x

Hard to know, think you'd have to get to know each person. It's horrible that so many people feel so much pressure related to how they look, society and the media accentuate it so much.

Lweji Tue 03-Sep-13 16:47:50

Of course the same applies to some men. ex

Parmarella Tue 03-Sep-13 16:51:56

Lazysuz, that might well be true.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 16:53:17

So how dya know if its fitting on or self confidence.?

It's not an easy one to distinguish. People are too complicated for that.

Lazysuzanne Tue 03-Sep-13 17:50:23

of course I have seen this sort of thing (or what looks like it) certain women get to 'hold court' and they become the nucleus of the in crowd.
Perhaps they are just able to catch the attention of a few key people and then everyone else follows suit?
It becomes a kind of heresy to not agree that 'x' is so beautiful/lovely/gorgeous

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 17:58:18

If someone actually enjoys spending an hour doing their make-up and picking out a nice outft to wear on the school, then I really don't have a problem with that. She enjoys doing it and it harms no one.

A darn sight healtheir than someone standing at the school gate and glaring at the poor woman, and thinking all sorts of negative thoughts about her, just because she has hair extensions and is wearing glam heels.

TheUglyFuckling Tue 03-Sep-13 18:02:55

But why does it matter Lazysuzanne? In every group there tends to be a hierarchy. In the group you describe the one with the poshest outfit and the most glam hair is leader. But the other people in that group tend towards that sort of thing themselves.

in my local book group there's a woman who really lives and breathes the books, and is highly articulate so she tends to lead the group often, and the rest of us admire her for it.

SunshineMMum Tue 03-Sep-13 18:09:44

I don't think what others wear, or look should really an issue. In my experience there are cliques of Mums at the school gate, grouped together by common interest. I might not share the same aesthetic or taste as someone else, but I don't think that I'd judge how they view themselves, based on appearance.

LessMissAbs Tue 03-Sep-13 18:10:08

I think its easy to get caught up in a certain look and overdo that look and not feel "right" without it, when in fact less is often more. That might be the false hair, nails and eyelashes thing or it might be loads of eye makeup and so much hairspray the hair is without movement!

It is possible to get subtle hair extensions, with the aim of making your own hair look thicker so that it doesn't look fake, or to use one application of fake tan a week in winter to get a bit of a glow, or to get the shortest false eyelashes available to thicken up your own eyelashes.

I agree there are some people who think that the application of hair, eyelashes and false boobs somehow magically makes them join the beautiful club, but of course the face is still important...

I also agree that theres nothing worse than a woman who is quite plain who thinks and acts like a spoilt beautiful princess. Even in a spoilt beautiful princess that would be annoying enough...

Lazysuzanne Tue 03-Sep-13 18:12:51

I wasnt passing judgment I was just speculating about the processes underlying the erm..phenomena grin

SubliminalMassaging Tue 03-Sep-13 18:29:04

It makes me sad to see so may very young, lovely looking girls with great skin and fresh, lovely, pretty faces, with inches of make up, deep unnatural looking tans, and worst of all the false eyelashes and very heavy drawn on eyebrows, which are my pet hate. They look like drag queens, 20 years older than they are. I am not against fashion or make up and I'm sure I have looked trashy in my time, but it's reached new heights and the girls actually look so much worse for it.

That's your opinion though. Fwiw I agree it looks awful. But they like it, and that's the bit that actually matters.

SubliminalMassaging Tue 03-Sep-13 18:38:26

Of course. But when they look back they'll go 'WTF was I on? Why didn't someone more experienced stop me?' grin

Haha, don't we all look back on older photos and think that?

SubliminalMassaging Tue 03-Sep-13 18:41:10

God, yes! My biggest mistake was the Pat Butcher 80's earrings.

Two words for you. Black. Lipstick. Oh the shame!

SomethingOnce Tue 03-Sep-13 19:21:31

You're spot on, Subliminal - in the tit jobs and cosmetics arms race, everybody gets to look like a female impersonator.

I can't imagine what men find attractive about such synthetic concoctions, but maybe I'm old and it's an aesthetic all of its own that I will never understand.

Darling, let me run my fingers through your tumbling... acrylic [shudder]

Lazysuzanne Tue 03-Sep-13 19:33:57

when I was 15 I used to plaster on that black eyelinergrin
I agree it looks like gilding the lilly when you see young girls in alot of make up but it's just fashion and it washes off wink

LimitedEditionLady Tue 03-Sep-13 20:02:48

I still love my eyeliner,yet not as thick.....

Gretagumbo Tue 03-Sep-13 20:27:54

All power to and let live innit. As long as they aren't up in your grill criticising you and your clothes just simply doesn't matter.

Negativity ages people prematurely.fact.

20wkbaby Wed 04-Sep-13 11:26:34

Totally agree with Lazysuzanne. The thing tends to be a problem because no-one else is allowed to intrude on that territory. Like with siblings when one is the 'pretty one' and one is the 'clever one' it ends up being a limitation for all concerned.

When I was little my sister was so pro-pink and somehow I got labelled as not liking pink that I felt I had to hide the fact I liked it. This kind of thing carrries on in my sister's head between us to this day - everything is compared.

When I do something she doesn't expect it's all astonishment and making me feel self conscious about it. She was 'surprised' to find that I am a fairly organised person. Apparently that is 'her thing'. You'd think that living with me for the best part of 20-odd years she would know that I and the rest of the human race are not black and white stereotypes but she is just happier knowing 'what' we are.

20wkbaby Wed 04-Sep-13 11:29:13

I should also say she presents herself and her family in the same way. If they like something they love it and loathe anything different. She self-consciously (I think) creates the image she wants to portray to the world.

And why not? I hear you ask. Because she creates an image for other people too and is surprised/ disappointed/ angry when people fail to behave they way she expects them to.

She admits it's a control thing and I think she is getting a bit better but still a pain for all concerned.

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