Earlier this week, The Cut posted an article about what it was like to be a really beautiful woman. Then I realized — probably no one else knows what it’s like to be an average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking woman, so I thought I’d share my story.
Around eighth grade I started to look like a female. Before then, I always had short hair, because my parents got tired of picking lice out of my pigtails. All of a sudden, people started noticing that I was a girl, and telling me that. Before I knew it, random strangers were using the word ‘she’ when they talked about me. I was an average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking woman, and I was intimidating.
My looks definitely opened doors for me. Specifically, if I was carrying a large box and looked at a man nearby, he’d open the door for me. I could usually do this with my looks alone, but sometimes I’d use my words too. I worked in tech for a few years, and I got most of the jobs I applied for. I never knew if it’s because I could write computer code, one of the most desirable skills, or because of my plain features and flat blonde hair, but either way — I was employable.
One of the worst parts about being average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking is that other women are either better-looking than you or worse-looking than you. This hasn’t personally affected my life at all, it’s just a fact. I’d say I’m right smack down the middle. It’s really challenging to be friends with women who look different from me, because as everyone knows, women only care about physical features when deciding who to be friends with. I was often excluded from parties because of my annoying personality and limited social skills, but I think my extremely average physique also played into it.
It’s hard to tell people I’m an average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking woman. If I ever describe myself as such, my friends say “hey, you’re beautiful,” or “hey, I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have sex with you.” This is really different from being a really beautiful woman, because if you tell your friends you’re really beautiful they either say “YAAASSS BITCH” or “wow Sherri is really into herself!”
Men also behaved differently around me because of how average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking I am. It’s so weird — one of the things no one tells you about being average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking is that some men will be into you, and some men won’t. This is really different from being really hot, when all men are into you, and being unattractive, when still some men are into you but not as many. If a man approached me to talk to me, I never knew if it’s because he wanted to hit on me or because I was blocking him from ordering a drink. And to this day — I still don’t know.
Things have changed as I’ve gotten older. I used to be an average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking 20-year-old, and now I’m an average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking 40-year-old. It’s so hard to deal with aging when your whole life depends on you being average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking. As my acne shifted into wrinkles, I thought “wow, this really changes everything.” It used to be that I got attention from some men, and now I get attention from different men. Aging is a vicious foe.
Something else I’ve learned about being an average-but mostly-ok-definitely-not-bad-looking woman is that you have to pay taxes. This is something I just found out, and it’s really changed everything.