Thoughts On Being Our Real Selves And Why It Is Important To Show Our Scars
What do we generally do when we go on a first date?
Do we show up tired and shabby-looking, interrupt the other person and generally carry on as though we never left our living room? Are we obviously disinterested, checking our phones constantly and hurrying the other through their stories?
Of course not! But if you do incorporate some of your usual behaviors into the polished, shellacked, sparkling version of yourself you are presenting to this new person, more power to you. People need to learn to love us for the bad with the good and not the other way around.
It’s so much EASIER to fall for the good, though. It’s true…but it just sets you up for a relationship built on dishonesty, false hopes, shuttered dreams and a look you can’t possibly maintain once you’ve had any kind of physical intimacy whatsoever. (NOBODY wakes up “that way”. Nope.)
I’m friends with a couple, we’ll call them Ken and Barbie. They’ve been married for a LONG time, have a beautiful little boy, and are some of the happiest people I know. When they met for their first date, Ken got himself all polished up and shiny, put contacts in, wore a nice pressed shirt and slacks, you know. Barbie did too. On their second date they both showed up looking like slobs. It wasn’t to insult the other person, it was to show each other who they each really are. Instead of a sign of disrespect, each took it as a sign of respect, and, as Ken says, “I haven’t worn a pair of contacts or pressed a shirt since, and neither has she.”
What are we only presented our real selves instead of our coiffed, made-up, dressed-to-the-nines selves on our first dates?
What if we showed up in torn jeans and a sweatshirt looking dazed from a long day or dazzled by too much coffee we drank to keep us going through the evening? What if we were just…ourselves?
Well, the fashion industry would tank, obviously; who wants to wear couture when we can impress just as easily with comfy? As it turns out, though, some of our reasons for seeking out people who are more attractive have genetic reasons as well as behavioral ones. People whose faces are symmetrical, or more symmetrical, are more likely to be viewed as attractive by others, generally speaking. This is because symmetry belies higher-quality genes, while the further from symmetry you are -especially as indicated by deformities or asymmetrical features in the face- the more likely you are to have problems with your genetic code. It’s not snobbery. It’s science.
It makes sense though also, from a behavioral perspective. We feel that we can’t really let go and be ourselves around each other until we’ve earned the others’ trust and respect, and being attractive to them is a huge part of that. Now if only pizza and sweats were as attractive as lipstick and dresses and fancy dinners with nice mood lighting. The world could just be perfect, then.