Though I'm not obsessed over my physical appearance any more than I was when I was being told I was unattractive, I'm not as terrible to myself about it. From the moment I was allowed to dress myself I didn't ever care if something matched. I was drawn to bright colours and funky patterns that made my style very unique. So unique it was dubbed I had 'zero-sense-of-fashion' during a terrible made up game in college by the bitchest girl who forced everyone to play. Now I get comments daily on how cool my clothes are, I may have garnished some sense of a style, but it's always been mine.
I've never been a make up girl. I wear it for the purpose of auditions or work. I've recently thrown it on at times that I end up going out to meet someone because I will admit that sometimes it does make me feel pretty. Though that statement makes me shudder, I realize it's not for the purpose of 'picking-up' or drawing in the cute guy at the bar. It gives me confidence in a weird way. But I'm not going to use that as a way to rant about societies expectations and the make-up industry, because that's another thing on it's own.
I didn't have a single person attracted to me in high school, and really I didn't care because I was so focused on school, and had no sense of identity. Then I went to college and I was among mostly gay men and didn't know I was interested in any other gender, plus I was also so focused on school and had no sense of identity. When I moved to Toronto I just assumed any man that approached me only wanted to have sex, and I really didn't know what I wanted, but I was still a virgin and was too stressed to think of any other reason any person would talk to me. I became very guarded, and impossible to date.
I've been told I'm not pretty enough to be an actor, that my photo's make me look gorgeous and it's deceiving when you meet me in person, that I couldn't sing a specific song from a show because I wasn't attractive enough to sing it. All these micro-aggressions had me believe that there was no way anyone could be attracted to me, and due to my sexuality I was afraid of anyone having sexual attraction to me because I just didn't know what that meant. I also had my own traumatic experiences in regards to men being sexually attracted to me that left me feeling empty because of it. I stayed away from dating for a long time, and I honestly didn't think anyone would find me attractive for any other reason. I was stuck hanging around a beautiful girl who got everything she asked for because of her looks, and it skewed my perception of any interaction with people. I felt I was in some sort of museum at all times, eyes looking me up and down to judge whether I was worth talking to, good looking enough to fuck. I've been in some dark places because of it, and I'm glad to have worked through it mostly. I mean, I still see photo's of my siblings and consider myself the big, ugly one... but my family relationships are complicated so let's not get into that.
Being Poly has helped me not be so concerned about a material version of attraction, though I'm sure some people have partners that are more just a sexual thing than others, I don't know, that's not how my brain works. But for me, I feel like any one that I've been truly involved with has been because I am an attractive person as a whole. It's also how I pick partners, mostly. Though I have briefly mentioned sleeping with people for other reasons than who they are, mostly I don't just fuck around unless I value the person in a personal way. I feel like now, those who want to date me do it because they are interested in who I am, and not just what I look like, even if it's not always been like that. I've gotten better at sussing people out. It makes me feel more confident than a slim fit top and a few brushes of mascara on my eyelashes. I feel massively adored in respect to who I am, and who I am has always made more logical sense than any sort of physical attraction.
Wow, I feel like I'm just rambling and making no sense. Basically I'm saying that dating multiple people allows me to feel a stronger connection than something just based on the outside appearance. But I don't know, do I know anything really?
Holly (Hools) Wyder is a creative monster. Finding every which way to express herself she has found various avenues to explore. Recently coming off of the Toronto Fringe festival with her semi-autobiographical solo show about her experience as a polyamorous, pan-romantic, asexaul, she has found her voice to express and share her journey to allow others to feel validated. A feeling she lacked (and still feels varying day to day) for a very long time. Check out her next live show and approach her about your own story, it's all about a sense of community and the only way to do that is to hear about other people's existence.