What does “attractive” really mean? 

A word that impaired a young girl’s perspective of real beauty. 

After turning 11, the age when girls start feeling terribly self-conscious of their bodies, I felt defective.

Not in the sense where I had lumpy, large zits on my face or thick hairy legs….but the fact that my body didn’t (and couldn’t) look anything like this.

Photo Credit: Wallpaperesque

Or this.

Photo Credit: Pawg-Tumblr Pinterest

Or even this…

Photo Credit: Universo

These girls have eye-candy assets any man would put a ring on for. Things I wanted so badly to have, but couldn’t — like C+ boobs, a flat tummy, lush wavy hair, a nice round booty, a petite nose, sexy curves like Ela Rose, an attractive face like Jessica Alba.

And I knew with my Asian-infected genes, I was “-6 handicap points” behind what I wanted to achieve.

This also meant I couldn’t completely satisfy my ex’s desire of being that “perfect” girl with an hourglass figure and a model face. No way!

But yet, I still tried.

“Because if you want something you’ve never had, then you got to do something you’ve never done.”

~Zig Ziglar

So with that, I invested 3–4 hours of my day, everyday, watching how girls do their makeup on Youtube. And probably spent a good $1000+/year just on cosmetics and skincare.

[My makeup progress from left to right: 2008, 2010, 2013]

I permed the s*** out of my hair to give it more “POOF.”

Probably my best hairstyle in my entire life.

I ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes, 6 times a week.
*BURN fat BURN!*

Sorry, I couldn’t find a picture of me running. But this is the closest to what I looked like | Photo Credit: Women’s Running

I even took breast enhancement pills for 6 straight months, without doing any extensive research behind how it works and what ingredients my body would be ingesting. Because, well…it was worth a shot!

Unfortunately, I saw no obvious improvement. ☹️ | Photo Credit: Pure Miracle Herbs

To be honest, it wasn’t easy to get into the habit of improving myself on a daily basis.

Because a lot of times, I failed. Sometimes I’d draw my eyebrows too dark. I’d get the munchies at night and start bingeing on potato chips & chocolate chip cookies. I’d pick a dye color that didn’t match my hair. And occasionally, maybe once or twice a week, I’d forget to take my boob-enhancing pills.

*sigh* I know, how could I?

When things like that happen, I’d curl up in a fetal position and just sulk in the corner of my room, wondering why I wasted all that time and money to look good.

But then, after unwinding down to self-reflect, I’d snap out of it and actually appreciate these failing moments. Because next time I’d do better than to repeat the same mistakes.

The way I saw it, failure counts as a step forward to achieving what you want. For me, that was to look and feel good. But ultimately to prove to my ex that I could be his “perfect” girl, that I could be anything I wanted if I set my mind to it.

The impossible can be possible — it just takes a ton of sweat, restless persistence, and a brain shrieking at you, “Don’t stop now! Look how far you’ve gotten.”

By the time I hit 24, I was 5’5″ and bearing a 112 lb figure (5 lbs below the average small framed women).

My parents, sisters and a couple close friends, without uttering this offensively, all said the same thing — that I looked a bit malnourished and that my face looked too pale (especially without makeup on).

I didn’t believe them though. In fact, I didn’t even see the defects they saw when I gazed into the mirror.

To me, I was drop-dead gorgeous. Well, not 10/10. But pretty close if I plaster on my makeup, put on some fake lashes, slip into my 4-inch heels, and reveal a little skin. I just had to run a bit longer, eat a bit less, and research even more into beauty to achieve that 10.

Eventually, my obsession to become attractive got way out of hand, which started to chip away at my 9 1/2 year relationship. My ex, who I thought would be extremely pleased, felt repulsed by my “improvements,” which increasingly became a turn-off for him in bed. And he just couldn’t bear to be with someone who became this:

How my body looked at its thinnest — 5’5″ at 112 lbs

So he broke up with me.

This…shattered my heart into a billion pieces. And I remember crying many nights a week, wondering where I went wrong. Why I couldn’t look like those beautiful girls who had it all, even when I put in 120% of my efforts. Why I was such a f***ing screwup.

And it wasn’t long before my mind started accepting the bitter truth — that even the most committed man can leave you in the lurch, simply because of your looks and not your personality. And so I thought, all men are just shallow a**holes who only care about having someone visually pleasing to hold on to (for the time being).

…until I met one who wasn’t.

He was different. In the sense where he held a compassionate heart for people — friends, strangers, especially girls.

He knew who I was inside. He knew I was hurting. And he knew how badly I wanted to change for the better — which I couldn’t bring myself to do because I was still deeply traumatized by how my ex treated me after trying my hardest to make him happy.

One day we got into a deep conversation, and this is what he told me:

“You should always feel special because you really are. I don’t know how to emphasize that ever enough but you’re extremely capable of doing things most people would give up at that moment.

I just wish that sometimes you knew that and had the self-confidence to back it up, because you’re absolutely amazing.

And I just love seeing you improve. If I were your man, I wouldn’t have it any other way but to treat you the way that you deserve.”

From that point on, two things happened:

  1. My whole world perked up from believing I was doomed to live on the same planet with shallow-minded men. 
  2. My perspective on what “attractive” really was changed — from having a perfect physique to possessing deep, personal qualities: confidence, a strong drive to be better and the willpower to just do it. 

I started to care less about what others thought of me and more about how I can achieve great things, like…

How I look after 1.5 years of strength training

Now only did I look better, I felt better.

And over time my confidence grew, turning up a notch every time I nailed down a milestone towards my goal. I didn’t realize it then but people started complimenting me on things that had zero relevance to my looks.

…which felt strange at first, but in a good way. In fact, I learned that these compliments made me even happier because having the quality of pushing your limits is much more admirable and rare than looking all perfect.

Because as we all know, looks dissipate over time while character grows.

People like people who do great things. And if you show others what you’re all about, it’s much more memorable (and attractive) than seeing the efforts you put on your face/body.

So ladies, don’t be obsessed about molding every imperfect flaw to look like those models I showed you from the beginning. You’re much more attractive than you think. But if your partner doesn’t sound like he cares as much about your passions and goals than he does for your body, screw him.

You’ll be better off making the most of yourself.

Published by Tiffany Sun

I’m rebuilding my life by discovering who I am and what I’m capable of after being cast away and stranded in China.

9 thoughts on “What does “attractive” really mean? ”

  1. CC says:

    Randomly stumbled across this browsing the web.
    Kind of refreshing to read this.
    And also a bit sad, looks to men are important but it definitely isnt everything. Sexy isnt defined by looks unless thats all your after. I guess its something we all learn the hard way.

    1. Tiffany says:

      Really glad this story sparked something in you.

      While I wish I never had to bear with this pain and hardship, it definitely made me stronger than I would’ve been without.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Hopefully I get to see you here again. 🙂

  2. Odysseus says:

    Found this website quite by accident. Sorry you had to go through this. You’re quite attractive, by the way.

    Men are really visual. Women like status and wealth in a man. Just biology. But yes, if your personalities don’t connect, you have nothing.

    1. Tiffany says:

      Just curious, but how did you find my site? Through Google search?

      Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 Yeah, I know biology plays a big role in what attracts us but I feel there’s something more deep that keeps us connected for longer.

    1. Tiffany says:

      I know EXACTLY what you’re saying, which is why I’m trying to write with my own style. Appreciate your words, and hope we talk again soon!

  3. business for sale says:

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  4. Cherie Keri says:

    I think this is among the most important information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The website style is great, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

    1. Tiffany says:

      Aw, thanks so much Cherie – this really means so much to me. 🙂

      Hope to hear from you again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *