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Old 04-19-2013, 04:56 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,258,861 times
Reputation: 3999

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I guess this is kind of like those who have a body image issue where they think they are "fat" when they are not? I don't know. I am wondering about why this happens.

Specifically, I am thinking of my 21 year old son. He was a very beautiful baby, an adorable child, and is a very good looking young man. When he was a baby, people exclaimed over him constantly. Much more so than when either of the other two were babies... they got the "normal" amount of stranger attention. This child got a RIDICULOUS amount. When he was a little kid I was told constantly that I should get him into modeling or TV commercials. When he was in high school, every time I was at the school and some group of teenage girls realized I was his mom they'd come up to me and say "Oh, you are A's mom?? OMG he is soooooo cute!" then they'd giggle themselves away.

He has dark hair, a slightly lighter complexion in contrast to his hair, dimples, and large stunning gray-blue eyes with incredibly thick dark lashes. I posted a photo of him on another site once during a discussion about hair styles (on a forum that is 99% women) and it turned into a four page thread about what a "hottie" my son is, so this is not just a mom opinion.

He has gained a bit of weight in the past couple of years, not a huge amount, but even before that, he just simply does not believe he is good looking. If I say anything to the contrary, of course, I am just 'mom' therefore not to be believed.

I don't get it. It makes me very sad and I keep wondering what I might have done wrong. His younger brother (15) is a good looking kid too, but in a more "ordinary" way and doesn't seem to have this issue at all. He is actually what some might call overly confident in some ways and can come off as a little conceited.

Is this a common thing? Is he just too humble or is there more to it?

Last edited by Sally_Sparrow; 04-19-2013 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,126 posts, read 25,784,820 times
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If someone gets used to compliments and they lessen even by a little bit, that can cause a blow to one's self esteem.

When I was sickly thin I used to get compliments all the time about how good I looked. Once I gained weight and became healthy, the compliments dried up to nothing and I did have a few years where my self esteem plummeted because of it.

If he used to get compliments from strangers, or attention from women and it's stopped, it could be a reason why he believes he isn't good looking anymore. Maybe he went from good looking to average and he isn't comfortable with it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:16 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,258,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetJockey View Post
If someone gets used to compliments and they lessen even by a little bit, that can cause a blow to one's self esteem.

When I was sickly thin I used to get compliments all the time about how good I looked. Once I gained weight and became healthy, the compliments dried up to nothing and I did have a few years where my self esteem plummeted because of it.

If he used to get compliments from strangers, or attention from women and it's stopped, it could be a reason why he believes he isn't good looking anymore. Maybe he went from good looking to average and he isn't comfortable with it.
Perhaps, but even in high school he had this "no, I am not good looking" thing despite all evidence to the contrary. I remember specifically him liking a girl in high school who appeared to like him back, and he would insist that she was "out of his league" even though they were actually about equal in attractiveness. When I would tell him about all the giggly girls that were always asking me about him he'd say "Oh they just like me because I am an artist" (he was known for his artistic talent) or "Oh they just think I am mysterious and deep because I am quiet.." (he was very very quiet at school).. never would accept that it had something to do with his physical attractiveness.

I know what you are saying though -- I got a lot of attention all through my younger years, then gained a ton of weight (from pregnancy at age 19/20) and took a while getting that weight off, so it was a big blow for me to suddenly no longer get attention.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:08 PM
 
Location: SGV, CA
818 posts, read 1,480,309 times
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1) Cute isn't necessarily a good thing. When I was his age, respect from my male peers was more important than adoration from women. 'Cute' guys often get a 'pretty boy' stigma attached to them and are mocked for being weak and feminine. A lot of guys would prefer to look like a UFC fighter than a supermodel.

2) When a person has one overwhelming quality about them it can overshadow the rest of who they are as a person. I received much of the same complements as your son, except for being smart rather than being good looking. It sucked. I wanted people to know that I was more than just some straight A's robot. I had a life and I had passions, but people always viewed me through the lens of what I could accomplish academically and nothing else. Your son might be fully aware of his good looks but simply sick of hearing about it.


I also have to say that I find your fixation on your son's physical appearance to be rather peculiar. If I was your son I'd be quite unnerved to read such a gushing and detailed post from Mom.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:39 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,258,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red4ce View Post
1) Cute isn't necessarily a good thing. When I was his age, respect from my male peers was more important than adoration from women. 'Cute' guys often get a 'pretty boy' stigma attached to them and are mocked for being weak and feminine. A lot of guys would prefer to look like a UFC fighter than a supermodel.

2) When a person has one overwhelming quality about them it can overshadow the rest of who they are as a person. I received much of the same complements as your son, except for being smart rather than being good looking. It sucked. I wanted people to know that I was more than just some straight A's robot. I had a life and I had passions, but people always viewed me through the lens of what I could accomplish academically and nothing else. Your son might be fully aware of his good looks but simply sick of hearing about it.


I also have to say that I find your fixation on your son's physical appearance to be rather peculiar. If I was your son I'd be quite unnerved to read such a gushing and detailed post from Mom.
Of course you do. You must have taken the unofficial "How to post on City-Data" tutorial and passed with flying colors the section where it says "be sure and twist everything you read and assume all sorts of things right off the bat"... par for the course. Bravo.

It is not a "fixation" just because I posted about it here. The focus on the detail describing his appearance was so that readers would understand that I was not just considering him to be good looking because I am his mom. I was trying to make it clear that the opinion goes well beyond that of his family, and I was trying to also make it clear that he does NOT believe at all that he is a good looking guy (and apparently you missed that part).

It was just something that came up in a recent conversation with him. He is currently job hunting. In the course of discussing what sort of things factor into the hiring process in general, we were talking about how, even though it is unfair, people who are considered attractive do have an advantage when it comes to being hired. This lead to him making some comment about how he wouldn't be "relying on" the attractiveness factor, and lead to a discussion where he was pretty adamant that he is not possessing any advantages with regard to physical attractiveness, and holds no opinion of himself as a "good looking guy".

He did not say this in a "fishing for compliments" kind of way but it is apparent that he honestly does not see himself as others see him and it got me wondering why. Just how I wonder about some folks who are really not good looking at all, or even flat out unattractive, yet think that they are movie-star material. Self-perception is an interesting topic to me.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:51 PM
 
8,195 posts, read 10,205,914 times
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I know some women who are attractive,but because they don't receive that much attention from men,they don't think they are attractive.

I guess compliments only count if they come from the opposite sex.(for some people).
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:08 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 3,300,645 times
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People often have a hard time judging their appearance objectively. Because it IS somewhat subjective, what is attractive to one may not be attractive to another. Also, a person can have low self-esteem due to a number of different factors, and that affects body image, it becomes the lens through which all parts of you are seen and you don't see yourself as good enough - attractive, smart, etc. It's a lot more common in women, less so in men but still happens.
Personally, I've had very bad self-esteem most of my life, I was bullied in school and never got much male attention, and even though I am now grown up and married, I'm realizing that I just can't objectively judge whether or not I'm attractive! I sometimes wish I could crawl out of myself and see myself through the eyes of another person, because I am honestly not able to get a realistic picture of myself. Sometimes I'll think I'm pretty and others I think I look hideous; some people (mostly older, my parents' generation) tell me I'm beautiful, but I've also heard myself described as unattractive (by douchy guys, but still). Of course I internalize the negative opinions a lot more than positive, so while I no longer think I'm 'ugly' per se, I don't believe I'm attractive either. I've known women who found that puzzling - women who weren't anywhere close to beautiful, yet they wouldn't even dream of thinking themselves anything less than gorgeous. That kind of self-confidence was always incredible to me...so I guess what I'm trying to say is your son may have low self-esteem stemming from other areas of his life and it affects all the ways he sees himself.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines
1,866 posts, read 2,414,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygal4u View Post
I know some women who are attractive,but because they don't receive that much attention from men,they don't think they are attractive.

I guess compliments only count if they come from the opposite sex.(for some people).
Maybe these woman aren't actually attractive as u think. The last 3 or 4 women that said they wanted to set me up wit their attractive girlfriend....well lets just say the women werent actually that attractive to male eyes

To the OP, it does seem like something silly to worry about, but you did mention he has has put on a bit of weight. Maybe he knows he looks decent in clothes but terrible nude. Small penis maybe All of that kills the self esteem. If people gush the way you say, then there's no way one doesnt know it
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:59 AM
 
273 posts, read 925,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygal4u View Post
I know some women who are attractive,but because they don't receive that much attention from men,they don't think they are attractive.

I guess compliments only count if they come from the opposite sex.(for some people).
haven't you heard? feminazis in america have declared it unconstitutional to call a woman sexy or beautiful. just last month obama was excoriated for doing so when he commented positively about a california attorney general lady. women want to have their cake and eat it too. well american ones anyway. now they can enjoy their right to not be called beautiful. ladies, please, go ahead and join a few of your girls and start a gossip group where you complain about how life sucks and men are evil.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Forks,WA
3,006 posts, read 2,988,062 times
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I've been encountering quite the opposite...ugly people who think they're something
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