Looking for love on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I am 19 years old and have scoliosis and a cleft palate. I am not ugly but not a stud either. I have a great mind, though. But still I can’t find a girl who appreciates me for me and can accept my disabilities and have a real relationship. Why can’t girls look past appearance?
Breakup Belleruth lent a hand on this one. For starters: “Yes,” she says, “it’s too bad the culture is so driven to admiring conventional appearance and rejecting all else. And it takes extra work to maintain self-esteem in the face of the barrage of shallow bulls***. But in the best case scenario, it really does build character and sensitivity to not be instantly fawned over and accepted by the superficial morons whom we desperately want to include us, for reasons that grow hazy as we age, thank God.”
And she’s right. But you’re like, “Shut up, I don’t want ‘character,’ I want a girlfriend!” I know, Bobby. But stay with us for a few more points.
1. As I explained — and this is going to sound more cynical/negative/mean than I want it to– don’t assume that any girl who does go out with you automatically does “appreciate you for you” in some pure, 19th century novel way. Who’s to say that she’s not with you because she has some patronizing Florence Nightingale complex going on? Believe me, I am NOT saying that your “you” is not likeable for the “right” reasons — I’m just saying that those aren’t always the reasons that people, in their magnificent twisted weirdness, glom onto. AND I’m not telling you to be paranoid about the actual next girl who does — I’m just restating the rhetorical point I made above about Pure vs. Superficial attraction and how it doesn’t necessarily match up with “You for You” and “appearance.”
2. More from Belleruth: “Fortunately, there are options here. Technology allows anyone to sidestep the appearance thing nowadays. Meeting people online and letting the relationship develop substantially before the face to face thing allows for good things to happen to a guy like you. NOT, mind you, because you have anything shameful to hide, but because it can help uncomplicate the initial encounter(s). And, as long as you aren’t as dismissive of the person with the occasional odd feature as some of your peers may be, you could meet some pretty spectacular women this way, who are confronting similar challenges — or not — but it seems to me the Internet is a perfect place for you to do some looking around.”