“Being in love creeps me out” – Thoughts on Beauty, Power and Attractiveness I

Being in love / being attracted to someone creeps me out.
Honestly. I am not talking about excited nervousness, fear of bonding or doubts about how a relationship should proceed (all of this is fairly sufficient to creep one out, I may add).
I‘m talking about a state of mind that leaves me constantly alarmed; checking on myself about each second, with such sharp criteria, I can hardly overcome high-level tension, confusion and inability to act. It renders me scatterbrained and unable to deal with the easiest tasks/situations.
As pointed out, I am not even focusing on the aim of the other person liking me or on proceeding things between us. I am stuck at the urgent pressure of presenting myself attractive to them.

>Beauty standards< : if you have managed to get them out of your head for a while (in my case, abandoning TV, finishing school and avoiding a lot of 'main stream' places/parties surely had a share in it) - falling in love or attempting to be recognised by someone you are attracted to instantly brings all this unwelcome knowledge back; in its tiniest aspects, offering a complete analysis of where you've failed to accomplish them, within record time. Thank you, brain, for providing this helpful information. I might not be able to tie my shoes any more, but for sure I will notice my trousers are one centimeter too short. Wow. How reassuring.

Beauty as a highly exclusive concept: not a new thought, neither originally mine.
Beauty standards are defined incredibly accurate – yet at the same time contradicting enough to miss them by an inch, no matter what: being young (yet adult); being slim (yet with the ‚correct‘ curves); being tall (yet not ‚too‘ tall, whatever that means); having bright skin (yet with a colouring like you‘ve just been to the beach); having a completely ‚healthy‘/'abled‘ body (yet performing a ‚fun‘ lifestyle which includes ‚unhealthy‘ behaviour); wearing ‚nice‘ clothes including the ‚right‘ amount/use/presentation of jewellery, make-up and visible skin (neither the clothes nor you must look too ‚cheap‘, nor too ‚expensive‘); having or not having hair on certain body parts (haircut, facial hair, legs/armpits/chest/genitals/…); and very basic: performing as purely male OR purely female (only specific concepts of masculinity /feminity of course) AND representing a gender-dualistic, heterosexual ‚lifestyle‘ altogether.
(This also means that expectations about you and your body presentation obviously vary, depending on where you meet the listed – and other – criteria, depending on your social position, social_cultural_situative contexts etc.)
This is just a random list, but it should transport the idea, that beauty standards and social structures of power are not independent areas.

We learn to internalise beauty as a resource and sign of recognition and success; we early get the idea that it is inherently good to be pretty, beautiful, attractive; we discover the ‚rules‘ of ‚looking good‘, practise and repeat them over and over again – on ourselves and others, as compliments, as means of regulation and/or disgust. We swallow the beauty standards and try to match them as much as we can, widely without asking WHY we need to change to be beautiful, without taking in account that beauty doesn‘t need to be a ‚one-only-model‘ but can be found in diversity, variation, individuality – whatever you want to call it.
No one needs to explain to us why we should try to be beautiful_attractive – ’cause we experience the consequences/reactions on a daily basis. These experiences differ quite much, related to influences of sexism, racism, ableism, ageism and many other oppressive structures, as well as individual strategies/characteristics/priorities/likes/ … are important.
But we all share the knowledge of a) the major role of looks regarding social success and b) specific images of what beauty_attractiveness means – or more explicitly: what is not part of this image. With other words: we know quite exactly what is ‚wrong‘ with us in terms of beauty_attractiveness.
No matter if we accept or reject these standards, we are unwillingly able to judge ourselves from that perspective – and for lots of people it takes a fundamental struggle to object to this automatically self-applied judgments. Even if we manage to alter these processes and adjust our own settings – we still know others judge differently. Well, judge, after all – judge you by your looks. You might (more or less successfully) try not to care; but if you fall in love and/or if you want someone to be attracted to you … well, you might then fear your reclaimed perspective will tremble, fear they will look at you with eyes you don‘t like, but depend on.

Falling in love, being attracted to someone creeps me out; ’cause I‘ve worked so hard to establish an acceptive, curious, loving new perspective on matters of beauty_attractiveness_(success?). And it’s hard to maintain that while longing for any security when entering unknown/unsafe ground.
I can‘t tremble, I mustn‘t fall, I need to stand upright … but I am so afraid the ground is breaking down under my feet.

I‘d love not to care …
but sometimes I‘d prefer
being careful
not to fall in love.

[090114]