Most of the women I know underestimate their attractiveness, not overestimate it. It is easy to be acutely aware of each of your “flaws” since you examine millimeters of your face and body every day — sometimes at 5x magnification. I am astounded when I hear top models complaining about a crooked nose, uneven skin tone or wrinkles no none else would see.
But there are women who consider themselves hot, stunning, and/or breathtaking. Such vanity can either be a sign of true high self-esteem, focusing on only one’s positive attributes. Or it can be an outward showing of low self-esteem — if one believes herself ugly but thinks that pretending to be beautiful will make others believe so. Sort of like the Emperor’s New Clothes — if you project it, others will believe it.
Unusually high self-regard can be detrimental. In the 1722 novel by Daniel Defoe The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, the title character says that those who think of themselves as beautiful are easier to seduce: “If a young woman once thinks herself handsome, she never doubts the truth of any man that tells her he is in love with her; for she believes herself charming enough to captivate him, ’tis natural to expect the effects of it.”
So are women who consider themselves beautiful more vulnerable to manipulation? Are they prone to believe any man who tells them they are beautiful because, well, they are? So they think they have beguiled a man, when he may just be saying that or it may be for a momentary seduction.
We could argue that a woman who doesn’t consider herself attractive is more vulnerable as she can be manipulated by a man who tells her she is beautiful. She may not hear compliments as often so feels he must be sincere.
What do you think — is it easier to be manipulated if you think you are beautiful or unattractive?
Related posting: “Why men don’t tell you you’re pretty.“
Got a topic on dating after 40 you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to Goddess@DatingGoddess.com.