Do you think looks matter in a relationship? If yes, how much?
I recently read an article by Kristina God, called Why Curvy Girls Deserve A Handsome Man. She explains how curvy women receive heavy criticism online when they have six-packed partners. The overall idea is that people on the internet don’t believe these women deserve such a handsome husband.
What’s even worse: Kristina also found a Reddit group that says curvy women shouldn’t wear bikinis. Why? Because it doesn’t look good on them.
Needless to say, I felt revolted.
But once I calmed down, I reflected on what was behind this behavior. It turns out this prejudice says a lot about modern relationships and how you can navigate them:
The curse of the internet.
The internet is an amazing place. I owe my career, friendships, and even my relationship to it. But it also brought us a dangerous curse: anonymity.
When you’re anonymous, you become ruthless.
For the first time, you get to say your opinion online without dealing with any consequences. This lack of consequences makes you brave. Or would you tell a chubby woman that she doesn’t deserve her partner to her face?
Anonymity shows your genuine opinions.
You don’t worry about pleasing others, making enemies, or even offending others. When you remove these constraints, you can see your genuine beliefs. You don’t get to see that anywhere else. You’d think that’s great, right?
Except you don’t have to be anonymous when you’re good.
Anonymity protects you because you need protection. This may be who you truly are, but if you have to hide it, that means you’re not proud of your behavior.
Proud people do the opposite: They want to display their achievements. Deep down, you know your opinion isn’t worth sharing (or you’re not brave enough to do so).
If you’re so honest in sharing your opinions, you should also be honest to answer: Are you ashamed of yourself?
Authenticity is great, but not at the cost of hurting others.
Why you can’t find a relationship.
You may not realize it, but the way you see others is a reflection of yourself.
When you see a couple that feels unfitting to you, and you leave a hateful comment on their social media, that says more about you than about the couple. It shows your values (not the couple’s).
What does this action say about you?
You can interpret the hateful comment in multiple ways. Maybe you’re insecure with your body. Maybe your relationships rely too much on looks. Maybe you’re secretly jealous of the couple you criticize. Maybe you’re too scared to go after what you want.
The interpretation itself doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you’re not well with yourself. Happy people don’t criticize other people’s relationships.
But here’s the deal: Relationships need two whole individuals, not two halves. You have to be well with yourself before you find a healthy relationship.
Great relationships always start with yourself.
Ironically, you may criticize other people’s relationships, but that habit is precisely what makes you single (or with a toxic partner). When you waste too much energy criticizing others, you have no energy to work on yourself.
And no one else can do that for you.
Why do people judge?
There’s one main reason people judge others: To feel superior.
When you judge someone, you separate into right and wrong. So when the other person is wrong, it means you’re right. And it feels good to be right, doesn’t it?
Except things are never right or wrong.
Real life is more complex than right or wrong (although the internet makes you believe otherwise). And love is even more complex. So before judging, try to understand these complexities.
Things aren’t right or wrong; they’re different. Just because you don’t agree with someone else, it doesn’t mean you’re right. It doesn’t even mean you should share your opinion. And it’s okay to disagree: There’s enough room on the internet for everyone.
But judging others has one brutal consequence: You allow others to judge you as well.
Your behavior dictates how others treat you. When you believe you can spread your hateful comments online, you say others can do it to you as well. You have the power to set the rules of your life, and it starts with your actions.
This brings me to one final point:
What if it was a man?
I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if it was a chubby man dating a fit woman. Would they receive the same criticism?
I don’t want to fall into a feminist discussion, but one thing is for sure: Society treats men and women differently. Relationships are no exception. Men and women deal with different expectations.
Why is it easier to criticize women?
Maybe a chubby man would also receive criticism for dating a fit woman (although I hope not). But I can also envision a scenario where he’s glorified by it. Or another scenario where different things come to play: Maybe he’s not attractive, but he’s a nice guy or rich, and that’s how he got the girl.
Why is it a woman’s fault that she has a great relationship?
Well, it’s not. And it’s time to stop criticizing others and take a deep look inside.
It’s truly unfair that women have to deal with this criticism. Nobody should have to explain why curvy women deserve handsome partners. Nobody should have to justify their relationships.
But apparently, the obvious needs to be said: Don’t judge others.
Looks are great, but love goes way beyond that. Great relationships take time, effort, commitment, and trust. When you believe an attractive person “deserves better” because of their looks, you reduce relationships to looks. And that couldn’t be further from reality.
Thank you, Kristina God, for bringing this issue to light. We still have a long way to go as a society. And maybe we just didn’t learn to use the internet right. But I like to believe these discussions put us one step further.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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