It was a surprising progression, to say the least, moving from looking at one particular woman (who was, in the photo, highly made-up, coiffed, and wearing a particularly flattering outfit, in addition to blond not being her natural hair color) to thinking that I had no visual value whatsoever. Where did this come from?
Well, visual modes of expression are the norm for determining a woman's "beauty". Whether it is a photo, a painting, or a sculpture, we've been taught over the years to look at things and identify those as beautiful. However, all of these involve artifice. What with airbrushing rampant on magazine covers and lighting/makeup/post-production in movies, we can't look at any modern visual clues to determine what a person really looks like. I'd be more inclined to trust an ancient Greek marble statue as a true depiction of what a woman looks like, even though the stone is a little too smooth to adequately express cellulite. So why constantly compare oneself with others?
In the short term, I soothed my sad feelings by going onto my own Facebook profile and checking out some pictures of myself in which I had been caught in good lighting by a professional photographer and looked particularly pretty. In the medium term, I've blogged about this event, so feel free to comment. In the long term, I've got a great sense of self-esteem, and I know that good looks aren't necessary to be a good person. I just need to work on not comparing myself to others, and making sure that other women don't fall prey to this downward spiral, either.