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Old 03-20-2019, 06:31 AM
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Member Since: Nov 2017
Location: USA
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Member Since: Nov 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 1,097

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Default Is this something to be concerned about?

Not going to do anything about it. Just wondering if it's cause for concern.

Every time I visit my sister, she seems fixated on my looks. Not that she merely mentions, "You look good," and leaves it at that. She goes on about it. The biggest percent of her conversation will be about how much weight I've lost, how much younger than my age I appear to be, how long my hair is. Always all good things. She seems to think I'm Miss Universe material. (I'm not, and that's OK.)

I've always had a weight problem, and when we were younger, I never felt beautiful. If I still had contact with my mother, she would be the same way toward me, but also the opposite. That is, also fixated on my looks as if nothing else matters, but giving me detailed negative messages rather than positive. My sister and I grew up to think a woman's value pretty much consists of how physically attractive she is. According to our childhood conditioning, that means thin, youthful, and flawless with a mane of long, flowing hair, and if a woman didn't fit that description, then she pretty much wasn't as worthwhile. I was always made to feel I'm "less than," because of some physical flaw like protruding front teeth, or not being the right shape. (And I wasn't allowed to grow long hair until later in life.) I'm sure my sister is only trying to counteract the negative messages I've heard countless times in my life, and I appreciate that.

The thing is, I've moved beyond the point where my looks are all that important to me anymore. I don't really *need* that validation. I suppose what's slightly irritating is that she may be trying to help me clear a hurdle I jumped over long ago. I know I can just smile and say "thank you," and that's what I do, but after a while, that subject gets a little awkward. There are other things we could be talking about.

Come to think of it, this is basically a family trait. I remember a Thanksgiving dinner from quite a few years ago. The family had invited my ex-husband and his new wife to join us. At one point, my brother pulled me aside and told me discreetly that I am so "much prettier than that other wife," as if appearance alone makes me a better person than she is. It doesn't, and there's nothing wrong with her anyway. She's a very nice person. I guess my brother wanted me to feel good about myself. I know he meant it as a compliment, and again I appreciate it, but I'm thinking it's not really necessary. I no longer judge a person's worth by their looks, and therefore I don't really need to have mine praised or somebody else's criticized in order to be happy with myself.

Do you think this is a problem?
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