I Had A Major Glow-Up — And Found Out Who My Friends Were

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Have you ever met anyone who had a major "glow-up" moment?

I’ve written about this before, but there’s something really scary about going from "not" to "hot." 

It’s not just the amount of gym-ing or the major lifestyle changes that make a difference.

It’s also the slow (but somehow sudden) change in how people see you as a person.

I ought to know. I’ve gone from hot to not, back to marginally hot again.  

Getting an upgrade on your looks is great, but it will probably take a mental toll on you. 

If you’re about to embark on a glow-up, I feel I should give you a heads-up on what to expect and what to know.

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First, some people will suddenly want to befriend you.

I experienced this both ways: people bailing on me because I was unattractive, and people attracting themselves because I got hot. It goes both ways.

People who were cruel to you and didn’t give you the time of day may suddenly attract themselves to you.

Suddenly, you’re nicer. You’re cooler. Oh, em, gee, your opinion matters.

It’s not unusual for people to question the reality of every relationship they have after a glow-up. I wish that there was an easy mentality shift, but there’s really not. People are shallow and this can be a rude awakening to that point.

One guy said, "It’s a meat market. I’m just thankful that they order my cut." I’m not so easy to forgive others. People who only care when you’re attractive never really cared about you at all.

If you notice people judging you on your appearance or changing how they behave with you, I’d back off immediately. They basically showed that you’re just a heavier weight away from being the outcast again.

I’ve also personally called people out on it, too. They never have much to say aside from a meek "sorry."

Others will just use you for sex or exploit you.

It’s no joke. The predatory behavior of people around a good-looking person of any gender can be bone-chilling. Most models I know have been assaulted on set, even during fashion shoots.

Women are not the only victims. In fact, among male models, sexploitation is often far worse. A lot of my male friends have been sexually assaulted because "they looked so good, they had to be asking for it."

It’s brutal and it’s left a lot of them with long-term scars and PTSD. When they say anything about it as models, they are often told that it’s "what they signed up for."

Sickening, right? After a certain level of good looks, people tend to assume that you’re no longer a person and are more or less just an object to use.

It’s unsurprising that PTSD, depression, and anxiety run rampant in modeling circles.

You end up learning, very quickly, to watch for exploiters. Otherwise, you might end up like I did when I was hot and got trafficked. That’s why I’m so adamant about screening friends and associates these days.

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Friends you thought would be around might ice you out.

Another side of this is that you will see a lot of people who you thought would be around you suddenly sabotage you, slut-shame you or suddenly drop you.

I hate to say this, but if they do, they kept you around because "ugly you" was there to prop up their self-esteem. 

If they are picking you apart, it’s because you triggered insecurity. They want to drag you down to their level.

These people were never your real friends. They were using you. They just didn’t want you to know. Once again, you will see a shuffling around your social circles.

At times, if you’re female, you may also notice that people assume you’re stupid or slutty. Both doctors and employers may try to undercut you or sexualize you at weird times. This is not okay. I speak from experience.

As someone who’s been there, I can tell you that this is a primary reason why stereotypically "hot" people don’t hang out with average Joes and Janes. It’s because they’re afraid Mr. Average is just there to hurt them.

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You’re going to be stuck in "Ugly Kid Mode" for a while.

When you first go from "not" to "hot," you’re probably going to have issues with confidence and self-esteem.

I mean, it’s only normal. People treat people who don’t fit the beauty standard like s***. You’re bound to internalize at least some of it.

So when you hear compliments, you may not believe them at first. Like, it will not register and you will get suspicious of them. You’ll ask, "Okay, why are they complimenting me?"

This is such a quick way to destroy potential relationships and sabotage yourself. You will make yourself miserable if you get stuck in this mindset, and worse, you’ll alienate new friends.

A lot of people never get to the point where they can accept a compliment. They just can’t make it register. That’s tragic.

This brings me to another point: stop trying to figure out why new people like you. If they like you, they like you.

Learn to love yourself enough to accept the compliment. You earned it. Even if you think you didn’t, you did. Looking good takes work. Trust me, I ought to know!

You are going to have to assume that people are complimenting the work you did to look that good. And if you feel they have ulterior motives? Keep them at arm’s length till you are sure.

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And at the same time, you might see flaws pop up that you didn’t see before.

The weird thing about losing weight or getting a little more involved in your looks is that you still feel the same way about your body. You will still see yourself as pudgy, or pale, or awkward, or acne-laden…and yet others won’t see that.

A lot of people start having body dysmorphia because other people start tearing them down enough to make them hate themselves.

I’ve said this before, but I was never treated as terribly as when I was a size 00 model. People just wanted to see me break.

Unsurprisingly, you might start being more critical of your looks the more you work towards a goal. This is normal and it’s something you will have to learn to temper.

The biggest issue? People who get hateful towards you and accuse you of being shallow, thin, eating disordered, etc.

If you want to keep your sanity, you’re going to end up becoming friends with the block and delete buttons on your phone. Being pretty isn’t always a charmed life. It can wreck your mental illness.

Please don’t let this article stop you from being your best self.

I know what I say might dissuade you from starting a diet, dyeing your hair or even giving yourself a makeover. It’s a lot. I’m not going to lie. But as much as there is a dark side to being good-looking, there is a good side to it too.

There’s only one life you have to live. You might as well live it on your terms.

Be the most attractive (per YOUR standards, not society’s) version of yourself that you can be. You earned it and you deserve to treat yourself that way.

And if people can’t hang? F*** ’em.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.