I'm Ugly —​ And It Makes Me A Better Girlfriend

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife.

photo of author Courtesy of the author

When I was a little kid I thought I was beautiful. I would stand in front of the mirror in my room dressed for church and think, "Dang, kid, you're fine as hell!" I had no doubt that should Prince William somehow wind up in Rhode Island at my church that morning, he would see me, pass out, and, upon waking, immediately demand that we become betrothed until our adult marriage could take. 

This period of betrothal would, of course, involve many shopping trips, some light hand-holding, a horseback riding. You know, beautiful princess stuff.


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I realized that I wasn't beautiful around the same time I realized I was fat.

So you know, right when puberty whacked me with the foulness stick. Between the ages of 13 and 17, I skulked around my parents' house like a zitty Igor who also didn't brush her hair, because what was the point? I no longer knew how to be confident.

My self-esteem is better now that I'm in my 30s, and I mostly keep the blackheads at bay and understand the finer points of a blowout. But it's never achieved the logic-free heights it did in my pre-teen years because I have eyes in my head.


I know I'm not the most beautiful person on the planet. A kind person could call me plain and be well within their rights. I like the idea of being plain. I feel like it's a word that could have described Charlotte Brontë or many of the character actresses I admire.

Photo: Author

Being plain means having an open, thoughtful face that's remarkable not so much for what it looks like, but for the thoughts and feelings peering out from behind it. A not-so-kind person could call me ugly and I've opened my camera while it was still in selfie mode accidentally enough times to cede them that point.


Being ugly has taught me how to be a better girlfriend. I believe this 100 percent. When you're ugly and you do something like pull your hair back or put on shoes (that's right, any shoes), people tend to think you've made a tremendous effort vis a vis your physical appearance.

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This means that I can get away with doing very little in the way of special prep when it comes to a night on the town. I don't keep anyone waiting. I don't fret over outfits. I don't feel threatened by other women. I have never gotten a bloat-panic-induced colonic. I have no problem eating in front of a dude I'm dating. Or disagreeing with him. Because my face isn't a factor, everything else becomes a little bit easier.

Being ugly doesn't make you less sexy. I don't ooze sexiness (which is good because that would probably mean I need some sort of antibiotic) but I know how to be confident enough in myself and in my place in the universe that I do not doubt my ability to attract members of the opposite sex. THAT is sex appeal.


More importantly, I'm confident in my ability to attract the right sort of members of the opposite sex.

Woe to the dude who thinks that because I'm plain and chubby that I'll be an easy lay, a girl you can neg into your bed and forget the next day. In the immortal words of RuPaul, "GIRL, YOU BETTER WERK."

Photo: Author


Because I'm plain and chubby I never have to worry that someone is with me for superficial reasons. If I were just chubby I might have to be concerned that they are a chubby chaser. If I were thin but ugly I could be concerned that they were just in it for my hot bod.

But because I'm decidedly unremarkable, I know that the man who chooses to stand beside me wants to be there. So when I'm with someone, I'm all in. I'm confident, trusting, and loyal, and aren't those the most desirable traits in a partner?

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture, and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.