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Why male attention quenches my thirst; A deep dive into my attention whore ways

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Fei Thompson







I pride myself in being the kind of feminist that enrages toxic masculinity, the type to boil Trump’s blood, the sort of female to reject Mr William Collins’ (Pride and Prejudice) generous proposal. In the same breath I must also admit, when I am feeling particularly attractive and do not receive the male population's nod of approval, I turn away feeling rather insecure. My clothes become tacky, my hair too disheveled, and my once-perfect makeup melts to sticky fondant weighing down my sex appeal.


Charlotte Tilbury flawless filter, Fenty clear gloss, Mac translucent powder…


I spend 100 pounds and 40 minutes to make it seem like I’m not wearing makeup every morning. Because these minimal, well-marketed products somehow turn me from a 6 to a 10?


The recent TikTok trend ‘it’s probably not me’ involves young girls highlighting why men would perceive their friends as more attractive than themselves struck a nerve with me. I will be the first to admit, I am not the girl you read about in romance novels, the one with the dedicated song, or the lead of a 2000s romcom. But my friends are. And this is not their fault. It’s my ancestors for cursing me with an olive complexion and midnight features. Serena gets the men not Blair. Gentlemen prefer blondes.





Whether or not my outfit is acceptable depends entirely on how many drinks are bought for me at the bar, how much attention my Instagram receives, if equally as insecure women give me dirty looks as I walk by. My life is led by aesthetics. I drank iced lattes for 8 years before realizing I prefer hot drinks in a cold climate. I don’t like high heels. But I would rather limp like a three-legged horse than be caught wearing flats in the background of my love-island-esque friends' Saturday night Instagram premiere. It is not being In the background that phases me. I am not afraid to admit I’m shallow. I am simply tired of being shallow. I am a self-proclaimed clout chasing fraud.


I don’t parade the Sunday morning ritual of being bent over the bathroom sink, tears welling in my eyes as the vomit stings the back of my throat. The acidy pool of regrets flowing out of me like an exorcism. The daily struggle I have between binging, restricting, and purging. No. You don’t see that. You see airbrushed Instagram pictures, perfect pouts, and seamless fake tan. You let yourself become insecure from seeing my highlights. I do not claim responsibility for your reaction to my actions.


And that is your problem. Not mine.


Or is it?


Here’s the sad part – it truly isn’t anyone else’s fault. The pressure to be perfect will wear the red soles under your pumps. The same pumps you sacrificed food and leisure for, all for the promise of someone to recognise the prestige price tag and for a compliment to slip their lips. This ‘hot girl manual’ we all seem to be chasing leads to a perfect Instagram shielding the opportunity cost of being truly happy.


I sit equal to the majority of young women. In the range of I’m pretty in my own way yet overlooked as soon as conventionally attractive women are nearby. My weapon of choice is my emotional intelligence. I love how I am not afraid to answer a question from the back of a lecture hall, am able to balance a social life, good grades and the gym. Yet why do I feel inferior when standing next to a 6ft blonde bombshell with nothing but a birth certificate to her name? I once let a finance major explain how taxation worked to me as I batted my eyes at him. Long press on nails circling the rim of my espresso martini because I read somewhere that men find that sexy.


This is not to criticise or project my insecurities onto every attractive woman I have not befriended. But to enlighten you, my few readers, to the new gender roles we have embodied and somehow welcomed with opening arms.


The only social pressure we are subject to is being or becoming attractive. The infamous glow up. We are told to endure the tragedies of adolescence, the pre-pubescent ugly swans we are, to accept bullying and name-calling. Because when we see light at the end of puberty’s tunnel, we will be lucky enough for men to view us as sexual beings. And if you never gain acne or puppy-fat, you are a born beauty queen, but only until the other half of us inevitably reach our maintenance weight and develop curves and tits, then it’s the thin girl's cue to be insecure.


Most of us have a sense that the social structure doesn't work, but we struggle to articulate why. Beauty campaigns are filled with archaic terminology, ancient stereotypes, and impenetrable jargon. You're unsure what hyaluronic acid actually consists of but if the packaging reads that 97% of women saw results in 2 weeks - you know you want it. The truth is we live in a free market and capitalistic society, yet we are afraid to be individualistic. The oxymoron is a reflection of our society.


I urge you to see through the beauty industry cloaked in security. You are not intrinsically defined or measured by your social media, bank account, or physique. It's a lie that allows us to shift the root of our unhappiness onto society and other women. Because, if we can be more than we are, more beautiful, more famous. is it true we are less right now?


Perhaps if we shed the gender stereotype that half of us are burdened to carry on the human race, we could achieve evolution rather than expansion.


Our tribal ancestors knew food, water and survival.

Today we know busy cities, instant coffee and facetune.

I urge you to try living a little more human.



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