There was a particular dating site that my friends used to see what and who was beyond the nightclub and bar scene. A website where you could scour the pages to see if anyone tickled your fancy and made an effort to get to know. On this website, most of the people want to skip the entire part of building a connection and meet at a secluded site for a futile tryst. The website is also nice for those who live a life next to that of a hermit crab, yet have enough social skills to not be ridiculously socially inept; I am one of those people.
Growing up, I never felt beautiful despite the fact that I was always being told by family members, friends, and, of course, my mom that I was. In the countenance of African-American society, I am beautiful; I have light skin and a nice amount of straight hair. However, I constantly focus on my facial features. Some days they are up to par and on other days I am pouring over transformation photos of plastic surgery patients. I believe this insecurity comes from not being “that girl” and the endless sadistic torture of comparing myself to other girls. Something I’ve done since I was in elementary school. Nevertheless, there was one insecurity I got over, but one day while on that dating site, a guy chose to mercilessly stab me in the head with it. For days I was scrambling, trying to decide whether I should leave the knife in my head or take it out.
I’ve worn glasses since I was in the fourth grade and since elementary school children hate variance I began to hate my extra pair of eyes for the next ten years. In elementary school, I was called four eyes and in middle school and high school the insults became more subliminal and underhanded to the point that I thought they were really interested in whether or not I paid attention in class, if I made straight A’s, and if I did all my homework. Once I graduated from high school that insecurity died. Then some guy with the screen name “Humble Guy” decided to resurrect it.
Let me start by saying, I have absolutely no right to be as picky as I am when it comes to the opposite sex. I’m no Nicole Scherzinger or Kat Graham, but I know what I want. “Humble Guy” caught my attention with his confident smile and his bio was a blend of educated, cool, and self-assured. I wrote to him and the typical start of conversation ensued. Then in the midst of the conversation, he asked if I had more pictures this prompted him to tell me that looks were important to him; that should have been a red flag for me to end the conversation there. I thought “maybe he might find me attractive and if he doesn’t, stuff the hurt so far down that it’s numbed like an impacted wisdom tooth ready for extraction.” So with these thoughts in mind, I gave him my Instagram screen name.
Once he inspected me, he said I looked “nerdy but with a cool spirit.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean. Then here comes the one-two punch from his observation “you look like a virgin.” I read the words and instantly wondered “how does one look like a virgin” and that’s what I asked “Humble Guy”. His reply was short and sweet “you just do.” Then he asked a series of questions, “Do guys approach you?” “Are you in school?” and “Do you make all A’s?” Naively, I gave answers to all the questions. Then, I realized he was stabbing me in the head with those subliminal insults I endured in middle school and high school. The slight confidence I did have in my looks were just murdered to a slight smidgen because I believed that people over a certain age didn’t buy into the stereotype of glasses equals Stephen Hawking nerd. However, I will keep pushing on and railing against my insecurities despite d-bags like “Humble Guy”.