1. Wear jeans with everything. It will become really obvious, and people will comment on it, and when they do you can respond that it’s just “your thing.” Yes, everyone will translate “your thing” as “I’m terrified of wearing anything else because if I do people will ask why and that’s a psychological rabbit hole nobody wants to go down.” That’s ok, just live with that double-think.
2. Wear eye makeup, but claim you’re doing it reluctantly. Hate makeup more than anything on the planet, and question whether or not this stems from the fact that your mom always tried to get you to wear mascara in high school.
3. Have an impeccably organized apartment, except for one drawer in the middle of your dresser that’s full of expired Victoria’s Secret coupons you always promised yourself you’d use. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of lacy underwear at Victoria’s Secret always makes you hyperventilate as soon as you walk in the door, prompting you to slink pathetically off to Target to buy your undergarments.
4. View your skinniness as awkward and lanky and everyone else’s skinniness as sexy. This is not a matter of skewed self-perception; you are in fact an awkward and lanky skinny, because you use your arms and legs like they are disconnected from your torso.
5. Wear flat shoes all the time. Blame it on your height, when in reality you just never learned how to walk in heels.
6. Become obsessed with watching marathons of America’s Next Top Model on Bravo. You can claim a leg up because of your two degrees all you want, but the bitchy gnome that lives deep inside will remind you that nothing beats a PhD in Being Smokin’ Hot. Watch with a more attractive friend, and debate whether or not you believe her when she too expresses self-doubt.
7. Wake up in the morning, walk to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror, let your head fall forward and bang against the glass. Leave it there for a while. Feel the coolness on your forehead. Don’t open your eyes. Sigh. Turn around and go back to bed without looking at yourself again.
8. Really enjoy reading Philip Roth, Umberto Eco, Douglas Adams, and Discover magazine.
9. Have glasses and/or contacts. Wear your glasses on occasion to seem nonchalant. Only really pretty girls have perfect vision.
10. Never ever ever smile in a photo. You have practiced this for hours upon hours at home to yourself, and cannot but look like a doof. Make looking goofy your new photo MO. This will make your mother mad, but it’s better than the alternative – big teeth, lazy eye, a look of unfathomable desperation.
Photo Source: Dove Campaign for Inner Beauty. Reminding women that average never means “average” since 2004.