Recently a friend of mine blogged about someone saying "I thought you were hotter". This got me thinking about something I believe to be true. Other people's eyes are our mirrors. Sometimes what we see and what others see about us don't match. When I view myself I see certain characteristics. I think I'm fat, I think I'm mildly attractive, and reasonably smart. Other people don't quite think I'm so fat, and think maybe either I'm very attractive or not at all. And while we know that other people's opinions are subjective, it would be complete bullshit to ignore the feedback of our peers. The only time I disregard feedback if its by a female I don't know. Girls will rarely complement on another girls appearance if they don't know them. If the girl is pretty, they will still find something negative to say, thats just in our jealous natures. Petty but completely true in most cases.
But its also true that how people perceive us is how we perceive ourselves. If 30 people walk by and comment on how unattractive you are, you will start to see yourself differently. It easy to disregard one or two people's opinions, but in bulk, it starts to change your perceptions. Sometimes this isn't always bad. For most of my life, people have seen my strengths while I was completely ignorant of them. If these people hadn't seen them, I would have never been able to get some of the opportunities that have come my way. I hate to say this, but what people think absolutely factors into one's self-identity. As I get older, I find that I'm less affected by what others think because my own successes have fueled my own self-worth. I've also learned to focus more on my abilities rather than my appearance for self-worth. People can always deny your attractiveness, but they can't deny your accomplishments. Those I can stand on.