Reddit user throwmeaway4352, a self-identified "ugly woman," posted this incredibly moving letter in response to a hurtful experience she had at a club last weekend with friends. She writes:
I am an ugly woman. Objectively, I really am. Please don't argue with me on this one, Reddit. I am not overweight, actually in better shape than most women my age, I dress well, I am great with makeup. But last weekend the world just had to remind me that despite all this, people will go out of their way to kick me.
I don't often go clubbing, but Saturday night was a special occasion. A friend was celebrating her 21st, and it was also the weekend after a long week of brutal exams. It felt like a good time to blow off some steam. Because I don't often go clubbing, I really tried this night to look nice. There was an outfit that I had bought a long time ago, but that I'd never worn because it was a little sexier than what I usually wear. A close friend had picked it out for me when we were shopping, and, in that "you go girl" kind of way had urged me to buy it. I did my makeup painstakingly, straightened my hair which always takes forever because my hair is huge, put on that too-sexy-for-me outfit. And when I looked in the mirror I was even surprised at myself. "Wow, is that me? I actually look...nice!"
I showed my friends. They all said I looked great. And they MEANT it too. Like, genuine happy encouragement. I could tell they were sincere and it made me feel so good, like for once I wasn't just masquerading as an attractive girl with fancy makeup and clothes, but that I WAS the attractive girl. I hadn't felt so attractive in ages, Reddit.
When we got to the club, we got a nasty surprise. We had been told that tonight there was no cover charge for girls, and so none of us had brought much cash on our person. Well, our info was wrong. They did indeed ask for a cover. Only one of us 6 girls had cash, and she only had enough to cover two people. When we got to the door and found this out, a group of guys behind us volunteered to help us out. They each forked over a couple of bucks to cover my friends, but not one of them offered to cover me. One by one my friends were let in and they waited on the other side of the door until everyone got through. The guys were doing everything to avoid eye contact with me. They were looking at the ground, the street, pretending to look through their wallets for cash to cover one more girl. It was so painfully obvious that I felt like just going home. Luckily, my friend with the extra cash covered me so I was allowed in.
Well, once we were inside I thought I could just forget about that incident. I had dressed up and come out, to have a good time and relax. So for a while I danced with my friends. It wasn't long before other guys started dancing with us. We kind of paired off slowly, there was a guy whose two buddies had started dancing with other girls and he was left alone. At that point I too had lost track of my friends and was alone. He started dancing with me, but the whole time he seemed really distracted. Not once did he really look at my face, he was kinda looking around the club the whole time, like he was browsing the scene for another, more attractive girl he could bounce to. In less than 10 minutes, he had seen one. He peaced out without a word, and I saw him dancing a few minutes later with a very attractive brunette. The way he acted with her was just SO different than when he had danced with me. He was face to face with her, smiling, dancing enthusiastically.
That made my stomach drop. I went to the bar, found one of my friends who was sitting there with a guy. She introduced us, he bought everyone drinks. After a while I felt like a bit of a third wheel so I went back to the dance floor. Eventually my group of girls regathered together. Everyone had a guy, except for one of them who had a bf at home. So I danced with her, with our friends and their guys near us.
There was a photographer going around the club, taking pictures of the people there. I assume it was for some promo for their website or something. He got to our group, and literally circled us several times, taking several pics from different angles. I was kind of psyched about this, so I did my best to look like I was having a good time, made sure he could snap me at my best. But after a while I realized he wasn't circling us to get our best angles. He was trying to get a frame without ME. If I moved closer to the center of the group, for instance, he would tilt his camera a little the other way. I couldn't believe it until finally, he actually came up to me and asked me to get out of the shot.
I felt so ugly right then. For all the effort I had put into looking and feeling good that night, it seemed like it just didn't matter. So the night ends with me leaving the club. My friend with the bf at home who was dancing with me left with me so I wouldn't be alone. The rest of my girl friends didn't notice what had happened with the photographer, so when they asked me where I was going I just told them I was tired and wanted to go home. And since I wasn't leaving alone, they let me.
So yeah, that's my story from the weekend.
Please be kinder to ugly people, Reddit. Maybe one of the people I met that night will read this post and recognize themselves. I hope so, if only so they can know how behavior they're barely conscious of can affect someone else.
Her letter highlights the devastation of not feeling attractive, and of discrimination in general. Next time someone looks downtrodden or left out, take throwmeaway4352's words to heart and be kind.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.