How To Be An Adult & What They Don’t Tell You About Growing Up

How To Be An Adult And Growing Up
How To Be An Adult And Growing Up

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I turned 30 earlier this year and with each passing day am only getting closer to 31. I hate to say this but, in a way, I’ve entered middle age. MIDDLE AGE! Yes, 30s is the beginning of middle age. There was a time in my life where being 30 seemed incredibly old (when I was 16), now 16 seems incredibly young. At 16, I didn’t know how to be an adult, let alone anything about growing up.

But officially I’m supposed to be an adult. I do a lot of adult things now like take care of my children, do my own laundry, pay my bills, have a job that pays well with insurance and cook in bulk for the week. This is what I always aimed for, this sort of busy and put together life that I could call success.

Only, sometimes I don’t feel like it’s really success. I didn’t escape the rat race, actually, I fell right into it and can’t get out for the life of me. I don’t have enough time for the things that really matter to me. And on top of it all, I feel like a slave to my employer.

I feel like they missed a lot in school in terms of teaching young people how to be functioning members of society and how we’re supposed to be growing up into adults. Of course trigonometry and algebra could not be missed but teaching you about differences in healthcare plans and how to open a bank account? Totally unimportant. (Sarcasm).

I look at my 6 year old daughter and think, I’ve got to do better, honestly. I hope she’s not as unprepared for adulthood as I was because the learning curve is steep. And at 30, I still don’t feel like I’ve truly caught up.

So here’s what they don’t tell you about being an adult and growing up:

1) There’s no true freedom

Freedom they said. Growing up and being an adult is about having complete freedom. No more parents giving you curfews or giving you a pitiful allowance. As an adult you get to call the shots and make decisions about your life. When I was an adolescent I really thought that this was how life worked. If only I was an adult, things would be so much better.

Actually, it doesn’t work like that. Because of a thing called “Money.” Living with your parents and being “controlled” by them is actually more of a safety net. Children don’t have to worry themselves with the day to day cost of living. Things like food, clothes, shelter and transportation are 100% covered, in most cases, by parents. So even though as a teenager you’re limited in what you can do, major responsibilities have yet to fall on your plate.

Adults on the other hand have major constraints on their freedom in terms of having to make an income that subsidizes their daily lives. They have to go to sleep early to wake up at 6am to get to their job. It’s a money imposed curfew. They can’t buy ridiculous $1500 Gucci shoes because they realize that their going to have to work X hours/days to pay it off.

As an adult I wish I knew that my adolescent years would be the most relaxing and fun times of my life. Even though I had some restrictions, I had youth, time and energy on my side.

2) People only care about themselves

I was raised learning that it was important to care about each other, to share and, in general, to have good virtues. It was such a huge life lesson to see how time and time again people only acted in their own best interest. In some instances it came across as terribly selfish, in others, as an act of self preservation.

It was definitely a hard lesson for me because, in most cases, people were super nice to my face. But when push came to shove, whenever either a coworker or friend saw an opportunity that benefited themselves over me, they took it. If it was only an acquaintance, it was SURE to happen.

Meanwhile, I was raised to put others before myself, be selfless, be giving, and think about others’ needs. It took me a long time to learn that these values are important but I needed to use them sparingly, with people who deserved it from me. Everyone else needs to earn it.

3) Bills, Bills, Bills

I kind of already touched on the reality that adulthood is centered around paying your bills. But honestly growing up I never realized how expensive life in general is. You really need to make $100K a year minimum where I live just to make ends meet. When I was 16 I would have been happy to earn $20k a year, but things are different when you have to pay your own housing, food, transit, clothes and everything else bills.

I used to be like, “Why can’t my parent’s buy me these dumb candies I want or shoes or whatever?”

Adult me wants to smack little me and say, “Bitch! Our parents didn’t have money for that just like I don’t have money for that shit with my kids!”

When you’re unexposed to the realities of the world you kind of really have a sense of naïveté about things and how stuff works.

Now at 30, bills take pretty much all your money. And when I was 16, $200 felt like a windfall, now $200 feels like $5 out of my pocket because life is just too expensive.

I used to think that money was easier to attain or that my parents were just too stingy, but they were actually very smart with money and a lot of my good spending habits are learned from them!

4) Relationships are really hard

Finding the right relationship that could last a lifetime is probably the HARDEST thing to manage as an adult. I started dating “late” compared to other people. I had my first boyfriend at 18. As an adult, building long term relationships are super difficult. When I was younger, I didn’t understand why people broke up suddenly or why LOVE couldn’t win. Couples who were voted the cutest in class would break up out of nowhere. Of course in high school and college, this would be the talk of the school and everyone would gossip and speculate about what happened. “He cheated on her.” “She didn’t like that he was liking other girls’ pictures.” It was kind of like some sort of teen soap opera.

Now I’ve realized that you can just break up with someone because they don’t like the same food as you or aren’t as clean as you. Cheating is just one of the many reasons why relationships don’t work out. There could be a cultural divide. He could be misogynistic or she can be a misandrist. It could be one fight that you never bounce back from. Literally so many reasons why relationships aren’t meant to last.

When I was young I just couldn’t understand this. I sort of had this preconceived notion that there were “soulmates” or one person in this world that could “complete me.” At the end of the day, relationships aren’t meant to complete you, most importantly they should add value to your life and compliment who you are as a person. Toxic relationships do just the opposite. But toxic relationships aside, just finding a healthy relationship and getting through the tough spots is hard as hell! I guess that’s just part of growing up, realizing your ideals are just that-ideals.

So now when I hear that some cute and favorite couple I know of broke up, I just shake my head and think to myself, “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.” Because adult relationships are never easy.

5) You’re never going to feel like you have it all together

It’s never going to happen. I always thought that it would but I never woke up and felt like adulthood hit me. Yes, I’m more responsible now because I have to support a family. Yes, I pay my bills because otherwise I would be out on the street. Yes, I make conservative choices and stick to a routine. But am I this way because I choose to be or because life has forced it on me?

Sometimes I get people in their early 20s who look up to me. I can tell they look at me and see me as someone who has it put together. And I look back at them like, “not really…” Just because someone has a kid, a husband and a job does not mean they are put together. I still have so much on my bucket list.

Like not working a job that makes me hate myself, having a surplus of money to buy a house, having a semblance of a work/life balance, buying new furniture, getting a second car, not relying on my parents still for some financial support and other things like that.

I am NOT put together. Every day I feel like I’m one catastrophic event away from falling apart instead of growing up.

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So yeah, if I had my pick I would just live my childhood/adolesence years over and over again because this sh*t is HARD. I wish I would have known that all I have to look forward to growing up is paying bills, not having enough vacation time, the ability to drink alcohol and working long hours.

If you were born after 2001, all I have to say to you is enjoy your young, beautiful, youthful and carefree life now. Adulthood is just around the corner waiting for you and it’s not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be.

Check out my other posts if you like “How To Be An Adult & What They Don’t Tell You About Growing Up!”
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How To Resell Clothes: Ebay, Poshmark and Mercari

How To Resell Clothes and Get Rid Of Clothes
How To Resell Clothes and Get Rid Of Clothes

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I’ve been going through a phase of cleaning out my closet to get rid of extra clothes. OBSESSIVELY. I literally wear maybe 10% of my clothes. And I think most of us are like that. We buy something maybe we wear it once, or there’s some feature that we just didn’t like about it and then we never wear it again. We hope we might but we never wear it again. I have so many things that I do this with it’s not even funny. Clothes, shoes, jewelry, random knickknacks, you name it. I’m also the type of personality that enjoys going to fleamarkets. I enjoyed sifting through racks for hours and then trying to get the best price. So of course I really enjoy the whole reselling used clothes/items thing that’s going on right now and wanted to learn how to resell clothes on eBay, Poshmark and Mercari.

And it seems like there’s more people buying used clothes. The public is more aware of how devastating the fast fashion industry has been on our environment as well as the wastefulness of constantly buying clothes. So in a way, buying used clothes, as long as they’re in good condition, is fine.

So here is my review on the three platforms (ebay, Mercari, Poshmark) and how to resell clothes on them. So far I’ve sold 3 items in 2 weeks!

eBay

eBay, oh eBay how I love you. Literally the OG of all reselling companies. I started dabbling with online selling in 2016, just selling a few things that were in my closet. Now here I am again, trying to learn how to resell the clothes out of my closet and maybe more if it works out.

The positive of selling on eBay is that it is a MASSIVE platform to sell to people. Since it’s older than both Mercari and Poshmark, it has more pull in terms of being the most familiar. The only issue I have with it is the auction feature. Of course eBay sold itself as being an online auction house first for basic things like electronics, games, clothes etc. And people are very used to getting REALLY good deals from this. In other words, the users are really cheap. Which is fine if you have the right product and can price it low enough.

For me, I’m selling clothes and some jewelry that I’ve already worn so I don’t need such a high markup. I’m pricing most of my clothes at $10-$40 depending on how worn they are or if it’s new with tags.

I didn’t use Ebay’s auction feature but did use it’s “buy now” feature. Here I can set the price, determine shipping costs and describe the item. They have this new option to “promote” where for an additional 10% fee you can get the listing promoted. They also take 10% fee when it sells. After 50 zero insertion fee listings, the insertion fee is $.35.
For the most part, this seems reasonable. I don’t opt to promote it because traffic on eBay is wonky. Sometimes an item will be priced well and sit, or sometimes priced high and move. If someone wants your product, they’ll buy it or at least send you an offer.

The one item I sold on eBay, someone submitted an offer. And since I wasn’t losing money, I took it. I just wanted to get rid of the clothes.

Shipping is probably their best feature. After you’re done selling, you just ship it off using their prepaid shipping label. Their vendor is USPS, it comes with tracking and I find their rates VERY competitive. So for the most part you don’t have to worry about shipping. I don’t include shipping in my listings but I never charge higher than $4.99. Pretty much the best place to start if you want to learn how to resell clothes.

Mercari

This is a very similar website to eBay. I mean, other than not having an auction feature, they’re almost identical. It’s basically the “Buy Now” feature only.

I did find that the traffic there is a little bit better for clothes whereas, EBay it was limited. Views kind of trickle in on eBay.

One main difference is in promoting your listing- just lower the price. The new listings show up on the top of the search but discounted ones get kind of a refresh button and show up on the top too with a down arrow indicating prices are dropped. This type of promoting definitely encourages people to kind of wait and see if prices lower. HOWEVER, there is a “like” feature similar to eBay’s “watching” feature that allows buyers to know if there are other interested buyers. This can create a sense of urgency that could help move a listing along and get rid of clothes that you’re selling.

I sold one item on Mercari and would rate the the shipping as fair, not too expensive but not as good as eBay. For some reason, I feel compelled to offer free shipping on products. That probably plays into why I get a little more views on Mercari than I do on eBay. Sales-wise they’re pretty equal. Fee-wise similar to eBay with 10% commission and no listing fees.

Payment processing is a bit different. eBay indicates the payment has been made immediately, and if there are any issues buyers can dispute after. Mercari only shows payment once the buyer has received the item. And then they have 3 days after delivery to confirm the product is as described and it was delivered. If they don’t, the funds get automatically deposited to the seller’s account.

Honestly not sure how I feel about this. Because I’m only selling small items and clothes, this doesn’t feel too risky. If I was selling electronics, I think it would cause issues to delay payment like that.

Overall a good platform that compliments eBay.

Poshmark

I have yet to get a sale here, but I’m giving it an honest chance because I really want to know how to resell clothes on this website.

Overall, it’s definitely a more social platform. Poshers (aka sellers) have to share each other’s listings as part of the platform’s structure. There’s also a follower and following section of your profile that is above your listings. I’ve been on Poshmark for less than 2 weeks and I have over 4K followers. It’s customary to follow back here. There are tons of sellers that have over 100K followers and following.

Because of this social aspect, it’s more time consuming.

But there’s definitely a hustle to this platform.
Like both eBay and Mercari, you can cover shipping, offer discounts, etc., but on Poshmark you can suggest an item if someone has something of yours in their bundle (shopping cart). This is how you can sweeten the deal. You can offer an addition item be taken with a 5% discount and also offer to cover part or all of the shipping. It’s a sweet deal for them and sweet for you.

However, Poshmark has to be the more expensive platform of the 3 with a 20% commission fee and a buyer shipping cost of $6.79. That $6.79 shipping cost the buyer has to pay will in turn make them more price conscious and the 20% cut that the seller has to pay makes the products more expensive.

I do believe that the clientele on Poshmark is willing to spend and, in a way, they’re more stylish. Unlike eBay and Mercari where you can sell anything, Poshmark is only clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, and perfumes. It’s rare to see anything outside of that there. Since the clientele is more stylish, they’re going to appreciate good marketing and will likely pay more for it. At least you can get rid of clothes and make a pretty penny from it.

I don’t know much about their shipping because I haven’t sold anything yet.

I will definitely keep Poshmark in my pocket as a contending selling platform.

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Overall I think you can make a killing reselling and get rid of clothes in the process. The most important thing is to work all 3 of these platforms. The likelihood that an item will sell on 2 or all platforms at the same time is rare (as long as you price correctly), in which case you can cancel a sale on one of them, but using all 3 makes it easier to get your items to a buyer who will love it.

Hope you enjoyed this guide on how to get rid of clothes by reselling. Happy selling!

If you like “How To Resell Clothes: Ebay, Poshmark and Mercari” check out my other posts!

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Should You Go To College? Is A Good College Degree Enough?

Should you go to college? good college degree
Should you go to college? good college degree

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Ten years ago, no one would have asked this question of “should you go to college?,” the idea of not getting a college education seemed ludicrous. But recently, many disadvantages of going to college have come to light and it has everyone questioning, “is it really necessary? And a good college degree worth the money?”

I graduated high school in 2007, when prosperity was flowing and the economy booming. As young high school graduates we were all excited to start our college careers. My last year of high school was devoted to college applications, college tours and college nights where we would be courted by local universities. It all seemed so exciting. Here I was, about to embark on this new adventure. I imagined that my college would literally hand me a job after and that I’d be pretty much set for life after that. Honestly, I don’t know why I made that assumption, maybe it was all the statistics the colleges threw at me, but I really did believe that.

And I think a majority of us believed it, 90% of my class went on to get a higher education and the rest either joined the military or picked up a trade.

I didn’t have much debt after undergrad, it was law school that put me WAYY under. It was the one year I took but couldn’t finish. But we all make mistakes. Whether you go to college or not is a personal and financial decision that only YOU can consider and answer.

Here are my thoughts on why you should go to college:

Your parents are footing a majority of the bill. Or you have a scholarship equal to 50% or more.

College is freaking expensive. A lot of private universities cost $30K annually or more, not including housing, food and books. Certain schools will give really good scholarships if you’re in the top 20% of your class. If you were blessed enough to get a partial (50% or better) or full scholarship, I’d say that the benefits of the college degree beats the cost. If your parents are able to cover at least 50% of the costs then I’d say go for it as well.

Most white collar jobs want a college graduate and even if you get a degree in basketweaving, most basic positions require a degree. And if you’re able to get a degree cheap from either your parent’s support or from a scholarship, I’d say the risk is minimized enough to guarantee reward.

You got into a really good college program

At my university there were certain programs that were really competitive. It was the pharmacy and physician’s assistant programs but at some universities it might be nursing, finance or mathematics.

If you get into a reputable program in a high paying field it might be worth taking on the loans as long as you have a plan to pay it back. Don’t go taking out huge loans for a degree in the arts or humanitarian sciences. That’s just a joke.

You plan to make sacrifices to pay for your schooling

It’s not for everyone but even a high cost school can be manageable if you make some lifestyle changes.

I read somewhere that there was this guy that was able to come out of his Ivy League university education with only 10K in debt. You know what he did? He made a home out of his van and lived there, then he showered at the school gym. He also worked weekends to make ends meet.

Now most likely you don’t have to go so far, but little changes like going to a community college and then transferring out to a better school or living with your parents from 18-22 years of age can really save you a lot of money.

Here are reasons you should not go to college

You Just Want To Party

Some people from my high school went to party schools. They studied humanities or liberal arts but what they really majored in was how to party. I don’t know about you but $30K annually is a LOT of money to just party. I actually partied a bit during my college years but I also took my education seriously. There were some friends of mine who took their party hard college career very seriously.

A lot of people believe that the sorority/fraternity party experience is an essential part of college. Puking on the lawn, wild sexy nights with hot students, and drugs and alcohol are a huge part of that culture. I remember being brainwashed about the importance of partying in college. Movies like Van Wilder, American Pie and Road Trip were some of my favorite movies that supported that belief, but some of us took the college partying lifestyle to heart. The truth is, $30K is WAYYYYY too much to spend to just get wasted. And if you think you can drink like a rockstar AND get good grades, you’re just kidding yourself.

You don’t want to go or don’t know what you want to do with your life

I always thought it was crazy and kind of sick that our society expects 18 year olds to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives. I remember being in my junior and senior year of high school and everyone asking me, “What are you going to major in?” It’s like how the hell am I supposed to know? How am I supposed to decide on a major when I have literally NO real life experience? At times it felt like I was taking a stab in the dark. One month I’d be sold on psychology, next journalism, then legal studies.

My advice to young adults graduating high school today is if you don’t know what you want to do and have no clue, take a year off. Don’t go to college. Try your hand at different industries. Figure it out.

You don’t have to go to college right away. You can take a year to decipher your interests. That would be better than taking another year at college because you can’t decide on a major and finding yourself wasting money on prerequisites that you didn’t need for a major that you thought you wanted.

I had an old roommate, she graduated in teaching and then decided to transfer to another private school in the city ($$$) and dorm in the city ($$$$) for another degree in liberal arts (????). Well guess what! Now she has two low paying degrees and tons and tons of loans tied to her. She’s a slave to her degrees now.

So think about what you want to do, don’t just float around taking loans hoping against the odds you can pay them off easily with lackluster degrees.

You aren’t good at school

The truth is that there are a lot of people who just aren’t good at school. Like, it’s just not for them for whatever reason, whether it’s not having the motivation to study, not knowing what you’re supposed to do or not wanting to get into debt.

That’s totally fine. I don’t think our society values people who choose not to get a college degree enough. Actually there a ton of things you can do without a college degree.

-Join the military: here you can learn different trades or build a military career that is equivalent or better than a college degree

-learn a trade: plumbing, cosmetology, cooking, electrician, bookkeeping, hvac technician, mechanic etc. A lot of these are really well paying and if you’re able to get a jump on a trade early and without debt, chances are you’ll be just as well off as someone who went to college.

You’re a hustler

Become an entrepreneur. If you think of how much in loans you need to take out for college as well as the high interest rate and then you put that money towards a business endeavor and put as many hours into it as you would college, I guarantee you’ll have a successful
business at the end of 4 years.

Of course this isn’t for everyone but if you have a motivated and competitive personality, college isn’t the only option for you. Most people consider a business as a gamble, since it can fail, but isn’t college a gamble too? Especially since you’re not guaranteed a great job at the end… think about that.
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So there you have it, all the reasons you should or shouldn’t go to college. Hopefully you can take my advice to heart. I wish I had someone in my life who could kind of shake me and help me make these kind of decisions about my education, career and finances, because going to college on a loan is a big deal.

Unfortunately my guidance counselor didn’t do shit for me at the time. They were more motivated to get as many kids into college, since that determined the school’s success rate, than finding the right path for students. And my parents were just as brainwashed as me into believing that college was worth it no matter what the cost.

So hopefully you can take this advice and use it to better yourself, figure out your path and make the best financial decision about your career, happiness and life.

If you like “Should You Go To College? Is A Good College Degree Enough,” check out my other posts

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How To Get Ahead At Work Without Brown Nosing

Brown-nosing. My personal definition is that brown-nosing is when someone sticks their nose up someone’s figurative ass. They get right up cozy into the crack and take a good big wiff of whatever’s up there just so they can get close to the decision maker in their company and benefit from it. Flattery, compliments, baby-talk, gifts and other inappropriate behavior is how the brownnoser get’s their nose as far up that crack as they can go.

I personally find brown-nosing to be the most disgusting, underhanded, and pathetic thing to do at work. And yet so many people are just so willing to throw their self respect in the garbage and brown-nose their way into a big paycheck.

Why?

Because it works. Bosses have egos and for some reason they like when people brown-nose. It makes them feel important in their position. After all, why would someone take a job with more responsibility and stress if they weren’t getting some status and money in return?

But despite how effective and despicable brown-nosing is, there are some of us that hold onto our dignity and just can’t get ourselves to stick our noses up our boss’s ass to get ahead.

Thankfully, you don’t have to sell your soul to get promoted.

Here Are My Top Ways Of Getting Noticed At Work Without Having To Kiss Up To Your Boss.

Be Reliable, Be On Time

This works wonders. Just being on time and being reliable can say a lot about your character. People who are consistently late are generally perceived as lazy, unreliable, selfish and irresponsible. Even if you’re late once, you can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth depending on how important it was that you be on time. Some people say that they can’t control traffic, their kids ability to get out of the house on time or that there was a random emergency that came up. 99% of those excuses are bullsh*t. Planning ahead can easily help you with your tardiness issue. You need to anticipate where you need to be and all the obstacles that can get in your way and aim to be early. By being timely, you’re saying to the world that I respect your time, I’m reliable and I’ll do what I say I will do.

And what kind of boss wouldn’t want an employee like that. When it comes down to it, if you’ve proven that you’re reliable, your boss will see that and give you more opportunities over the unreliable employees.

Speak Your Mind, Share Your Ideas

I used to be so afraid to share my ideas at work. Mainly because my ideas would question the status quo or a direction the company was taking. I was afraid of rocking the boat. I don’t mean “question” like in an adversarial way, but I tend to offer a different alternative. I think that speaking your mind and offering your perspective can be incredibly empowering and help you stand out.

And occasionally I’m able to offer a view that’s highly valued. There have been times when I pointed out a flaw in a program that we started using or a scheduling conflict or paperwork that needed to be completed. Catching these problems early and being able to point them out efficiently has help me seem like I know what I’m doing at my job, that I’m not sloppy, and that I care about the quality of my work.

Be A Team Player

I’ve actually been guilty of not being a team player 100% of the time but this is definitely something you want to do if you want to get noticed. Being a team player means sometimes letting the other person get work that you wanted to do, stepping outside of your role and training others and taking the advice of others around you.

Being a team player is actually really hard because, often, your company is asking you to take part in something that you don’t necessarily agree with, whether it’s the direction of the company with a new hire, or merging departments.

But being able to step up to the plate during those difficult times and have a positive attitude can absolutely make you stand out to upper management.

Ask For More Responsibility

Asking for more responsibility is not necessarily brown-nosing. It really depends on how you approach it. Are you saying that you want to do more work than other people and that you’re better at your job than other people? That would be brown-nosing. But if you really have some extra room on your plate to do some work then go ahead and ask for it. The worst thing to do is to skate by with as little work as possible while everyone else is drowning

A good boss will definitely appreciate initiative and may even take this as a sign that you’re ready for the next step, like a change in role, a promotion or a shift in responsibilities.

So asking for additional responsibility it’s definitely not brown-nosing as long as you do it in a tactful way, without throwing others under the bus and are honest about your intentions for why you want to take on the extra work.

At the end of the day, let your work speak for itself. You don’t need to kiss up to someone, give unnecessary gifts, flatter or any of that stuff to get ahead. People who do that are just really insecure about what they have to offer and then want to play the “like me card.”

And as a caveat, if you’re not getting ahead after putting in good work, loyalty and years on the job then it’s probably a good time to consider other options and opportunities. Not all employers will see good employees and reward them but that’s on them and usually results in a higher turnover.

So just be yourself. Work hard and be friendly. Brown nosing it is never the way to go if you want to keep your dignity.

Check Out My Other Career Posts

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Pretty Privilege: The Power Of Beauty

attractive-beautiful-beauty-1937394

Photo courtesy @longlifephotography

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And for the most part it is, I’ve never been one to believe that beauty played a major role in whether you can maintain a relationship. Like attracts like. With marriage and relationships, they aren’t reserved to the most beautiful of us, though it can help.

Being attractive, as studies have shown, can help in many different ways. Attractive people are considered funnier, more likable, and smarter than Plain Jane or Joe Shmoe, regardless of whether those attributes are true or not. This boost in perception is often called pretty privilege, the belief that attractiveness can open doors and better treatment. There are all types of privilege- white privilege, male privilege, rich privilege etc. But pretty privilege is unique in that any gender, race, ethnicity can have it. Some people don’t even know they have it since beauty can be subjective. I spent many years being confused and didn’t know I was considered pretty. If you look in the mirror too many times, you start to see the flaws.

But pretty privilege has an expiration date. Most enjoy this privilege from their late teens to their early 30s, some are blessed to have it even longer.

And when you think about it, pretty privilege gives an advantage for certain jobs like make up artists, instagram models, dancers, actors, hairdressers and any sales positions, etc. First impressions are everything. When you’re going to a job interview the first thing a person knows about you is how you look. That could set the mood for the whole interview and even determine whether you get the job.

I really understood how powerful pretty privilege was when I was helping two supermodels find an apartment. They were in their early 20s and looking for an apartment in East Village, NYC. Talk about a trendy place to live. They were gorgeous people. These women were incredibly beautiful, tall and svelte; I could see why they were super models. One of them did runway shows for fashion week in Paris and the other had a campaign with Gucci. There’s no better example of how pretty privilege can truly change your life because these two women made so much money, more than I will make in half my career. High six figures kind of money, just to take pictures and be beautiful, not to mention all the free stuff they got from the designers and free food they get on set. It seemed like an amazing lifestyle and all based on their beauty and attractiveness. Personality-wise these girls were like anyone else. They were introverted, nice enough, and friendly. Yet I felt drawn to get to know them better, helping out these top models was so cool!

My own experience with pretty privilege was not nearly as all-encompassing. I was actually a very ugly child; scrawny, short, and kind of man-ish. It wasn’t until my late teens and early 20s that I realized that I was conventionally attractive. Youth seems to do that to people, you’ll see older people bring out their photos of when they were young and it’s like wow I can’t believe they used to look like that! That was me in my early 20s, sort of blossoming.

Initially, it felt a bit awkward to have men and even women want to get to know me based on nothing but my appearance. I was conventionally beautiful, but because I was an ugly child for what seemed like a lifetime, the attention seemed fake and false as a young adult. Where were these people when I was plain? I used to try and make friends and it didn’t work since I wasn’t as attractive, now all of a sudden I was interesting to people.

Over the years, people’s kindness became more normal to me. I recognized that had I been less attractive I probably wouldn’t get the same amount of attention, but I figured I might as well take advantage while I can. Youth only happens once.

Things people would do that they probably wouldn’t have had I remained unattractive:

1. Give me seats on public transportation when its standing room only.

2. Free food: sometimes as an add on to what I ordered.

3. Free drinks.

4. VIP admission to clubs.

5. Offered to study with me in college (I wasn’t particularly smart or outgoing)

6.. Buy me stuff from small trinkets to tickets to shows.

The attention was really intense from 19-24, then started to level off at 24 after I married, and definitely has leveled off at 30.

Over time I realized that being considered pretty did have some pitfalls. It’s hard to be pretty.  It was hard to feel close to other women, there was a sense of competition from them and sometimes jealousy. It was also hard to know whether someone was being really generous out of the kindness of their heart or whether it came from a place of attraction. After a while, I just started to assume attraction was the motivation for male kindness; I had met too many men who held expectations in return.

Beauty is also fleeting. I always knew that and never had my self-esteem tied with my outward appearance. Now that I’m 30, it’s clear to me that my most beautiful days are behind me. Everyone in this world gets older; they get a little more tired, they get wrinkles and their hair starts to gray. And though good looks last only a while, it’s taught me to value my other qualities and aspects of my personality above my physical appearance.

Pretty privilege is a gift that you might’ve been given, no different from being born to the right family or in the right country. But just like any other opportunity, it’s what you make out of it that counts. And though it lasts only a short time, a lot can be done in those years you’re considered most beautiful. So consider your beauty a gift, whatever beauty you have, and seize the day to build a future ahead.

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 18

What Does It Take To Be Charismatic and Likeable?

My Experience Shopping High End Luxury

Tags: How to be pretty, look pretty, how to be prettier, being gorgeous, you look pretty, pretty girl problems, pretty sucks, become gorgeous.