About a year ago, I posted this picture to /r/amiugly without specifying my sex or race to see how people would perceive my ugliness/attractiveness depending on which sex they believed I was.

(*NOTE* Whether I’m ugly or not was not the objective. Rather I aimed to observe how people would come to their own judgement without me telling them my biological sex.)

Putting aside objectivity, those who perceived me as male were clearly less critical of my appearance and considered me “average, above average” and suggested I could benefit from a haircut. In contrast, those who perceived me as female suggested plastic surgery. More than one comment states that if I’m a male I’m average, but if I’m a female I’m fugly. My unedited, unaltered appearance was considered to be average to those who perceived me as male, but ugly and in need of surgery to those who perceived me as female. Many saw me as androgynous, but it reaffirmed my belief that women are judged more harshly for their appearance.

I found extremely telling of how our society feels entitled to point out every feature they deem unattractive on a woman’s natural face, but will hesitate to point out the same exact unattractive features if they exist on a man’s face.

TLDR: It turns out, many commentors had no way of making a personal opinion of what makes someone attractive without the gender constructs of beauty guiding them with what is or isn’t attractive. The ratings from these unsure commentors were solely based on social constructs of gender and appearance. Crazy right?  

/r/amiugly is a subreddit in which I will never set foot

The people that comment in there scare me. I can’t tell if they’re telling people they’re ugly because they’re being honest to their preferences or they just like to make people feel horrible.

I just read a comment on a post by a 16 year old girl. Someone commented, “4/10. Your number one priority should be to lose weight. Your lovely face is hidden under all that fat.”.

I guarantee you’ll never find me posting in there.