Friend advice or: how shallow am I?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Jules, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Jules

    Jules Magic, motherf@%$*#!

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    I have a very good friend who I have known for about 15 years. We drifted apart a bit over the years with me being in the States (she lives in Germany), but we're still pretty close.

    She's in her 30s and has been complaining a bit lately that all guys she meets only see her as a friend and don't want to get romantically involved. She has been a single forever and I know she'd really like to have someone special in her life.

    Here's the deal: she is a very smart, funny, great person with a huge heart, but she's a total tomboy. And to be honest, not in the cute way. She has had the same unflattering haircut since I've known her (she's had it all her life). She grew up in the country with brothers and I think her parents simply always sent her out to play with the boys, get a haircut at the same place, etc.

    Now, I like her just the way she is, but I have been contemplating telling her the truth about her looks. It's not that she is ugly, at all, she would be adorable with a different, longer cut and some style. I am only thinking about intervening like this because she has expressed unhappiness about her situation. I wouldn't want her to change for anybody, but, at the same time, I feel like someone should tell her that she looks like a 16 year old boy (not that harsh, of course).

    Am I completely out of line? Should I just stay quiet? I know that looks aren't everything, but at the same time, they are important.
     
  2. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    Maybe you could suggest new flattering clothes, make up and a new haircut if she's going to hang out with a guy she likes or something ('so he'd get the hint').

    That being said... I don't really believe in changing yourself just to get a date. I was never super feminine and my best friend isn't either, and we both found someone who loved us the way we are. I'm thinking if a guy won't ask her out because of her haircut, it's probably not a good match in the first place. That's coming from someone who got told 'I wanted to go out with you, then decided I didn't really want to date a girl who's like a guy' (there's no way I would have considered that guy though and the comment made me laugh).
     
  3. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Unless she's willing to keep up a charade for the rest of her life, she's better off waiting until she finds a guy who likes tomboys. IMO.
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Nope, you shouldn't say something. If she downright doesn't take care of herself or her looks, maybe...but having a short, boyish haircut isn't going to stop someone from getting a boyfriend. If she's lacking confidence and is fearful of branching out her looks, encouraging her to make a change is ok, but if she hasn't indicated she doesn't like her hair, you shouldn't mention it.

    Instead, suggest she join a group or do something to meet more people, especially one with similar interests. I guarantee guys aren't friend zoning her because of her hairstyle...
     
  5. Jules

    Jules Magic, motherf@%$*#!

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    See, and that's where I am not sure whether to go ahead or not. It's not that I want or suggest she should change for someone or to get a date... I don't think she has to wear makeup or start running around in heels - she can stay the tomboy she is, the point is that her "updo" is very unflattering. She is upset that she isn't asked out (at all in the last 10 years, really) and I wonder how much good I will do by keeping to tell her that she'll meet the right guy. Eventually.
     
  6. Zhucca

    Zhucca Lab Love

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    I can understand where you're coming from, Jules.

    I'm a tomboy, always have been. Since I've been in construction I can feel it get more pronounced, it really can produce 'manly' behavior. Not that is inherently bad, but we have our gender roles and 'rules' that a lot of people like to abide by. The feminine charm can be ruined in mens' eyes by the way you carry yourself (gruff and rough), swearing, burping/farting, being a 'maneater' (which is not the point of being a tomboy..), and not putting an effort into one's appearance. Like finding a flattering hairstyle, clothes, etc. I'm just repeating what I've heard from my male friends. A lot of them were complaining about a ex co-worker, who did all those things and more. Most men were turned off and even though she wasn't being fake, being a bit more feminine would've gained her several men after her.

    No, you shouldn't change yourself to get men. But when you're single and unhappy, change can be for the better. I don't think that's completely shallow.

    I can't really help on how to approach the subject, though. That's really difficult and I know I would get defensive initially if someone were to say something like that to me. At the same time though, I would consider their advice especially if it came from a close friend.
     
  7. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I totally, completely understand where you're coming from, Jules. You are describing my sister. She's never had a date, and always been "one of the boys" from the time she was a little girl. She would rather wear jeans and a sweatshirt than anything else, often throws on a hat or pulls her hair into a ponytail straight out of the shower instead of brushing her hair, and the only time in the last 10 or 15 years that she's worn a dress was to my wedding (she was a bridesmaid, she kind of had to...)

    Every time I go home, she whines about not having a boyfriend, no one liking her, etc. Several times I've tried to help. One year for Christmas I took her shopping and we bought her a whole pile of clothes (she needed something to wear to work). Another time I showed her how to dry and brush out her hair quickly (literally, 5 minutes) on days she needed to look more presentable. 2 years later, all those clothes she picked out that I bought for her have either been given to good will or are pulled out for funerals or weddings only.

    I keep waiting for the day when she will realize that her choices are keeping guys away, but it hasn't happened yet, and hearing it from me is only going to make her hate me more (we don't have the greatest relationship to begin with...)
     
  8. Dakota Spirit

    Dakota Spirit Devious Little Terrier

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    Yep.

    I'm honestly not a big fan of giving unsolicited advice of this sort, there are just way way too many ways it can go wrong and come out hurtful.

    I've had lots of friends/family try to 'help me' like this in the past and all it really accomplished was making me feel like crap for days at a time. Either I was already self conscious of my look and they made it worse or I was having a rare burst of confidence and they ruined it. Neither is really a good outcome.

    Instead I would recommend helping to increase her overall confidence. Encourage her to be social, join clubs, etc. She may change on her own as she starts to feel better about herself (if that's even an issue) or she may already love the way she is and stay the same, though hopefully with some new social connections.

    Bottom line - taking it upon yourself to question/critique/etc. someone else's appearance? Not really okay IMO
     
  9. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I still dress like that, I still have a short haircut, but I'm married, so it can happen. Theres nothing wrong with wanting to wear comfortable clothing (mens, even) and not have to dress up. She needs to meet people with similar interest though, I agree.

    If she's dressing like a slob though, or her haircut is ridiculous, then yeah, I can see that lol, but I wore mens jeans and had a really short haircut when DH asked me out. I mean, I was presentable, rather. The issue also might be (I don't know how it is in Germany, but in Atlanta) they might think she's batting for the other team...
     
  10. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    Some people will be appreciative of the advice, others won't be.
    You know your friend best, and I think if she has expressed being unhappy with her situation, a light hearted suggestion of maybe updating her wardrobe or changing her hairstyle might really help her out.

    I had a friend in highschool who really struggled in the style department (not that I was any better really). I suggested we go shopping after school one day, and she was over the moon! It really changed her mood and confidence level. Even when she wasn't wearing her "new" clothes, she had that needed boost to help her deal with the arseholes who picked on her.

    I'm a tomboy somedays and a bit girly other days. It's not a charade when I'm boyish or girlish, it's just how I feel like dressing/presenting myself that day. Sometimes people dress the same way they have been for years because they don't know how to make the leap to something new. It's scary, but having someone there to support you makes a huge difference.

    I think there's a huge difference between suggesting she change her hair/clothing and suggesting she act more feminine (which is not what the OP was saying).
     
  11. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    I'm not girly at. all.

    The kind of guy who "complains" about me not being girly enough is the kind of guy that I don't want to be with.
     
  12. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    I've always been known for being brutally honest with my friends. I'd say tell her your opinion. What good are friends if you can't be open and honest with them?
     
  13. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I think some people, especially when they have been labeled or even self proclaimed tomboys get caught in that. They fear trying to be more "girly" because it's not what they have ever done and don't want it to look like they are trying or care. Not all, but I know I personally felt like that a little bit when I was younger.

    You're her best friend and I completely get where you are coming from. I don't think you're asking her to change herself but more concerned for how she obviously is upset. Sometimes when you have spent your whole life doing something the same way you don't even notice it anymore or know how to change. And I know personally a nice new haircut makes me feel more confident which I bet would be more life changing than the hair.

    Maybe mentioning a nice haircut you saw on someone, or in conversation bring up hair and maybe have a few hairstyles you think might look good pre picked out to casually say "Hey, I saw these and think they would look great on you!"

    But, you know her best. If she stays the same because that's what she prefers then I would leave her be! But if you think it's because of fear of change I might try and talk to her.
     
  14. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Yeah. I agree. I've always been a tomboy... I typically am wearing a hoodie or jeans on an average day. But I usually offset that look but by making sure my hair always looks good, and I've got some mascara and eyeliner on at least. But if I'm going out, I am always sure to do up my hair good, put on make-up, and make myself presentable. But I often am too 'scared' to go out and try new things because I don't like the extra attention of 'OMG YOU LOOK SO GREAT!!' lol... it's just annoying to me, and makes me not want to go out and try something new.

    But yeah, I understand where you're coming from. I don't think I would be offended if someone suggested something to me. If I was trying to find a guy though, I definitely would be concerning myself with my looks, so I guess I'm a little bit different than the OP's friend lol.
     
  15. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    If she has low confidence and is wanting a change, just not sure how to go about it, then I would suggest stuff.

    But the idea of changing to "get a guy" I am not cool with
     
  16. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I'm just gonna go against the grain and say it.. you are her best friend. I would tell her.

    one day when she is complaining, ask her "Do you want to vent or do you want advice?"

    If she says advice.. tell her that you love her for who she is and that she is PRETTY but perhaps her "I don't care" appearance is making guys think she isn't even looking and that's why they aren't showing interest
    Tell her that she has such pretty cheekbones or bone structure that perhaps a different haircut would work for her! Tell her that your hair is BOTHERING YOU and that you guys should hit the salon together and find other styles.

    It's not about being a girly girl. I don't think you should make her wears bows and dresses.. but it's about taking pride in your appearance and appearing to CARE about the way you look so that people (guys) will see that and think you are receptive to being asked out.

    I have many many many guy friends.. do you know what they think when they see a girl who very obviously doesn't care (bad haircut, clothes thrown on that aren't flattering or clean, etc..)
    - "She has a boyfriend/husband"
    - "She has no interest in looking for a boyfriend because I mean.. she doesn't seem to be trying at all"
    - "She looks unapproachable and uninterested"

    It's not about changing who she is. Let her wear hoodies and jeans and sneakers.. but it's about showing off who she is in the BEST light :) find a hoodie you love that doesn't make you look like a shapeless blob, jeans that are comfy but make your legs look awesome, a haircut that shows off your pretty face!

    Nobody is going to be able to get to know who she is on the inside if they barely notice her/think she is uninterested on the outside.

    She should wear what she loves! But trust me, get her things that she loves that also make her body look it's best.. she will feel awesome.

    She sounds JUST LIKE my friend.. She wore dirty HUGE hoodies, horribly cut jeans that doesn't suit her and were TOO LONG, her hair was a mess, she wore athletic sneakers everywhere..
    We went out..Got her a cute hoodie that didn't turn her into a shapeless blob, some simple neutral t-shirts that were v-neck (she was large chested so other tshirts made her boobs look weird), converse/keds, SKINNY JEANS, and a haircut that was easy to maintain and framed her face.

    A month later.. a boy in one of her classes came up and mentioned how happier she looked and asked her out. They are still together. (Turns out, he didn't really notice the clothes but that you could actually SEE her face and she just carried herself better in clothes that suited her)

    TELL HER.
     
  17. shazbot

    shazbot not so newby

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    This really hits home with me. I'm very tomboyish, it's how I was raised. I don't wear dresses, I don't even own one. I don't do makeup, or any girly stuff, and I have very short hair. I have people assume I'm gay because I fit the typical sterotype, even though I am straight.

    I had a hard time meeting guys also. Most just wanted to be friends. I refused to change who I was because some one wasn't intersted in me. I'd rather be single than change so I could find a man.

    I took my time and didn't force anything. I'm now married to the most awesome guy, who loves me for me and wouldn't ask me to change.

    Guess I'm saying is support your friend, she doesn't need to change. Those that don't want to get to know her because of who she is aren't worth the effort IMO.
     
  18. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    Looks don't make someone who they are.
     
  19. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I don't think that's what anyone is saying.

    My sister for example went through years where she would wear horribly unflattering cloths because she was self conscious and wanted to hide. At her core that's not who she is.

    Maybe her friend likes her hair like it is.
    Maybe her friend doesn't even think about it.
    Maybe her friend is afraid of changing it.
    Maybe her friend doesn't know how/where to start.
    Maybe her friend is self conscious about changing.

    It's not always about changing who you are but enhancing yourself, bolstering confidence. Change can be hard but it doesn't always mean you aren't being true to yourself.
     
  20. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    I think that it has the potential to cause hurt feelings. I think that, if she were looking for a new hairstyle, she'd have thought of that first in all these years. That said, you know her better than anyone here, so you'd know best how she'd be likely to take it.

    I'm extremely nongirly, but I've always had girly (though low maintenance) hairstyles.
     

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