Sage & Blunt Advice: Not Feeling So Hot


Cornelia Di Gioia

Graphic by Cornelia Di Gioia.

Sage & Blunt

Dear Sage & Blunt,

My best friend is really hot and conventionally attractive. She is always getting hit on and picked up by people at parties. I’m happy for her, but sometimes it sucks standing by her and no one notices me! What do I do?


Not Feeling So Hot


Dear Not Feeling So Hot,

I find it interesting that you’ve paired the terms “really hot” and “conventionally attractive,” even if you didn’t necessarily mean to conflate them. Can we break that down? While it’s definitely possible to be both at the same time, these two descriptors do not mean the same thing.

I don’t want to pretend that the institution of beauty, the capital-B Beauty that is worth major social currency, isn’t real and oppressive. Fatphobia and white supremacy still have our desires and sensibilities in an impressive chokehold, especially at this school. These things play a role in who gets hit on at parties. But thinness and whiteness (or whatever conventionally attractive features one might have going for them) do not make a hot person.

You can’t escape these forces that decide who is and isn’t beautiful. We can collectively liberate ourselves from them if we work together over time, but you, Not Feeling So Hot, cannot escape them before the next party you go to.

So, what do you do? You become hot. Listen, I haven’t been thin since the third grade, but I’m trying to get laid a few more times before the institution of anti-fatness eventually fades into obscurity. I work towards this goal by being hot in the face of it. You become hot by caring for and about yourself, dressing the way you want to, reading interesting things and talking to people about them. You do it by understanding who you are and what you want and how you fit into the world — admittedly, some higher vibrations of hotness simply come with age. You can’t know the confidence and security of living in your body for more than 18-22 years until you’ve done it. But you can get started on becoming hot today!

Also, whether you’re conventionally attractive or not, you cannot truly become hot without divesting as much as possible from the systems that tell you what is attractive and what isn’t.  There is nothing less hot than subscribing to mainstream beauty standards.

Maybe you’ve already done this work and you are just sick of being overlooked by people who haven’t. Maybe you’re already very hot. I have no advice for you that can guarantee more people will hit on you at parties. My suggestions are to stop comparing yourself to your friend (there is no way to know the real reason she gets hit on and you don’t) and to focus less on being conventionally attractive and more on being noticeable. Believe in your own noticeability. I want you to become so into yourself that you don’t even care if people come up to you — I think that’s when things will start to get interesting for you.

 And hey, expand your horizons. What if there are more places to get hit on than at parties? What if you just haven’t met the people who can recognize your hotness yet? What if there are people waiting to be hit on by you?


Sage & Blunt