Dear Dr.Date:I am …

Dear Dr.Date:
I am writing in response to a column you ran last week. This is in regards to the guy who is frustrated because his girlfriend won’t sleep with him and he can’t understand why she’s so afraid. Well, I want to let her know, whoever she is, that I totally understand what she’s going through. For years I’ve had a very low self-image and I couldn’t see myself as anything more than average, even if people told me I was cute or pretty. Even after I met someone who thought I was beautiful — he’s told me this more than once — I was still afraid that I was ugly and unattractive. It’s very hard to regain confidence in how you look if you’re subjected to a constant barrage of b.s. that tells you you’re not pretty and it’s no wonder guys don’t want you. It’s hard to get over years of insecurity and low self-esteem in just a few weeks or months or even a year. So I know how she feels about herself, because I’ve felt the same way. Even though I’m not a virgin anymore, it took me a long time to feel comfortable with being intimate with a guy, and I still am shy about my body sometimes. I want her to know that I’m thinking of her and hoping she will be able to see herself as beautiful, not through her boyfriend’s eyes, but through her own. I’d also like to tell him that I think he’s lucky she hasn’t gotten mad enough to leave him, and he should just be patient. If it’s meant to happen, it will sooner or later and he’ll find out it was worth the wait, just like I did.
–Been There

Thanks for writing in. I received several comments from readers regarding that particular letter. It may seem strange that some of the most physically beautiful women I know are also completely depressed, but it tells us that we are more than who our packaging suggests. Just as us average-looking louts don’t want to be judged unfairly because we are too fat, thin, short or tall, people that look like models want to be recognized for something deeper as well.
I trust that a good number of us know this to be true, but our lives become so confused by the incessant barrage of media images telling us what we should look like. Some pictures may be worth a thousand words or more, but most of the ones we see in magazines say only a few: You should look like me. It’s estimated that we see a mind-boggling 37,000 media images every day. Think of the impact on your life if you read 37,000 words a day. It’s easy to conclude that these unreal images of women and men have to be taking their toll on our minds and, unfortunately, our self-esteem.