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Trust Me, It Was News To Me Too That I Am ‘Very Nice To Look At’

Smart, charming, funny, clever on Twitter, I already knew all of those things about myself, but ‘very nice to look at’? When I read those words in the humbling write-up done by Geneva S. Thomas and Leslie Pitterson in their article “The Top 10 Men To Follow On Twitter”, all I could think about was my 7th grade self.

The young kid who swore he wasn’t nice to look at in the least bit, who cared about how he dressed to compensate for what he believed was a lack of physical appeal still lurks somewhere inside of me. So whenever I get praised for my physical appearance, I think back to the first time I was told differently.

The moment happened, as I suggested, in 7th Grade. The conversation was a casual one about something to do with personalities and had all the air of kids who wanted to act like they knew about people and the world but in fact knew nothing. As I started off my two cents with something about “being ugly” or “not being cute”, this girl in our group cut me off.

“Who’s ugly?” she asked.

“Umm, I am,” I said.

What she said back are words I never forgot. I still remember the girl’s name, first and last, who said it to me, but I won’t divulge that. I’ll just repeat what she said to me.

“Oh please, Jozen. You’re not ugly. You’re cute.”

Might I add, the girl who said it was cute too, the kind of girl who dated older boys. So to get her co-sign had me rushing straight to the bathroom after class and checking myself out in the mirror. When I looked at what I saw, I thought, “Hmm, maybe she has a point.”

But even as a full grown adult, I sometimes take a look at myself and think, “Eh, not today.” The only difference is when I have a bad looks day these days, I know it’s not a permanent thing. And, more importantly, I know how to compensate for it by turning on other things like my charm or wit.

Let me break down for you all what I see when I look in the mirror. I see an acquired taste. I’m no one’s type, never have been. Even if I am cute, most women who have dated me have said they have never dated a guy who looks like me, which is a nice way of saying they have never dated a guy who looks like a security guard or a delivery man. That’s right. Because my Puerto Rican genes are the most dominant I have the look of a janitor who knows how to dress. I’m also just around 6’0 and because I like tall women, sometimes I strike out with a woman I want. When I drink alcohol, my face gets flush red, which means for the most part I avoid drinking during the day or in well lit areas where people will say things like, “DAAAAMMMMN!” And even though people say when everyone’s drinking no one really cares, I definitely care.

What else?

Oh my face is kind of fat, my Asian genes have made it impossible for me to grow any scruff along my jaw lines and give me these slanted eyes that make everyone question whether or not I’ve been smoking some funny cigarettes. My hair is a big mess of Asian-African-Rican genes and I could use some more muscles. It’s like when God made me he said, “You wanna look good? It’s going to take work.” So yeah, trust me, I don’t wake up looking like God’s gift. That doesn’t come until after the shower.

I say  none of this for anyone to feel sorry for me, so please, no pouty-faced comments saying things like, “Aww Jozen, you’re cute” or “Oh Jozen, you definitely look so good I would sleep with you without knowing your last name.” I don’t want to hear any of that (well, maybe the second one, but you can email me that on the side), because I’m not writing this to throw some pity party. All I want to do is shed light on a dirty little secret us men have.

Men care about the way we look, we just don’t let it stop us from approaching the women we want. But the idea that men don’t care about whether or not they’re good looking or don’t assess such things, is ridiculous. Oh, we care just as much as females do, and we shouldn’t be considered metrosexuals because of it.

For years, men have been going to the barbershop to get their haircut once a week. Back in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s when men were supposedly men, those guys always made sure their outfits were crisp, clean, and fit just so. And since the first moment man was able to see himself in a reflection, he’s always given himself a once over just in case the next woman he ran into was his future wife.

That being said, ladies, don’t be afraid to tell a man he is ‘very nice to look at’ if you feel so inclined. We may not need the ego boost, but men like compliments too and not necessarily the ones about how smart we are. Instead, every now and then, when you see your man getting ready for work or something like that and he looks at you to say, “How do I look?” Look him in the eye and say, “Damn fine.” Trust me, it’ll be a good look.

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  • Nic E. Shock

    Cute to read. It is necessary for women to remind themselves sometimes that just as much as we need the compliments, men do too. Insecurity doesn’t care what gender, color, or race you are.

  • Yesi Jukebox

    This was a good read.

  • MultipleHeart

    Every time I tell the man I am seeing that I think he is sexy or cute he blushes. It is nice to know that men have their off days just like us women do.

  • Tiffany

    Nice, congrats on being names one of the top 10. Trust me I always like to tell a man he look “fine” and I make sure I slap him on the ass for good measure.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  • **inquiring mind**

    Awww Jozen, I thought this post was cute. Only d-bags think they’re HAWT all the time… which shows some insecurities can give character- YAAAAAAAYYY for low self-esteem! LOL

  • Mmmhmmm..

    This was a good one :)…. I am Puerto Rican Female and I must say the whole “Puerto Rican genes are the most dominant I have the look of a janitor who knows how to dress.” Its a cute line and it made me laugh … and smh at the same time lol… … But the whole post was entertaining … Kudos to you 🙂

  • Ru’a’Lu

    I love your honesty, It’s so…hot! And not trying to sound like a clichèd motivational speaker, & probably failing – bt even on your- broke-down-please-don’t-leave-the-house-ugly-days, you have a crazy amount of charm, which I’m pretty sure you already know!

  • capricorn

    I have had the same thing happen to me. Puberty hit and the curves came with it and suddenly the “smart girl” became the “cute girl”. No one mentioned to me when this change happened, and I still see myself as the “smart girl” who may or may not care about being “cute” (depends on the day/what I’m doing).

    Dead @ Tiffany, but a good ass smack can do some thangs. . . lol!!!

  • fixedwater

    I get it, and i know I’m guilty of not providing the compliments i think in my mind. i have often thought some of my male coworker/good friends looked nice but didn’t put it to voice.
    alternatively, the jokes when they have messed up come fast and furious sometimes. I will definitely consider striking a better balance.

  • A

    “I feel like I’ve grown into a solid 8, but definitely have my 6 and 7 moments like when I’m sick or don’t get a haircut for like three weeks. Overall though, I give myself an 8 and I think the women who have dated me would give the same answer if they spent enough time with me.”

    You think you’re an 8, but you it was “news to you”?

  • L. Dejean

    “Oh my face is kind of fat, my Asian genes have made it impossible for me to grow any scruff along my jaw lines and give me these slanted eyes that make everyone question whether or not I’ve been smoking some funny cigarettes.”

    ^^^The Asian in combination with the Trini in my blood gave me those slanted eyes too…i can’t keep my eyes open for squat in a photo! If they are open, it’s a fluke…forget when drinking, open eyes aren’t an option!

    I never really got compliments on my looks till college…in Middle School, High school, i was the chick with the big book bag and i wasn’t noticed till Senior prom…its funny cause i didn’t hear about anyone crushing on me in hs till several years into or after undergrad!

    This was a great post & i will make an effort to compliment someone i see as attractive!

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  • goalawal

    I have heard that we “men are only as good as our last haircut”…………….. so keep that hair line shaped up and that “i will holler @ women i dont have any business talking to” attitude and you shall overcome… Good post and you were in good company on that top 10 twitter list!

  • Celenia

    *takes out mental not pad and makes note*

    Great post today! As I was reading I realized that most of the time when I do compliment a man it’s usually associated to a nice suit they have on as opposed to just how good looking they are regardless if they’re dressed up or not.

  • MadScientist7

    i remember the first time a girl told me i was really i was cute. it was my sister’s friend. she was about 8 years older than me. she told me i was really handsome and if i was like 5 years older she would seriously consider talking to me.

    nowadays i don’t think i’m the best looking dude but then again i don’t think i’m the worst looking dude.

  • Natasha

    I actually started supporting this blog based off of the top 10 men to follow on twitter list. I read the “nice to look at” comment and I was sold:)

    “I’m also just around 6′0 ”

    When I read that I was like yes!

    “because I like tall women”

    When I read that I was like no! LOL, yea it’s the tall men make me feel safe thing. But most men are taller that me, so…

    I used to be intimidated by attractive men. Me being a big girl, No Precious. I did not have the courage to say anything because I did not feel good enough. Yea, sad I know. Reading today brought me back to that place of wanting to tell a man he was fine, but not saying anything. Now, I tell a man he looks good in a mintue. Like you Jozen I had to learn to work what I am great at. Being charming is my thing too. And the sweet heart thing I have on lock. So lots of smiles, hugs and compliments come from me. I am not a man’s first choice, but thats fine too. kinda like a diamond in the rough.

    I remember a few years ago I worked as a camp counselor in DC. I was new to the area at the time so I stayed to myself a lot. So I was not the girl everyone flirted with and I just assumed it was due to my weight. Looking back I did not give anyone a chance to get close to me. Anyways after my first pay period I went and styled my braids. I came back fresh and one of the male counselors put his arm around me and said you look so cute. I like who me? I did not know what to say. It caught me off guard. So, yea getting some LOVE when you least expect it is the best!!!

  • Mia

    I admit that whenever I see a man that I find attractive, I hold my tongue with the compliments. I usually just compliment the clothes they’re wearing. I am aware that compliments should go both ways, and I’m trying to change. It’ll take some time.

    Today’s post reminds me of something you tweeted a while ago about your frustration with women not complimenting men. I know with my friends, there is this assumption that because the male ego is so big, men don’t need to be complimented in return.

    When you tweeted the link to the list on Friday and I read it, I was cracking up, because I was thinking the same thing. I mean, I was sold the minute I decided to follow you on Twitter back in January, and I saw that profile picture of you with this intense, sexy, modelesque look in your eyes (you have really beautiful eyes, so if this writer thing doesn’t turn out well, you can become eye model). I thought, “Yep! He’s fine.” BTW, that current picture is FIYAH!

  • Miss. Riss

    Congrats on the Top 10 listing. You’re ranked up there with a Rhodes Scholar, actors and musicians! That’s what’s up!

    On the overall post, I just have two things to say: “Aww Jozen, you’re cute” and “Oh Jozen, you definitely look so good I would sleep with you without knowing your last name.”


  • Theryl

    You do realize that you just opened Pandora’s Box with this post? You will have women coast to coast mailing their panties to you. Can we say coochie mail? Lol. AND your going to EMF?? Jozen, my friend, you are about to be the luckiest dude on earth! Enjoy the “attention” LOL 🙂

  • mentos

    Jozen I loved this post. Very cute. I am not cute 1st thing in the morning either. Check after the face wash and toothpaste have done their magic! 🙂

  • Ari

    Hey Jozen. I was put onto your blog a few days ago by Clutch Magazine’s feature on you in its “Top 10 Men to Follow on Twitter” and I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. They are so honest, relatable (even for me as a female) and funny. So far my favorites are “Just Because I Want To Sleep With You, Doesn’t Mean I’m Disrespectful”, “The Five Things I Lost When She Moved Out” (taking your Bible was low, lol!) and “Lessons from My Step Dad” (which was really sweet). You’ve got a new faithful reader in me. Keep up the good work.

  • Nicole

    It is funny how a simple comment can stick with you for life. She probably didn’t think anything of it, but you still remember her first and last name. Wow.

    “Oh, we care just as much as females do, and we shouldn’t be considered metrosexuals because of it.”~ Love it.

  • mo

    I really liked this article it was pleasant

  • KB

    I think it’s hilarious that you described yourself as an acquired taste. Like you’re beer or something.

  • mimi

    This really really made me smile. This post may be one of my recent favorites on here.
    I consider myself an “acquired taste” as well, so it was interesting to read that. I’m nobody’s type– looks wise and never have been either.


  • Violet

    I don’t know that you’re nobody’s type. I know plenty of guys who have a thing* for women of mixed races. Can’t help but speculate that this also applies to the ladies. As America continues to brown up the number of people checking multiple boxes in the race/ethnicity category for the Census will be far greater than that of the number of us who check one. Being mixed race (aren’t we all?) is becoming the norm, maybe even chic. I think that “mixed race guy” probably is and will continue to be a number of women’s type.

    On another note, (I know you don’t want to read this but) you made my heart hurt a little. Couldn’t have predicted your body image issues. I’ve now concluded that they are largely the source of your bravado and machismo. This took bravery and serious introspection to share. Thanks.

    *Still another note. I HATE such tokenism/fetishism.

  • Fallible Sage

    I definitely don’t think I’m anybody’s “type”; I’m the type she didn’t know she liked until she liked it usually. Took me a while to believe it too once it was revealed to me that I might be attractive back in high school (Being from the Virgin Islands, I was for all intents and purposes a “foreigner” and difference can be a death blow socially for a high schooler). I’m very confident today, but occasionally will regress into that kid, in my head of course, you’d never know it. Men appreciate reassurance in the form of compliments too, even the most confident of us have insecurities, we all do.

  • Kae-Toya

    That article made me follow you on twitter and this blog……….:)