A very enlightening viewpoint! A bit of a revelation, to be sure. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but think, “where does she meet these men”? I mean, who thinks like that? I sure don’t, and I’ve been a male all my life. :)
Believe it or not, men are as diverse personality-wise as women are. Just as 90% of sex happens in the brain, so does 90% of our perceptions; you see what you expect to see. Note that you’re talking about how YOU feel about yourself. Have your men actually been verbally shaming you? (And, if so, why in hell did you ever give them a second date?) Perhaps it’s my age, but I finally reached a point where I really don’t give a crap about how anyone thinks I look: I am how (and what) I am. Deal with it or not. I guess I’m also wired weird in the sense that I tend to look for the positive in everyone, simply because if you look for fault, soon fault is all you will see. I want my world to be a beautiful place, so I seek beauty in everything. And there is beauty to be found in everyone.
Lastly, I will agree with some others below who pointed out that religion does enter the picture, making us all feel as if we’re doing something wrong when we’re simply following our biological imperatives (and falling in love in the process). As an atheist, I don’t share many taboos, nor do I experience shame when doing consensual things that harm no one. As Rick Nelson once sang, “You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.” If you think you look sorta hot when you saw yourself in the mirror, guess what; your eyes are functioning just fine! Stop worrying what other people — men OR women — think. If you’re happy with yourself, then BE happy, and don’t let anyone take that away from you.
Just my two pennies. Thanks again for the insight. All men should at least take note here.