I often watch how women fiercely fight their so called imperfections in their appearances. Men also struggle with this sometimes but they are not as committed. Being attractive is less important to them than making a heap of money.

Women, on the other hand, torture themselves with diets and exercise machines, inject god knows what into their faces, and wear monstrous high heels. But that’s not the worst of it. Plastic surgery! Going under the knife! This self-abuse is a form of masochism, and women who go in for it are simply unfortunate victims who will do anything just to be loved. Absolutely anything. Any manipulation of appearance, from self-tanning cream to liposuction, is a sign of low self-confidence and a step towards a narcissistic personality disorder. This is an unpleasant disorder when life seems miserable without total and incessant approval, or better yet — constant admiration, or to top it all — adoration.

The worst thing is that the victims of the beauty industry think the measure of their self-worth is not their appearance, but in having — or not having — a partner with certain characteristics. Talking about partners: the lower the self-esteem is of a man, the higher the importance is placed on the appearance of his wife or lover. Self-confident men hardly care at all.

I really can’t understand why someone would endure something like painful Botox injections when all of world history, science and everyday experience scream that your appearance (and your excellent moral qualities) plays ABSOLUTELY NO ROLE in love, infatuation, sex and people’s attitude towards you. The trick is in something else, which I’ll get to below.

Everybody knows whom John Lennon married and adored, and that was a man who could have had any woman in the world. Now visualize Yoko Ono. She was an acquired taste even by Japanese standards of beauty.

And what about Paul McCartney and Heather Mills? She is missing a leg, but she still managed to bag one of the richest and most spoilt bachelors in the world. (And then milked him dry after that.)

Let’s go down the list to the husbands of Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez and the wives of Pierce Brosnan, Hugh Jackman, and Woody Harrelson. Or what about Woody Allen’s latest wife? She is not about the looks, that’s for sure.

Undoubtedly, these people cannot be accused of not having had sex with beautiful people before.

Meanwhile, there are an awful lot of beautiful and very miserable people out there. The most beautiful (ok, the sexiest) woman on earth, the woman of whom 90% of the male population on the planet fantasied about, whose photograph was in the top pocket of every American soldier in Vietnam — Marilyn Monroe — died of loneliness all alone. The truth be told, she had a heap of psychological problems. As she once said herself, “I was never used to being happy, so that wasn’t something I ever took for granted.”

So here is a question: do you want to be beautiful or happy? If you want the latter, you need to stop worrying about your appearance and start working on your self-esteem. Love yourself no matter how you look, and then the looks won’t matter! It’s a constant. Putting it in the words of Nikolai Gogol – ‘Love us when we’re nasty, since anyone would love us when we’re nice’.

You must understand that appearance is subjective. YOUR APPEARANCE IS JUST WHAT YOU FEEL WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR: ‘To like or not to like’ — that is the question.

Loving yourself or not loving yourself doesn’t come from nowhere. It is all rooted in your childhood — say hi to your parents from me. If a person can’t stand rejection, if he is certain he MUST be liked by others, but for that he MUST be worthy, it is clear that he has no idea about the only true form of love – unconditional. His parents loved him for something oh so special, not for just appearing and existing in this world. They didn’t kiss his soft rosy cheeks and tell him he is the most wonderful child on the planet. No… Directly or indirectly, his parents seeded in him the false idea of being worthy, which means that love needs to be earned, daily. And for that…

“I’m going to be a wonderful housewife, I’ll learn to cook, I’ll look amazing and then someone will then see what a great person I am!”- that is what the majority of Russian women think, whether they say it out loud or not. My dearest, no one will love you for your lush eyelashes, your delicious soup and meatballs, or your easy-going nature. Women are loved for something entirely different! As the saying goes: “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

Besides, do you have any idea how unnatural you act when you set out to be liked? It’s impossible to see the real person behind the act, but one can always sense the tension and their lack of self-esteem and satisfaction with themselves. Normal people are put off by it. Self-confidence does the opposite — it attracts and grabs people. But it’s not only a question of self-confidence. A person has to ‘click’ with something for love, attraction or passion to happen. And nobody is hooked by a perfect nose, a flat stomach or luxurious hair (except for the first moment, which could be the last). We are attracted by something from our childhood: associations, similarities, smells, gestures, the way a person fiddles with their buttons, the sound of their voice, a word, some detail that reminds you of your family home and your parent of the opposite sex. By the way, this association does not have to be happy. All the tricks, plastic surgery, fancy clothes and virtues fail in comparison.

In love, appearances don’t matter at all. All that matters is character, ‘cojones’, willpower, and being true to yourself. That’s what the world lacks nowadays. And only these things stir interest, respect and desire.

If you don’t have enough of these, there is only one way out – be yourself. Develop your individuality and personality. Don’t compromise. At least don’t torture yourself and don’t act like a victim!

But it’s even better to follow your desires, aspirations, and dreams. Cultivate how unique you are, and don’t be embarrassed by anything about yourself.

“OK”, says a scrawny little dude. “What you’re saying is so true and I agree with every word of it. I can read it over and over again, but that doesn’t really raise my self-esteem. What can I do?” I have to admit that accepting yourself just the way you are is, in fact, hard work. At least try to maximize your psychological comfort, respect your wishes, devote time and money to yourself, try to enjoy life, taste it, try it, and have a good time with it.

Your task is to make up for the lack of love and fill the emptiness rooted in your childhood and youth. Set yourself a goal to do it. Consider it a primary, life-defining thing and don’t wait for someone else to make you happy.

Different people will appear in your life and will want to do pleasant things for you when you have a sense of your own worth. Your appearance is just your own self-assessment.

I’ve come up with six rules that will help you be yourself if you follow them. But that’s for the next time.