I think I'm fairly attractive now, but I objectively was not a good-looking child. Perhaps when I was >6 I looked normal, but after that I had a weird growth spurt or something and I was bigger (not at all fat, but just taller and broader) than most of the other kids. I had a large head with an oversized lower jaw and just ended up looking like what people would consider to be an admirably athletic boy-child. This lasted through middle school and it was at that point that I began to internalize some shit and lose objectivity. I thought, for instance, that I couldn't be attractive or "cute" because I looked too big and "masculine," so I got all weird and started wearing girlier clothes and make-up awkwardly. I guess you could say I had an early introduction to the dynamics of gender-policing.
Anyway, when I hit mid-highschool I was fine again. Most of the actually bigger people had, by that point, grown up to be much larger than me (particularly the dudes), so I came to realize that I was actually only medium-framed and that being athletic and fit-looking was considered attractive. I had also grown into my head/jaw, which gave me some decent facial definition along with my high cheek-bones, so everything was proportionate and normal again. Of course, I never got as much male attention as many of the other more traditionally pretty girls (though I did get a bit, which was odd considering my general surliness and arrogance on top of being sporty), but that wasn't a big deal for me for many reasons which I won't get into here.
I dont think I'm physically attractive because I'm not physically fit and I find fitness attractive, I do find specific body shapes attractive or more feminine and that may over ride fitness to a certain extent but only very slightly, fitness in the main can make people attractive besides their body shape.
I think I am physically attractive. I didn't really think about it when I was younger but as I have grown up I have realised that I am. I mean there are people who are far hotter than me, but generally I feel really lucky. My good physical features outnumber my bad features and enough people find me attractive so I'm happy with myself.
I think the most attractive thing about me is my self confidence. Confidence is hot. Confidence gets you a long way and it goes a long way to covering up any physical imperfections.
I hate the way women in particular hate the way they look. Constantly thinking they aren't thin enough or beautiful enough. I hate that the society in which we live makes them feel this way about themselves. Ultimately everyone has things about them that are attractive and everyone finds different things attractive. So if you are just comfortable in your own skin and confident in yourself, then that in itself is hot.
For those that do:
How long have you thought yourself as being physically attractive and what is it about yourself that you find attractive?
This is a little odd, as for most of my life I've thought I was beautiful, but unattractive. That sounds kind of bizarre, but bear with me! I was always told I was pretty since I was a small child, and I've always liked my face and my hair. I've always been slim, which I like. However, I have small breasts, which I absolutely hated for most of my pubescent life. At my school, there was a definite culture of "if you don't have big boobs, you're unattractive." Being introverted, lacking in social skills and flat-chested, I firmly believed that nobody would ever find me sexually attractive, even though I thought of myself as beautiful. I didn't shake this til I left school and got my first proper boyfriend, and it's only in the last couple of years that I've come to like my breasts just the way they are. They suit me. And I don't have to wear bras int he summer, and they'll still look good at fifty after two kids, judging by my mum. What's not to like? I had bad skin in my teens and hated it though - wouldn't even see my family without makeup. I made a conscious decision to stop that bullshit when I went to uni, and now I never wear makeup in everyday life. Too much hassle, also it makes my skin asplode into itchy burning rage. The way I see it, there's just no point in putting on the slap and high heels for prospective mates, because that's just not who I am. Someone who expects/desires/requires me to do that is just going to end up disappointed, and someone I'll be happy with won't care. I'm just fine as I am.
Do you like your figure, your face, etc.?
I like my face, though like most people there are things I'd change about it. I quite like my figure. I have a nice bum. I wish my body did not secretly want to be a yeti though. Dark hair on pale skin is more high maintenance than I have any inclination to be.
How important are looks?
Ennhhhh. Not drastically. In terms of choosing a partner, I find smell is actually far more important. (The number of good-looking people I don't fancy on the grounds that they Just Smell Wrong is silly.) If I'm attracted to someone, I'm attracted to them. It's usually a quirk of manner or appearance that will irritate me, rather than looks per se. For example, I remember being attracted to someone except that he had a way of his lips going loose and making him look totally half-witted. Also, poor hygiene and BO. Ridiculously sensitive, can't bear it. Also dislike strong perfumes.
How important is it to feel or not feel physically attractive
I find it important to feel good - it's less about attractive and more about aesthetically pleasing, for me. Being smartly turned out somehow makes me much more effective and confident. This said, I'm a natural slob, so I often don't bother.
"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." --William James
I'd be a card-carrying sensotard, but I can't find the goddamn card.