Assume Everyone Thinks You’re Hot, I’m Serious

Hello it’s me, your supportive fun friend who thinks you’re literally the greatest hottest person on the whole goddamn planet. I’m here to talk to you about confidence, feeling sexy, casual dating, and how to feel like the extreme babe that you are. Welcome.

Here’s a question, that I got for real in my Instagram DMs from a very hot friend, to contextualize what we’re going to talk about today:

I have been single now for about two months and I wanna get back into dating and I have been feeling incredibly frisky! Do you have any good links or advice? You are so naturally sexy and I wanna be like that but it’s just feeling so awkward. I have been taking some thirst traps which I feel is a good start. Here’s to sexy times ahead, sorry if this is a strange question.

I have had this specific conversation with no fewer than five friends so far this year, and it’s only January 15th! As a community, we’ve gotta sit down and talk about this. I think I’m specifically asked this question because I seem confident, I have a huge mouth, I love talking about going on dates and having sex, and I post a lot of NSFW photos of my tits on my very public Instagram account (hi mom!).

A lot of times when my friends and I delve into this question – which essentially, I think, boils down to how can I feel good about my body and my appearance and also how can I translate those feelings into being desirable to other hot queer babes – they are surprised to learn that I do not wake up every day magically loving myself. I’m flattered that y’all think I’m a natural at having amazing self-esteem, but LOL. I live in our fucked up world, too! I’ve hated myself for years! It’s just that one day I decided to stop.

That last sentence sounds flippant, but I don’t mean to be, I swear. I know it’s not easy. But it is doable. It’s a homework assignment, honestly. I wake up a lot of days feeling kinda meh about how I look and how others might perceive me, but I don’t want that to be how I feel, so I get to work like a typical fucking Capricorn and force myself to feel otherwise – in like, a loving (mostly) gentle way.

The confident vibe you get from me? The “naturally sexy” way you (might) think I am? It’s not natural at all. It’s a choice, it can be learned, and you too can suddenly start posting low-key almost inappropriate nudes of yourself on the internet and reaping the benefits in your DMs. Here’s how!

1. Fake It ‘Til You Make It

The first step to deciding you’re hot is… deciding you’re hot. Look in the mirror, find the things you like about your appearance. Then look in the mirror again, find the things you really don’t like about your appearance. Now praise all of it. Ideally out loud! Trust me. I’m a fat femme with huge tits and a nice butt. It’s easy (for me personally) to love my chest, easy to love the way my cleavage looks in a tight shirt. My tummy? My thighs? My stretch marks? Less easy to love.

So I stare at myself naked in the mirror every chance I get and I tell myself how hot I am. My tummy? Super hot. My thighs? Fuck yeah. My stretch marks? I literally rub my hands all over them to get to know them and enjoy them. Is this an instant fix? LOL Y’ALL OBVIOUSLY OF COURSE NOT! But has it, over the course of almost a decade, made me significantly more familiar with and happier in my bod? Yeah, it has. It really has.

The exercise of deciding you are hot and worthy of being desired is multilayered. We’re all unlearning different bullshit that the world has heaped upon us when we stare at our bodies, our faces, our selves and decide we are attractive. I’m white and cis and fat, so I know there are layers upon layers of external and internal hardship that others deal with that I can’t possibly understand. But also: I believe in all of you and your potential to romance yourselves, desire yourselves, talk yourself into accepting your hotness. You are hot. You are so hot. Now take yourself to the mirror, take off your clothes (or keep them on if you’d prefer), and start teaching yourself that. I’ll wait.

2. Take Thirst Traps Or Show Off Your Confidence In Another Way

Okay, you’ve successfully (or somewhat successfully) accepted that you are a babe. Let me repeat: YOU ARE A BABE! Write that down. Tape it to your mirror. Put it on your bulletin board. Tattoo it on your thigh. Cool. Now you’re gonna show off your babe status to the world / your crush / yourself / whoever the heck you want to text from that tiny computer you keep in your pocket.

Here’s the deal: you don’t have to share your thirst traps with the world. You may not want to. You don’t even necessarily have to take thirst traps. In this context, a thirst trap is a metaphor. When my friends ask me how I get so many dates, or how I ended up sleeping with that hot queer from the pizza shop, or why I am “naturally sexy,” the very short answer is that I am putting myself out there with extreme confidence. I happen to be using my tits and my ass and videos of me slowly slicing open particularly robust soft boiled eggs to showcase Who I Am, but that is not the only way. I dated a very shy quiet girl for a while who was always the smartest one in the room, and she knew it. She wasn’t obnoxious about it, but she had the best tweets, the funniest jokes, the most well-researched articles, the deepest fountain of trivia knowledge. Her brilliant brain came with a quiet confidence that was honestly one of the hottest things I’ve ever experienced. She never posted a thirst trap. She never even sent me nudes when we were dating. We had an elaborate bit where we pretended this miniature pumpkin was our dog and she would send me photos of him but – anyway, not the point. The point is she’s always had an abundance of dates and everyone I know thinks she’s a babe. The key here is not the NSFW image – the key is the confidence.

You don’t have to 100% believe in that confidence. But you’ve gotta fake it (as we addressed in step #1). Confidence is a muscle. It’ll get stronger the more you use it, I swear.

3. Surround Yourself With Friends Who Make You Feel Good

Do you hear what I keep saying about myself? I am your friend who is going to make you feel like a million dollars. I am going to remind you how fucking hot you are. I am going to assure you that everyone in the bar or on Tinder or on Personals definitely thinks you’re super hot. Why am I like that? Because that is the kind of love and support we all deserve!!!

Listen, it’s 2019. We’re all gonna die, maybe soon. WE DO NOT HAVE TIME TO KEEP TOXIC PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES! If you and your friends are not lifting each other up, we can all just go home. COMPLIMENTS ARE MY LOVE LANGUAGE AND I ENCOURAGE YOU TO INTEGRATE THEM INTO YOUR LIFE, TOO! If you don’t have one already, start a text thread with some supportive friends where y’all share nudes or thirst traps and just validate the shit out of each other. Go shopping with your best cheerleader friend. Tell your friends how hot they are. Instruct everyone in your life to live as if everyone on the planet already thinks they are so hot! As queers, we often operate from a place of feeling anxious about scarcity. I’m here to remind you that being hot and desirable are not limited resources. Every single queer person can and should strive to feel like the hottest babe in the room. I’m not good at math, but I think we can describe this as an exponential net-positive: the hotter you feel, the hotter we can all feel.


4. Legit Assume Everyone Thinks You’re Hot

Here we are, the official prescriptive part of this “advice column.” (Can we call a roughly 2k word meditation on why I support stronger self-esteem and confidence in the queer community via more thirst traps posted to Instagram an advice column? Sure, why not!) You have to just accept this and then do it: Are you walking into a coffee shop today? Every single person sipping an overpriced beverage thinks you’re hot. Are you reading Autostraddle? Everyone else reading Autostraddle thinks you’re hot. Going to work? Your co-workers think you’re hot. EVERYONE THINKS YOU’RE HOT.

Now, pause. We are going to check in about consent and boundaries. Does living a mental exercise of assuming that everyone in a room thinks you’re hot mean you’re entitled to anything from these fine folks? No duh of course not. Will this homework assignment I’ve given you actually change your life and make it so everyone who sees you will actually find you hot / ask you on a date / wanna sleep with you / marry you / etc? No. That’s not the point of the exercise. I’m sure y’all are following me here, but just to explicitly state the obvious: this thought experiment does not entitle you to anything nor does it give you the right to demand things from your fellow humans. It’s about changing your mindset. Which will inevitably change the way you exist in the world.

Listen. Does everyone actually think I’m hot? OF COURSE NOT. Y’all I’m not delusional! Probably most humans in the world do not think I’m hot. Full disclosure, I once had the misfortune of overhearing one of my very best friends describe me as “pretty average looking, honestly” and I know that even in queer community folks are still super fatphobic. Also, almost every time I post a thirst trap some cis straight dude pops up in my DMs to tell me that I look like a whale, so like, I am very aware that many many many people on this earth do not find me hot and are not attracted to me.

I choose to live my life assuming that everyone finds me hot. Like, as an exercise. A homework assignment, remember? Because it helps me find myself attractive to think that way. Because I am literally teaching myself confidence through that act. Because it makes me brave enough to ask folks out on dates and not feel bad about myself if they say no. Because it gives me an excuse to post sexy photos of myself on the internet and if even one or two folks compliment me on that photo I actually feel a boost of confidence. We’re all human and external validation is a real addictive drug, ya know?

Assuming everyone thinks you’re hot is more about you than it is about anyone else. I can’t promise it will change your life or your dating success stories or how much sex you have. I can tell you that it changed the whole fucking game for me. It’s how I walk around this hellscape of a planet getting asked how I am so confident and naturally sexy. Sure, some of that might be my tits (can y’all tell I love my rack?) but a lot of it is the confidence I forced myself to learn. You can learn it, too. I promise.

You are a babe. Do you need me to say it again? YOU ARE A BABE.

Now go do your homework.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. Would also love advice on how to call your friends babes without that ole high-school closeted level worry they’ll think you’re hitting on them and feel uncomfortable! Although I suspect it’s mostly practice, lol.

    • I agree with Snaelle (always) but can defo relate to this fear of it being misconstrued and being seen as the cliche predatory homo.

      But I like to instead think that it’s twice the compliment coming from me, a connoisseur of hot chicks.

      Practice definitely makes perfect! Also talking about your actual crushes if you want to underline the difference?

    • I think it’s both practice and also just like, being upfront. I don’t think it’s weird at all to say, “hey pals, I want to practice more self confidence and I’m wondering how we would feel as a group about complimenting each other more and lifting each other up a bunch? I feel a little nervous that y’all are gonna think I’m hitting on you but I swear, I’m just doing this homework assignment this weird girl Vanessa gave me…”

      I kid, kind of, but I’m also fully serious! What do you think, does that feel doable?

    • When I was in college, we would just call each other “friend” while offering the compliment and that seemed to work. It made it clearly platonic while still being casual and affectionate. “WOW YES FRIEND LOOK AT THIS HOTTIE” on an instagram was a lot more unambiguous than everyone constantly making out at parties and then not communicating afterward ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. You are SO RIGHT, and THANK YOU for saying it because I was doing this for a while and for some reason I stopped. But I’ve never felt hotter than when I looked in the mirror and TOLD myself I was hot. I especially, as a fat person, like to remind myself that I would have been the hottest one around if I lived in the Renaissance and those painters would KILL to have me model for them.

  3. OK, but what if I really *really* hate my body? I’m fat and have a big chest and I don’t like it. I constantly think that if I don’t like myself, no one else will either, which I guess is your point? Gah. I hard to believe people actually like me, let alone think I’m hot. This seems super hard.

    • Andi! I hear you! While feeling like a babe in my body may always be a work in progress, I will say it is super helpful for me to seek out images of hot fat people out there being sexy. Ethical porn like Crash Pad, and some amazing Instagram accounts, have helped me a lot with what you’re talking about!

      • Or maybe it would help to look at pics of people you know (IRL or online) – I mean is anyone really going to claim that Vanessa and Reneice are not sexy? (Besides wanker cis straight dudes in Vanessa’s DMs, and please, who are you going to believe, them or us?)

    • It can be hard if you’re not your own type. You kind of have to take on faith that there are people who like things you don’t. It can totally be hard to separate societal standards (from advertising etc) from personal taste. But not liking your own body is not really a deal-breaker. I’ve dated people who liked themselves, people who didn’t, and people where I never knew how they felt. I just made sure they knew how I felt.

      So I don’t think liking your body is a prerequisite for being attractive (as long as you’re not going around telling the people who fancy you that they’re wrong), but I expect it’s worth working on for its own sake. I’m going to try what the article suggests.

  4. “Listen, it’s 2019. We’re all gonna die, maybe soon. WE DO NOT HAVE TIME TO KEEP TOXIC PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES! If you and your friends are not lifting each other up, we can all just go home. COMPLIMENTS ARE MY LOVE LANGUAGE AND I ENCOURAGE YOU TO INTEGRATE THEM INTO YOUR LIFE, TOO!”

    Words cannot express how much I love this and also you.

  5. I’m gonna throw this in as extra love for y’all who have feelings about this:

    The gorgeous woman I started seeing this year has a different body shape than mine. She’s super curvy and she is SO DAMN SEXY. I love all the shape and feeling of her. Curvy/ fat/ plus size bodies are spectacular and a gift to the world <3

  6. Thank you for this. I will have to remember this when the dysphoria monter creeps up and calls me ugly. Also, I can attest to hanging around friends as my best friend(and maybe dating again?) really makes feel good about my looks.

  7. Hi! Wow, you remind me of the babe(What babe?) Babe with the power (What power?) Power of voodoo (Who do?) You do (Do what?) Remind me of the babe. The babeliest babe to ever babe! <3

  8. I really have to work on my self-confidence this year (yes, really) because last year I gained enough weight to go a size up (and double that in juniors sizing) and I’ve felt really gross. I can kinda relate on what you said about men telling you you look like a whale, it seems like when I run errands, even to Wal-Mart, guys always are pointing and laughing at me. I mean I hate men anyway but I really hate them when they make fun of my body. My body has always been a difficult topic for me, as I’ve been on both ends, I once weighed over 200 lbs and I had an eating disorder in my early 20s and was underweight. I know at the end of the day it shouldn’t matter what they think but it stings sometimes.
    I just need to keep telling myself their opinion doesn’t matter to me and to be happy with myself no matter what size I am. I am going to try to be more loving toward my body and try to say positive affirmations as chessy as that may be, I want to get better with this, I mean we’re still in January so it could be a start the year off right thing.

    • It’s just so dumb to use “whale” as an insult, I mean really.

      “I have so little self-respect and creativity that I can think of no better use for my time than making random women feel bad about their bodies” – now THAT’s a self-own that really ought to burn.

      “You’re majestic, smart, social, thrive at pressures I couldn’t survive for a hot second, and might sing beautifully” is…not an insult. It’s like they don’t realize who they’re making look stupid…

      • This is the perfect response to any “whale” comment.

        I mean, excuse me, have these people SEEN a whale ever in their lives? They’re incredible! Amazing! Seeing a whale in person is one of the closest things I’ve ever had to a religious experience.

        Also, I bet you’re cute and great, so mleeeehhh. [sticks tongue out at shitty people] Anyone who has a problem with another person’s weight, whatever it is, is showing their own ass.

        • I’ve paid so much money in order to whalewatch and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Fucking majestical animals. I got teary eyed seeing them up close with their babies. I’M RECLAIMING WHALE. I’M A WHALE. FIND ME VOCALIZING IN THE SOUTH ATHLANTIC.

  9. vanessa! i love this so much. i’ve always had a lot of insecurity about my appearance but am trying hard to work on my confidence this year.

    this essay inspired me to go buy a piece of lingerie that i’ve been obsessing over for a solid four months, and i fully plan to rock it on my travels and at a-camp this year.

    love this community! you’re all babes and i’m so glad to be here!

  10. Damn, I wish I were at this point–the body dysphoria and fatphobia and struggles to find clothes that fit really get me down, you know? I do try to spend time just like…scrolling through the Adipositivity Project gallery, but I really wish there were more positive images of fat trans people and fat androgyny. I think I kind of internalized the idea that fatness is only attractive if you’re a Curvy Feminine Woman or a Big Hairy Muscular Bear and here I am just round and wanting my chest gone.

  11. Vanessa I love this and wow I was just thinking that I should make sure I treat myself right this year, and what a perfect way to do just that.

    Also, confession time.

    I hang out at AS because it’s FULL OF GORGEOUS BABES.

    The Babe-meter in this place is wayyy past 11.

    K that may not be the only reason, I mean I like you for your brains and your conversation too, but, let’s face it, you’re all so fuckin’ HOT.

  12. This is so great, and has inspired me to stop giving fucks about the increasingly obvious grey hairs sprouting from the crown of my head. I can rock a goddamn distinguished silver mane just as well as – no, better than – any boring cishet dude. SO THERE

    • I found my first silver hair midway through high school. Decided they were signs of wisdom, maturity and being a badass survivor. Now depending on how I do my hair I sometimes have a fairly obvious skunk streak. I love it. #silverbabes

    • I have also stopped giving fucks about my now very obvious grey hair. I recently got my hair cut (shaved back and sides, longer on top….typical barber cut) and it REALLY highlighted the silver PATCHES all over my scalp. I love how obvious it is, and how it looks out of place on someone that still gets id’d regularly. Distinguished is how I describe my look now, especially when I’m at work in black boots, black pants and crisp ironed block coloured shirt.

  13. I am particularly miserable today and really struggling with my body image. I just want creepy cis het men to leave me alone and hot queers to tell me I’m hot. I’m actually pretty close to crying with how miserable I am at the moment. So yeah, please boost my ego.

    • @messicat

      You are a total babe!

      Not bc you fit an image designed to be unattainable. An image created by the cis-het patriarchy to keep power structures in place. But bc you are yourself. Your witchy, powerful, embodied gorgeous self. In a body that gets to feel and be. A body capable of enjoying and being enjoyed. Every cell of you is glorious potential.

      You are freaking hot because there’s no-one else quite like you, and that’s amazing, and so so attractive.

      Keep being your babely self <3 <3 <3!

      • THANK YOU @Snaelle you’re a total babe too! Being a witch is the best thing I ever did for myself. I love to howl at the moon with my full moon circle. I see you comment here regularly and always think you’re great <3

  14. THE BEST HOMEWORK (and also really hard). I’ve been working towards feeling beautiful and confident for the last couple years and it’s finally working, though there’s always setbacks, of course.

    I think putting my clothes on at the last possible minute so I can Feel Myself in my underwear as I do my hair or put some lotion on helps a lot. Not that I do much to my hair, but still. Maybe “as I wait for my hair to air dry and scroll through Twitter” would be more accurate.

    The point is, the more I am aware of my body and how it lets me experience my surroundings, the more grateful I am for it and the more I want to make sure it stays healthy and hydrated. So I try to listen to it and eat if I’m hungry, drink if I’m thirsty and just go to the toilet instead of holding my pee for two hours as I work on google sheets.

    It’s an ongoing struggle, and some days I don’t feel as great as others, but boy oh boy DO I KNOW IT’S ONLY TEMPORARY. Reading Jesus Loves My Croptop by Mary Lambert helps a lot.

    Coming to this website and finding all you gorgeous peeps helps, too. Y’all are beautiful babes. Thanks for having me.

  15. Also, Vanessa, I just really appreciate that “Listen, it’s 2019. We’re all gonna die, maybe soon” is my brand and thirst traps, self-love, and babely friendships is yours and that through the magic of A-Camp and the internet we may be merging to form a most perfect super human who loves themselves and has run out of time for anything else. I’M READY.

    • DANI YES!


      love you angel. you’re a babe. <3

  16. I made the decision to see myself as hot a while ago, and I also started taking some well-composed thirst traps, and it really has changed the way I see myself. It’s changed my interactions with other people (especially my fwb), raised my confidence levels, and gave me the confidence to give my number to a hot butch girl I met who has since sent me four photos of her cat and one of her on her motorcycle. Is my self-confidence perfect? No. Do I still ask the girl I’m sleeping with for reassurance of how I’m doing? Yeah. But I feel much better about myself since I started doing this. Vanessa is preaching some serious gospel right here.

  17. I am a little late to this conversation, but I just want to chime in saying how truly effective Vanessa’s approach is irl. Every time I see her she showers me with compliments and it MAKES MY DAY! I know I am not as vocal about my love of my friends, but I’m going to try harder.

    Sort of related: I have a custom calendar that Nate & Quinn made for my birthday gift in 2016. It is a bunch of my friends being naked or mostly naked in the wilderness. It is still on my fridge and I love any opportunity to show it off. “These are all my hot friends, naked in the woods, isn’t it so amazing?!?!” ps. that was one of my all time fave gifts and Vanessa is a hot babely mermaid calendar queer for a few months. <3

  18. Last time I assumed my hotness, I opened my pressure button shirt in a bold move that spilled my SO’s drink onto their cell phone and made them panic it was destroyed. Somehow this prevented them from noticing any of the sexy. Thankfully the phone is fine, but I am unsure I can regain the confidence. Advice? Tips?

  19. Ok I read this article on my break and the next coworker I saw told me: “I like your pants… I keep staring at your butt.”
    While yes sexual harassment and an overshare— Vanessa was obviously correct. All of my coworkers do think I’m hot, especially the middle aged straight ones?

    • Yes sexual harassment :(
      I personally am am not taking this coworker’s word as evidence that you are hot and instead as evidence that they’re an asshole.
      BUT(T?) I am so sure you’re hot.

  20. Such a gem. A perfect, no notes, masterpiece article that inspired me to start this practice with a fellow queer and we do it to this day. I feel hotter every time I reread.

  21. Not to be leaving a comment on this in 2024 but I have read it multiple times and I guess my question is… what if being ugly and awkward is a well-incorporated part of your identity? If you’re struggling to believe that it’s possible for some person somewhere to find you attractive, if no one has given you any non-rescinded indication that they might since some drunk guy 10 years ago, if your therapist just kinda nods when you talk about being ugly and your best friend responds to discussions of attractiveness with “well, I don’t think it matters because I wasn’t really attracted to my ex,” just like, how do you even get to the baseline to start trying to follow this (great) advice? I’d love to believe more than one person could be attracted to me so that I don’t get so devastated when that one person isn’t (and/or rejects me for other reasons).

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!