So did I and had a crush on a shy animal caretaker who was helping me with my research. I was too frightened to approach her (she was so very cute) even when I started dating.I prefer shy girls but most girls like alpha males
I too used to think that women only fell for jerks and manipulators. But as I went through therapy I had to recognize that I never put myself forward to give them a choice. Happily when I cold-called my future spouse, I did not realize that she is basically shy. I learned that when she was hopeful of making a connection for a relationship, afterwards she had felt used by men. She told me that of all those men, she fell in love with me because I was concerned about her feelings and genuinely cared about her and it showed in our love making.
So the only advice I have for you vis a vis your concern for appearances is to make yourself healthy and presentable. Then work on your inner self. Like who you are, have and enjoy your interests, and when you find a compatible and accepting women, enjoy common experiences with her. I am usually an early riser and I still find myself looking at her sleeping and thinking how lucky I have been.