Do you hate the way you look?

July 1, 2014

looksAll over the world, millions of people wake up each morning and wince when they look in the mirror. It seems no matter how appealing we may be to others, most of us are still unhappy with our appearance, especially during those awkward in between years when physical changes seem to happen overnight, making many youngsters feel like strangers in their own bodies. We may discount features that are genuinely attractive, focus on our flaws and allow these to negatively impact our lives. 

Adolescence is a period of transition in which a major reorganization of the body takes place. To deal with the awkwardness of a new and changing body, most adolescents rely upon the scrutiny of their peer group.  Far from being supportive, however, some of peers can be cruel, either unwittingly by offering well meaning but uncalled for advice, or maliciously by teasing or outright derision, causing to view the way one looks in a negative way.

Don’t believe everything you see

The media doesn’t help. Wherever you turn, you see images of impossibly gorgeous people. Film stars models and singers. Not to mention advertising.  Stop comparing yourself. And don’t believe everything you see. You’d be surprised how ordinary some of these paragons look without their ‘magic’. Teams of professional hair and make-up artists, nutritionists, stylists, artful lighting, sympathetic photographers and loads of airbrushing go a long way.  

Believe it or not, even Marilyn Monroe could pass unnoticed in a crowd. Only when she ‘put on’ her movie star persona did she become the focus of attention.

 Be realistic marilyn-monroe-without-makeup

If you feel uncomfortable whenever you glance into a mirror, this has more to do with your own assessment than that of anyone else. “My nose is too long!” “My mouth’s too thin!” “My ears stick out!” “I’ve so many spots!” The same plaintive thoughts emanate from bathrooms all over the world, often without cause. Unfortunately, how we view ourselves may influence the way we’re seen by others and even put a spoke in our relationships and careers. It can affect a person’s self-confidence and what he/she does and does not do in life.

This is why you need to be realistic. Care is especially needed when assessing our weight, as the image we see in the mirror can be grossly distorted. In one recent study, nearly 60% of teenage girls thought they were overweight, yet only 17% actually were.  Other research found 45% of underweight women considered themselves too fat. 

 Celebrate your differences

When examining your other supposed imperfections, ask yourself, are they real or is it just your own jaundiced view? Could that interesting dimple, crease or crookedness actually enhance your looks? Take your favourite celebrity, somebody whose looks you admire. Are they really perfect, or is their attractiveness due to an unusual or prominent feature? Perhaps one they hated when younger? The fact is a perfect face with total symmetry and features in precise proportion is extremely rare and rather plain.  Your average forty-year-old may seem “old” but often it’s the expression in their face and the energy they carry that makes them attractive, whereas somebody the same age who’s had every wrinkle smoothed with surgery and fillers not only looks blank, but strange.

Above all don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mould. The fashion, beauty and marketing industry would love us all to follow their dictates, to wear their labels and smother our faces with their products. But what may suit Selena Gomez (or Justin or Harry) may look ridiculous on you. So what if your peers are following the trends? You’re not a clone, you’re an individual with your own specific tastes. And if they criticize your appearance, analyze why. Are they trying to be helpful or just wanting to put you down so they can feel better about themselves?  Chances are, most of your contemporaries, friends and peers are too busy agonising over their own shortcomings to notice anyone else’s. 

Remember too that hurtful comments are often caused by spite or envy.  There is a story of a young girl who was told she looked like a duck because of the shape of her mouth. She grew up to be a stunningly beautiful actress, famous for her enviable pout.  Ironically, it’s the very things you may now dislike about yourself that could one day be your greatest assets. So learn to like what you see. Be comfortable in your skin. Celebrate your differences. Concentrate on the person inside and let your own lovable nature take care of the rest.

The bottom line, beauty is your energy and spirit. It is not just about what you look like but what you feel like.  That’s what real beauty is all about.  However, it is also important to show the world you care.  People who take care of themselves, who wear nice clothes and are well groomed sets an example of how the world will care about them.  So, yes wear that outfit and take care of your skin and face, but do it for you.  Do it because you are beautiful from the inside out and as a statement of personal pride and individuality.