Physical Appearance And Self-Esteem Connection
Updated September 11, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault
When we’re in our teen years, it’s easy to get down on ourselves as we’re figuring out who we really are, all during our awkward physical phases of zits, braces, and stringy hair. This can lead many teens to feel insecure about their physical looks. When we’re in our 20s, we’re receiving the same physical messages we were in high school, of what physical traits are “beautiful” or what is trendy.
We all know that physical appearance fades and, in the grand scheme of things, personality is infinitely more important than physical appearance. Even still, it’s hard not to get down on ourselves sometimes about our physical appearance. Here are some tips on how to stop disliking your physical appearance and to start loving the way you look both on a physical and mental level.
Focus On The Parts Of Your Body That You Love
Maybe you don’t particularly like physical features like your nose, but you love your legs. Maybe you feel your chest is too small, but that you’ve got a great butt. Embrace those parts of your physical appearance that you love and accept that none of us are perfect, even those who appear so on a magazine cover. And, chances are, no one else is even noticing the features you take issue with on yourself. The things that you believe are flaws in your physical appearance can be the very things that someone else may love about you.
It can help to dress or groom yourself to accentuate those parts of your body that you love – not for anyone else, but yourself. It can do wonders for your self-esteem when you know you look good – to heck with everyone else if they judge you for what you wear, or if they don’t notice those same parts of your physical appearance that you think looks great. The only person who has to feel good about your physical appearance at the end of the day is you. And if you dress up once in a while to remind yourself of how awesome your physical appearance truly is, then there’s no harm in that!
We all have days when the last thing we feel like doing is acting like Sally Sunshine. It’s equally important to honor the moments or days when you don’t feel like smiling or don't feel the best about your physical appearance. But remembering to smile every once in a while can do wonders for your mood, which can also make you feel beautiful on the inside.
Put Out The Love That You Want To Feel
Refrain From Embracing Physical Negativity
Similarly, self-deprecation (about your physical appearance or otherwise) around your friends or potential partners can be a common defense mechanism if you’re feeling low on self-esteem or less than great about your physical appearance. It can feel safer to put yourself down before someone else has the chance to. But talking negatively to yourself, inside or outside of your head, contributes to a negative image of yourself. It also opens the door for others to speak to you as negatively as you speak to yourself. Experts recommend you identify what is triggering these comments when you say them. Is it when you are around a particular person? In a particular place? When you narrow down what is inspiring you to say these things about your physical appearance, you can take action against this kind of behavior.
Allow yourself just to be you. If you’re more comfortable in baggy jeans over skinny jeans, wear baggy jeans. Fall in love with your makeup-less face. You’ll find that you may come to love your natural look more when you don’t have to put so much work into your physical appearance every day. All that maintenance may make you feel uncomfortable with your natural physical appearance. The less work you put into “fixing” yourself on yourself, the more you may realize your physical appearance doesn’t need much “fixing” at all. You may also find that it improves your self-esteem more to focus on luxurious face masks, taking good care of your skin and hair, or finding ways to be creative in the way you dress.
Getting your heart rate up releases those “happy chemicals” in your brain, like dopamine, that lift your mood and make you feel better about your physical appearance. And even if your physical appearance won't change much from exercise, you will appreciate it more when you know all it does for you.
Celebrities can also afford a lot of personal help to keep a certain physical look, like physical fitness trainers, personal chefs, plastic surgeons, and nannies.
It’s important to remember that physical looks is a part of a celebrity’s job, and that may not always be easy. They may be working spa treatments, wax removals, intensive workouts, and other beauty regimens into their routines every day. Plus, they may feel pressured to spend money on all of the latest and greatest products and plastic surgery to make it seem like they’re not aging. No one is immune from aging. You are worth more than the wrinkles you see in your physical looks.
Your physical looks can remind you of the wonderful life you've lived.
Do you often struggle with your perception of your physical looks? Our counselors at BetterHelp can help you find the beauty inside and outside of yourself once again.
You can hear from BetterHelp users who sought counseling for self-esteem issues below.
We all know that physical appearance fades and, in the grand scheme of things, personality is infinitely more important than physical appearance. Even still, it’s hard not to get down on ourselves sometimes about our bodies. It's natural to not feel great about your physical appearance all the time-no one does. The only person who has to feel good about your physical appearance at the end of the day is you. And if you dress up once in a while to remind yourself of how awesome your physical appearance truly is, then there’s no harm in that! Many of us go through phases of liking and disliking our bodies or faces. But it can be extremely worthwhile to develop a healthy self-image and hold your physical appearance in positive regard.
Physical Appearance And Mental Health
Physical Appearance And Self-Esteem
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