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taytaysafreak's avatar

Can you learn to see yourself as beautiful?

Asked by taytaysafreak (244points) February 8th, 2011

I’ve never felt very attractive. I don’t understand why. I have modeled for several agencies. Men are flirting with me constantly. People tell me I am beautiful or hot all of the time but I don’t think I am seeing what they see. I genuinely don’t. I don’t bring it up because I don’t want people to start jumping on the compliments to make me feel better, so I tend to stay quiet with this. It’s mainly my weight that bugs me.

I’m 5’5 and I usually weigh between 110–115 pounds. I go to the doctor and am told I am about 15–20 pounds underweight, yet I still pick myself apart and find things here and there that I don’t like. When I look at my body, I see myself as fat or disproportional. I’ve finally looked at the problem in depth and I am confused as to why I see myself as such.

By looking at the numbers, it would make no sense. Technically, I am thin but when I look in the mirror I see this awful misshapen body and it seems like all of my parts belong to different people and they were just thrown together.

Has anyone experienced and conquered a problem like this? Are you currently trying to see yourself in a new light? How do you go about feeling better about yourself?

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15 Answers

Jude's avatar

What about your inner beauty?

gailcalled's avatar

You might want to consider getting some help; this obsession with your perceived flaws and faults if not a good ideas and will not hold you in good stead as you mature.

There is also the time-honored solution to self-absorption; do some volunteering for people who have more serious problems than yours.

When I was 16, I used to worry about broad hips, an uneven hairline and knobby knees. What a stupid waste of energy. It all seems ludicrous now.

Jude's avatar

I agree with Gail. Get out of your head. Volunteer.

6rant6's avatar

Do you have things about yourself that aren’t physical that you consider valuable? Do you think of yourself as intelligent or passionate or uplifting or dedicated or fun?

JilltheTooth's avatar

I am concerned that you use the phrase “awful misshapen body”. Maybe you could find a therapist that would talk to you about Body Dismorphic Disorder? I agree with all the above, it sounds like you need to do a bunch of work here to overcome these feelings you have about yourself. Good luck, @taytaysafreak , welcome to Fluther, and maybe change your username, you just reinforce your bad feelings with it. I’m guessing you’re not really a freak.

Soubresaut's avatar

as a society we have an unrealistic and unhealthy perception of what’s ‘beautiful’

Try to find something you do like about your body every time you look in the mirror. Even if it starts small—your fingers, your eye color, your ears. Find something new every time. It’s okay if it feels like it takes too long: it’s not because something isn’t there, it’s because you’re out of practice of appreciating yourself.
I remember something my ballet teacher told my class one day we were all being particularly hard on ourselves: someone out there wishes they had a body like yours

I’m concerned like @JilltheTooth with the way you’ve described your body. A therapist may help. But find the right fit of a therapist, or it won’t be as effective.

I’ve bounced around from overweight to the light side of healthy and almost back again. The crazy thing is it hasn’t mattered how much my body has changed, my view of it hasn’t.—My perceptions of my body really had, have, nothing to do with my actual, physical, body.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes, you can learn to see yourself as beautiful. Let me echo what others said, to do that requires the help of a therapist. You will find there is a lot going on underneath. Perhaps there were people in your childhood who were never satisfied with you, and no matter what you did, you couldn’t please them. Maybe.

You have to do the same things that people with other problems like yours do. Go to bed at the same time each night. Take care of yourself. Eat regular meals. No picking at stuff out of the fridge. Exercise. Take up yoga and meditation if you haven’t already.

Your ideas about what you look like are just that: ideas. You can beat yourself up about your thoughts, or you can let them go, and just think, ‘That’s nice. My brain just made this thought that I’m ugly. What a joke. There I go again.’

You can choose to pay attention to any of the thoughts you have… or not. Most people prefer to pay attention to useful thoughts and let the useless thoughts go. The thought that you are twisted and ugly is not a useful thought. Let it go.

Zaku's avatar

It’s possible, though if you hang out mainly with people in industries that are full of such ideas about bodies, they may regenerate those ideas for you.

CaptainHarley's avatar

You are not alone in being unable to see yourself in the best light. “Beauty” is only one of the attributes where people should be encouraged to see themselves whole. As with most things in life, it is best to seek balance. Yes, you are beautiful, but that should never be a source of pride, since you could never have chosen to be beautiful.

Of course you are beautiful! God doesn’t make junk.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

You might want to visit this link.

Yes, I have been, and currently am, where you are. It is a difficult battle to fight because we are constantly bombarded from outside sources that tell us to focus on physical beauty. They tell us how we are supposed to look, what we are supposed to wear, how much we should weigh, what shape our body should be, and so on and so forth. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to see yourself in a different light, it just means that we need to learn to filter the external factors a little bit better.

rooeytoo's avatar

As my eyesight is getting worse, it is getting easier. A flip remark, but I think the true meaning is that as I age I care less that I have never quite met the cultural and societal standards of female beauty. I am all for comfort and it is hard for me to be comfortable when I am caked with makeup, wearing shoes that hurt and are like stilts, jeans that are so tight I feel like I am suffocating.

You are spending too much time in front of the mirror, get out and live your life. And if this worry is affecting your life then get some counseling.

Summum's avatar

This is very common and it stems from the view you have of yourself. When you come into a room do people see you as you have defined yourself? NO You made up a story about yourself. When something took place in the past you made up a story about yourself and you are hanging onto that view. As long as you do hang onto the view it will not change. You can put the view aside and then create a new view of yourself by DECLARING it. Do so on a daily basis knowing that you will keep trying to bring in the past. If you can ignore the past and the little voice in your head and keep declaring the new you it will in time become so. You have such tremendous power within you. You define how others are for you and you also define how you are for you. Others have defined you for them and they do not see what you do. I hope that is not confusing but it is how we humans are.

taytaysafreak's avatar

Thank you all so much! Your advice was so helpful. Thank you, for those who shared their stories, for opening up. I’m going to keep working on this.

zophu's avatar

Maybe it’s more about unlearning seeing the ugliness.

Pandora's avatar

I think most people don’t see themselves as beautiful even if they are. I know in my teen years I was very critical of how I looked because I was always looking to look like someone else. Then I figured out one day that there are millions of people in the world and some may look similar to another but they all have their inperfections and their own beauty. Actually it is usually the inperfections that can sometimes be the most beautiful or exotic thing on a person and draws your attention. Stare at anyone hard enough and you will find a flaw because to each of us we have our own ideas of perfect. Know that perfection is not attainable so be happy with the parts of you that are perfect. Love you for being your own unique self. No one in the world can be you.

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