Feeling Ugly



I used to hate my looks. I avoided looking into mirrors. I squashed any compliments on my appearance. I voraciously consumed what the media told me was beautiful – tall, thin, curvaceous, busty and perfect facial features. Every woman in a magazine or television was a moving work of art. And I hated myself for not being even close to looking like them.

It didn’t help that I was highly sensitive, idealistic and introverted. I was this little, shy girl and inside me was a  mess of insecurity, self-hatred, perfectionism and anxiety that brewed and knotted itself into greater insidious tangles. I didn’t have many friends (two, to be exact) to feed my ego. I never really talked to boys and had zilch reassurance from the opposite sex that I wasn’t disgusting. My mother was no help. She called me beautiful but it was perfunctory, as I was her daughter. My sister tore down my self-esteem every day through verbal abuse, commenting on every aspect of my looks until I wanted to cry. She laughs about it now and tells me she was joking but I have never really forgiven her. What she did was cruel. She didn’t realize that every insult dug like barbed wires into my skin and that, as a result, I was bleeding for many years.

After being bombarded with representations of beauty, it got to the point where I was too anxious to leave the house. My face and body seemed odious. In my head, I imagined coating my face in tar so other people wouldn’t have to look at it’s ugliness.  My eye were not brilliant enough. My eyelashes were not long enough. My nose seemed to be a fat potato resting in the center of my face. My lips were too broad. Now I know I look perfectly normal. But at the time, my mind warped my face into one that was freakish and grotesque. My idealism yearned for perfect skin, perfect eyes, perfect body, perfect lips, perfect hair. I wanted to be elegant and flawless and every day the mirrors contradicted this illusion.

I started binge eating intermittently. My depression started to tickle at the edges of my consciousness. I experienced immense anxiety if I was stared at. I avoided people because I thought they wouldn’t want to hang around someone as ugly as me. I had flighty urges which I never acted on to wear a paper bag over my head when going out. Hoodies began to be my favorite clothes. I watched movies to escape but it only made the problem worse as the actresses were all stunning.

How did I get out of this funk? No, I didn’t come to the epiphany that beauty did not matter. Of course beauty matters. Beautiful people consistently receive higher salaries, have more friends, are more successful, happier and confident and even perceived as being more intelligent and likeable. There were girls at school at the time who were fantastically beautiful, intelligent and witty. The jealousy writhed within me every day. It was incredibly unhealthy. I could see their bright future ahead of them. And my future? It was bleak.

In the end, what helped me to come to terms with my looks was pondering about existence. I became aware of my own mortality. I realized how stupid a thing it was, to care about one’s external beauty when one day everyone’s flesh will rot and their bones will crumble. When we’re fertilizer, we’ll all look the same. Also, beauty fades. When I am old and wrinkled, will I lament not leaving behind something that will immortalize me, such as a book, or that fact that I was never pretty or that my beauty is gone? I’m sure I couldn’t give a damn about beauty if I was on my deathbed. No one would. They would be thinking about the significance of their life, whether they had any regrets and be reliving joys.

Beauty can sometimes be every thing. In our society, looks are paramount. Humans are visual creatures. The prettier you are, the more chance you have of attracting a mate, of getting a job, of being selected as a model or actress, etc. But in the full scheme of things, when life or death stares at you hard in the face, beauty doesn’t matter one jot. Whether you are ugly, average or beautiful, you are still going to experience suffering and sorrow. You are still going to be born. You are still going to die one day. Because we’re all humans. We’re all blood and sinew underneath. It doesn’t matter.

Do I still feel ugly sometimes? Hell yeah. And, just saying, Facebook doesn’t help. But do I let it get to me so much anymore? No. Even if you’re not the most attractive person, you can still read. You can still write. You can still dream. You can still create. You can do all sorts of things. You can be happy without being the epitome of beauty. You can be happy with being average. If you think you’re ugly, you can use make-up sparingly to brighten things up and work on your confidence. There’s always going to be someone out there who thinks you’re beautiful.

You’re beautiful. So what? You’re ugly. So what? No one really cares.

So, all I’m going to say is, live your life, breathe the air, smile and to hell with what society or other people think. You are you. You exist. You have a mind. You can think. Your hands can do things, your eyes can see. And that’s all that matters.


11 thoughts on “Feeling Ugly

  1. I have no idea what you look like but you are a beautiful person and that shows in your postings. Dont ever feel ugly. Though I know what you mean. I am sure it was worse for you because females are held to higher standards for looks (more of that gender stereotyping stuff) I am not much to look at and women were cruel to me when I was younger. I thought if I looked like Brad Pitt, I could have been a poor rude creep and gotten women to like me, but being who I am and being sensitive and nice, I got insulted or friend zoned. Now I say, who cares. Those who love me, love me for who I am not how I look.

    There are many attractive successful UGLY people in this world. I have met many and there are many physically average BEAUTIFUL people in this world who dont have much and dont care.

    Anyway, my main point is YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL PERSON. Looks are not what makes beauty.

  2. Your honesty, your love, you are amazing! I realize that there is beauty and there is glamour. My sister, who happens to be a beauty queen and a trophy wife, is glamorous. All my life, I have been told how beautiful she is. When I got married the first time, my aunt came up to me when I was in my wedding dress, to tell me how beautiful my sister looked that day. I was crushed. I went through my whole life with insecurities (I am almost 55 years old). Just about a month ago I realized that she is glamorous, with tons of make-up, expensive clothes, etc. I have never worn make-up and tend to be naturally grungy (I was so happy in the 90s when it was acceptable).

    On the other hand, my sister is selfish, fake, not-all-too bright. I am warm and giving, strangers talk to me in stores, I bring smiles to peoples faces, I take care of my 91 year old mom, volunteer my time for animals. I love my husband and son so much, I cry at music and art. When I realized who the true beauty was, I embraced myself.

    Yeah, I still have problems with it. I’m still insecure, especially when I hear comments from strangers about my appearance. I have had men actually come up to me and tell me how ugly I am, as a highly sensitive INFP, it is devastating, and I know I have to let it go, but it isn’t easy.

    • Thank you. Honestly, your comments, like all the comments on here, are simply lovely. I’m so grateful, and so glad that you liked some of my posts. Even though I’m only a stranger, perhaps on the other side of the globe, from one dreamer soul to another, I wish you incandescent happiness and fulfillment in your life, because you are beautiful (cliché, I know). You are beautiful because you are a human being, because you are a living, sentient, breathing creature, and deserve to live a beautiful life, as a manifestation of this universe. ❤

      • Thank you so much for your kind words. Although we have never met, you aren’t a stranger to me. You open your heart to all that will listen, encouraging others to do the same.

      • You know, this is a bit off tangent, but I don’t know whether it’s a case of seeing shapes in clouds or make things that don’t fit, well, fit, but the descriptions for Virgo tend to match me perfectly. It’s probably me just forcing every bit of information relate to myself, though, seeing as how many Virgos there are in the world. What has been your experience with this? 🙂

  3. Maybe I don’t have the best body, good teeth or the prettiest hair. I hated being compared to my prettier cousin. I remember thinking about how homely I am, and for years about how I had to compensate by being smart or having some kind of talent.

    I just want my inner beauty to outshine all the ugliness on the outside.

    • No-one is ugly. Truly. It is all just skin and flesh, in the end; what actually matters is always the inside. If you look at people, we all have similar eyes and noses and mouths, it is the same blueprint only using different colors and shapes for the various components. So, you are beautiful, because you are human and you exist. And your inner beauty will make you outer beauty shine all the more. ❤

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