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tw. death, body image/ appearance

orangejuiceorangejuice Posts: 16 Settling in
i have somehow managed to spin myself into a never ending web of crisis and self-awareness that possibly has no end! hurray!

there are so many structures within society that dictate what we all as a whole think of as "beautiful" and "ugly"
eg. racism and how this is so deeply ingrained into society nevermind what we deem as "beautiful"
things like wide noses and dark skin are often not seen as beautiful as they do not meet the standard of what is beautiful
my dilema is how do i function in a world where there are so many systems that dictate what and how people view what is beautiful
and what is not

i want to feel good about myself and feel beautiful and I do not feel beautiful right now because i do not meet these standards at all
and i want people to find me beautiful and i want to feel desirable
but all these things
clear skin
the "perfect body"
"the perfect hair" are all things that have been decided for us by structures within society as we are not born thinking that to be "fat" is bad
to have perky boobs is bad
to fall under the category of what it means to be beautiful means you are rewarded by society in many different ways eg. more attention from men, better treatment from people in general and many more things!
how do i feel good about myself while still remaining true to who i am and not feeling like im being inauthentic?
having "good skin" and a "good body" would make me feel good and beautiful but i know id be doing that for other people and not truly for myself which makes me feel very inauthentic
but at the same time
again
i want to be desired by people and beautiful but not at the cost of having to constantly change things about myself by adhering to what is "beautiful" at the time
ive spent alot of my life adhering to what other people i want and i feel like authenticity is something i owe myself
but how do i remain authentic in a world that punishes this and makes you feel undesirable and ugly?

maybe there is not an answer to this but id be open to hearing from other people on their opinion on this
i really hope this is understanble and not worded poorly

yours sincerly
orange
AislingDM

Comments

  • orangejuiceorangejuice Posts: 16 Settling in
    i've just talked to my sister who's really helped me in regards to this and I thought I'd share just for anyone else struggling with a similar thing

    it sounds obvious but sometimes in a case of being yourself vs having validation from other people
    you have to have one or the other
    sometimes you cant have both
    and unfortunately that is something that you will have to grow VERY accustomed to if you plan to do anything unconventional in your life

    some helpful tips to help improve your relationship with how you look:
    -follow people/celebrities who have similar features to you/ look like you

    (this one is more for poc living in mainly white spaces)
    -it might help to make friends with people of similar race or cultural backrounds to you (this could be online)

    -make an active effort to reshape how you think about yourself and maybe understand where certain insecurities stem from within yourself (eg. traumatic experience such as bullying)

    -explore what YOU think is beautiful! (in yourself and in other people)

    -lastly, realise that we are all so much more than our looks! we are complex people with so many interesting/individual thoughts and opinions!!
    and despite what people may say no matter what you look like
    you are deserving of respect and love <3

    AislingDM
  • StellalunaStellaluna Posts: 41 Boards Initiate
    @orangejuice It seems like you are experiencing a lot of spiraling thoughts about the many beauty standards that we sometimes feel we have to live up to. This can make us wonder if we are good or beautiful enough and how this affects our position in society. These are understandable concerns, even though these beauty standards are artificial and change like fashion trends. What was considered beautiful in the 1920s is completely different to what is considered beautiful today. It is hard for anyone to keep up. It is important to know that you are inherently beautiful and have unique beauty of your own. We have more value than our looks and it would be boring if we all looked the same. What you are measuring yourself against today may have changed within the next decade. You are more than your looks. It could be an idea to focus on your interests, self-care and doing things you enjoy. What strengths do you have? What do your friends like about you? It could be useful to write down the positive and internal qualities you have, for example being kind or being good at something. This can help take the emphasis off our physical appearance and view ourselves as full human beings with skills, personalities, and lots to offer the world rather than objects to be looked at.
    How has your social media usage been? It could be an idea to unfollow or distance yourself from online feeds that encourage negative self-comparison or make you feel bad.
    Have you been doing any self-care and getting enough sleep, gentle exercise, and good nutrition? When you find yourself feeling bad about your appearance, remember these feelings will not last forever, try to recognise these intrusive negative thoughts and try to distract yourself with something else. The more we dwell on these thoughts, the bigger and more repetitive they can get, making us feel even worse. Also, what you perceive as flaws in your physical appearance, others may be attracted to.
    Hope this helps.
  • AislingDMAislingDM Moderator Posts: 894 Part of The Mix Family
    This is such an insightful series of posts @orangejuice ! <3 I couldn't agree more with how overwhelming the pressure of looking a certain way is! It's no wonder that so many people are suffering so much with what they see in the mirror, especially when the world appears to be forcing us to microscopically analyse every tiny part of ourselves, things that are so unnoticeable that you'd never have thought of until some random Tiktok trend on your for you page :(

    It's so frustrating to think of all of the many standards that we have to try to meet, or as you say try to work against to be our most real selves. It's no wonder you feel so deflated with it all and wonder where to turn to try to feel better about all of this. I certainly love your sister's advice, it's so well thought-out and definitely reinforces that many different ways we can help one another to love ourselves as we deserve! <3

    I just thought I'd also mention (and maybe this sounds really odd) trying to make connections and friendships with people who you don't deem to be 'objectively good looking' because it can make you reconsider how all of these standards and biases influence so many areas of our lives. And this one is much more of a difficult one, but calling it out when we see other people saying stuff that reinforces these negative and restrictive beauty standards (e.g., the other day at work someone said 'boys don't wear nail polish' and I just laughed and said 'why not? it looks nice' and having a simple response like that can cause another person to think deeply about why they care so much about other people's physical appearances) <3<3
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    orangejuice
  • orangejuiceorangejuice Posts: 16 Settling in
    @Stellaluna
    I know that I am much more than how I look and I offer the world much more than that
    but sometimes I just want to be conventionally attractive just so I know how it feels
    it feels so terrible when eg.
    your friends get asked out tons and you don't
    but meh,
    maybe it's just one of those battles you lose if you spend your whole life fighting it
  • orangejuiceorangejuice Posts: 16 Settling in
    @AislingDM thank you!! <3
  • StellalunaStellaluna Posts: 41 Boards Initiate
    @orangejuice I am pleased you know you are worth more than your looks and have lots to offer. Do you find certain days are easier than others for these feelings? Could there be other reasons why your friends have been asked out more than you? For example, they have more contact with the people who are asking them out and this presents more opportunities to be asked out? Do you think ‘conventionally attractive’ people have it easier in some ways but more difficult in others? For example, people may not be able to see beyond their looks, they may get objectified, stalked, or harassed more, simply because they check certain things off a list for what is assumed attractive. Is there anything you can do to distract yourself when these feelings happen, or maybe telling yourself some affirmations when you feel bad? If you have been having these feelings for a long time, they can become habitual, and you can cycle between feeling ok and then returning to these feelings of not being enough.
    Hope this helps.
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