I need to provide a few disclaimers once so I don’t have to re iterate constantly. This isn’t A level English- I don’t have to desperately maximise the word count. I don’t think I’ll write another post like this but I might occasionally update this one.
Firstly, I’ll say I’m incredibly aware I’m one of many MANY people uncomfortable with how they look. The main reason I’m talking about my thoughts specifically is because those are the only ones I can accurately comment on. My headaches haven’t denoted psychic powers (I live in hope) so it’s hard to know how people feel unless feelings are detailed by the individual.
Secondly, I was seriously concerned about this coming across as attention seeking. I asked people in advance whether I should go through with writing this and most of them were encouraging. If I still do come across as attention seeking and like I’m just doing this for the glory then I apologise and this wasn’t the aim. If someone wants to give me attention obviously I won’t be offended but that’s not the purpose.
Thirdly, I can’t pretend that I’m not partially writing this to make myself feel slightly better. I do think it’s slightly unfair on other people but I’ve seriously been struggling regularly for years. It’d be nice to be less disgusted by the bug eyed beardy freak I see in every bathroom (think he’s called ‘The Mirror’). I’m posting it more widely because approaching friends and going DO YOU THINK I’M UGLY (plz say I’m not that bad) places them in a difficult position of not knowing how to respond- and really kills the mood of whatever show you’re binging together at the time (side note: don’t invite me to binge-watch shows…no , please do). Even I’d feel almost underqualified. In situations like that, you don’t know how any response you give them can actually be helpful in the long run. If someone says ‘No, you’re not ugly’ the person who asked might assume their feelings are being protected. Also, who on earth would go ‘Yeah, you’re minging’ to someone already clearly in a vulnerable position.
Fourthly, aside from feeling incredibly insecure about myself, another reason for doing this is, in general, appearance confidence issues really are dismissed too often. The fact that so many people suffer from it doesn’t make it any less relevant and shouldn’t minimise an individual’s problems. Just how the initial praise of La La Land didn’t ruin the film (apparently people hate it now though- what happened there?!).
I assume part of why image issues aren’t commonly discussed is because it’s a hard topic to randomly introduce into conversation. Making jokes about it is the best way but that might suggest there’s no undercurrent of truth in it. I guess that’s what I’m doing now, but in real life, I’d be more like this
‘Why didn’t the banana go to the party? Because it wasn’t a-peeling waaaay, also I really struggle with my appearance and can’t stop thinking I’m ugly and don’t understand why people would disagree with this….WAAAAY joking…or was i? WAAAY’ – my standup set really bombed.
I, like a lot of us, have experienced appearance issues for ages. I don’t just mean I’m not a million percent satisfied or things like ‘Hmmm maybe I’m not a 100 degree hottie maybe I’m only 99 degrees’ (Last time someone said 100 degree hottie, real life was in black & white). I mean I honestly can’t think of myself as anything other than seriously ugly right now. My face is a total mess to me, I find it harder than anyone should to pick up on a positive feature.I think I’m overweight even when science says I’m not. Sometimes I genuinely am though, to be fair. My mother says I’m not ugly but thats contractual obligation- I was very keen on her singing those papers.
I just remind myself of a soft boiled scarecrow (good band name). I might think ‘Surely my face lights up when I smile, everyone’s does’. If I catch myself smiling in a reflection , the brain goes
“Mate, if I looked anything like you I really wouldn’t be smiling. Hang on. I look exactly like you- I am you, I’d better stop smiling”
That’s a tough one because- ask anyone, I laugh at everything . I’d probably find things a lot funnier in a room without reflective surfaces . I’d stay away from reflections generally but I’d never go outside, Wales is 90% puddle (some of which is called ‘The Sea’).Part of the reason I wear cartoon t shirts and pull faces so much is because even if I didn’t I’d be no better off (liking cartoons and pulling faces may be an element too).
PS have you seen my pingu t shirt?.
It doesn’t help that I assume people might think I’m fishing for compliments if I mention any of this. I don’t like making people feel awkward, either.
It’s not like I’m incapable of immense happiness from other non-appearance related things in life e.g finding crayons in your coat pocket you forgot about is great, 100% recommended. If I seem upbeat about something, it’s because I am. It’s usually a real problem when there are no social or work distractions. Watching First Dates is another optimum time for it : anytime someones looks are complimented the brain automatically goes ‘You know no one will ever think or say that about you right?, get back in the bellower Quasi’ (Side note: no disrespect to Quasimodo, he can break chains. I can’t. Apologies to him too for that insulting comparison to me ). It’s luckily an entertaining enough show when those things don’t happen, I can watch. Never binge-watch it with me though. I might go DO YOU THINK I’M UGLY (plz say I’m not that bad) and totally ruin the mood of it. Feeling ugly can get to the point of brief tears occasionally (not as bad as when I watch The Muppet Christmas Carol- hard to reach that level).
Maybe Phantom of the Opera is a better comparison for me. Then again – at least he had musical talents …and a cool mask. But he also kills people (spoilers) so….maybe I’m Winning?
Even when I actively try to look ugly in this 4 year old picture, to me it’s just as bad as my natural face.
Ugliness isn’t my only flaw but I didn’t write about how I’m stupid annoying and unfunny because those are things I could change. I know I’m a bit weird- I’ve become the art attack statue who terrified my child-self (not as good-looking, though).
I really can’t stop myself from thinking people are already put off me as a person when they see me. I can’t envisage anyone ever looking at me and thinking ‘He’s good looking’. I know it shouldn’t matter either. I might feel better eventually if I keep updating this.
Maybe I should just stay generally in the distance with my face up like here
It’d make conversations harder but who wants to talk to me anyway? It’s 2018 who wants to talk to anyone?
I’m sorry about writing this. I know it must be annoying to read about someone elses fairly petty problems when you’ve got your own lives.
I apologise as well to the people I’ve personally bombarded with these issues more than once .I’d name them all but I’m keeping this below novel length.
Thank you to anyone who messaged me with positive feedback since the first draft of this post was shared. It genuinely makes a difference. Even though I might always think I’m ugly- there’s a chance I’ll stop naturally assuming that everyone else I meet agrees.
The idea that maybe when I’m really old, looking at pictures of my current self, thinking ‘Why did I worry so much? Wish i looked like that now’ is something I look forward to about aging . (something I dread is re watching Toy Story 3 and just finding it cheesy).
I’ve had to be REALLY honest and this was mildly uncomfortable so I hope no one’s offended (by me? Nahh I’m a delight). The bad jokes are present partly because I can’t make good ones. Also because these thoughts get emotionally draining and I got upset writing them down. Flavouring them slightly helped.
To go back to an original point, appearance issues are far more important than they seem. If anyone is experiencing them on a serious level, don’t suffer in silence unless privacy genuinely helps you. What I’ve done isn’t the only option and might not even be the best one in other people’s opinions. Even though I said before that raising a conversation about these problems can make people feel awkward; if you have to tell someone, try it. If you’re concerned about putting them in a position just let them know that. The last thing anyone should ever be is unsympathetic.
You can even tell me. I’ve finished Grace and Frankie now so I have nothing to do. I may aswell do something of potential use to someone. Be warned :starting conversations with me is a bold choice. It’s a serious situation I can fully relate to so I wouldn’t bring up that ‘Steamed Hams’ meme we’re all tired of me referencing (including myself, I can’t stop) . Anything I might be able to say to you is unlikely to change your own opinions especially if they’re strong and recurring. It might just be helpful to know that someone disagrees or understands the situation.
I’ll link a slightly relevant song from the film Coco. It resonates with me (and maybe other people with image issues) and is a low-key banger. Out of context , it reveals nothing about the plot; this is a spoiler free zone.