How ugly has society made you?


 How ugly has society made you?

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, one-third of Americans feel bad about themselves. First, we might want to ask: why is society such a nightmare for so many? It's not just because our country spends $61 billion annually on beauty treatments and cosmetics. It might be the way that media portrays people who don't look like models in advertisements or on TV. It could also be those too-many Hollywood actresses who've been fired because they refused to go under the knife. Whatever it is, it seems like a lot of people are obsessed with their appearance and judging others by their appearances as well.

One of the most dangerous things society forces on women is that they have to look like a model to be attractive.

We are bombarded with images of models in magazines, on TV, and online. The unhealthy obsession with female beauty has led to countless teenage girls inducing vomiting and taking laxatives to lose weight. They starve themselves, because they believe that if they look good on the outside, then they will become worthy people inside. This effort is mostly unsuccessful and leads them to become anorexic or bulimic. These eating disorders rarely lead to lasting results; instead, their self-esteem deteriorates as does their overall health. Many of them end up getting addicted to drugs or struggling with suicidal thoughts.

The constant reminder that a model is supposed to look like the one in the advertisement may create unrealistic expectations in women, which then leads to a distorted view of beauty. They may not feel happy with themselves because they compare themselves to models who look nothing like them. Instead of recognizing their own beauty, they instead start envying others for their looks or for having life experiences that are different from theirs.

On the other hand, society also makes us feel bad about ourselves simply because we don't fit in with the typical standards of beauty.

For example, a study by Dr. Melanie Wallendorf found that women who had low self-esteem thought they looked much better than expected, whereas those with higher self-esteem didn't find themselves as attractive. Furthermore, women who had an extremely high opinion of their own attractiveness found the opposite. When asked to rate pictures of women who matched the traditional standards of beauty, they rated them as attractive, whereas those who were categorized as unattractive said their pictures were hideous.

It appears that the more confident we are in ourselves, the less concerned we are with our outward appearance. When there is a disconnect between how beautiful we perceive ourselves to be and how others see us, then it can lead to low self-esteem and self-deprecation.

The solution to this dangerous cycle is twofold:

First, be careful when you look at other people. Constantly thinking poorly of yourself because you don't fit in with society's standards isn't healthy. Instead of looking down on people who look different from you, learn from them instead. There is no reason to be judgmental about the way someone looks or the things they have or haven't done in life. It could be that everyone on this planet is beautiful in their own unique way.

Secondly, learn to love yourself for who you are. Don't think about what other people say about you or how they perceive you. Don't think about what society considers attractive; instead, find your own definition of beauty and determine how you can be that kind of person in the world. In other words, accept yourself for who you are and stop trying to change for the sake of changing. Don't fall victim to the current standards of beauty set by the media or by people around you because they don't matter anyway unless it makes your life better.

With this being said, don't mistake self-love with narcissism either. You don't have to talk about yourself all the time or be arrogant. All it means is that you should be happy with who you are and not look down on other people because they have something different from what you have. Ironically, this leads to a much happier life than trying to fit in or looking for external validation for your self-worth.

We can work hard to change our appearance, but at the end of the day, no number of surgeries, amulets or lotions can fix what's wrong with us: an overly critical externalized mindset that causes us to feel insecure and hurtful about ourselves. This is destructive and makes us feel worse about ourselves as well as others who appear different from us. And while others may start to change their appearance in order to be more attractive, they still won't have a good self-esteem because they're still trying to get someone else's validation.

Such people are unhappy no matter what they do or don't do.

After a while, one may become numb to the world around them, and that's exactly where society wants us all to be. Without our true selves, we will never be happy and just end up trapped in a vicious cycle of despair. It might be best to accept yourself and all of your flaws, flaws which many other people also have as well. We can learn from them and improve on them so that one day we can truly be happy in life.

With all that said, don't waste your time trying to be someone you're not. Don't feel bad about yourself because you just aren't the type of person society says you should be. The expectations set forth by other people aren't realistic anyways, so it's best to just ignore them and go after your own dreams. It really doesn't matter what other people think of you, as long as you are happy with who you are!

Your friend,

– Jason Lim

Editors Note: While we at Self Stairway do not necessarily agree or disagree with everything in this post, we appreciate the open discussion on this sensitive topic and believe that it is worthy of discussion among our readers.

What do YOU think about how society looks down on others for not being attractive? Is there anything you would like to add regarding the above topic? Comment below! –

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Suggested Reading:

Self-Love and Narcissism - A Detailed Look at the Problem of Narcissism and Self-Love: Why is it important to love yourself? In this article, we go over a detailed look at why narcissists have a problem with self-love and what they need help with. Check it out!

The Power of Self-Love – A Look at How to Raise Your Self-Esteem: The Basics of Self Esteem: If you hate yourself and are having a hard time loving yourself, then this article might be able to help you. Check out our in-depth look at why self-love is important and how to gain the confidence that is needed. Learn more in the article below! –

Self Esteem: The Key to Happiness – A Look at How Self Esteem Helps You Improve Your Life: In this article, we discuss why self esteem is so important and how it can help guide your life on the right path.


It is clear that our society is obsessed with outer beauty. Whether it be through plastic surgery or cosmetics, people are willing to do anything just to meet the societal standard of beauty. Unfortunately when we compare ourselves to others who may seem better than us in this area, we end up feeling bad about ourselves. We need to learn how to stop comparing ourselves and start appreciating the unique qualities about us in order for us all to live a much more positive and beautiful life!

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