It’s more common than we may think it is…
The idea that we can look at each other in the mirror, and simply not love the reflection staring back at us. At least not fully. It’s human nature to compare yourself to those around you. To want to be more like someone you admire or even envy on some level. But we are who we are, and that’s the beginning and the end of it.
I personally think that we spend more energy in trying to be somebody else than we do in being and accepting ourselves for who we are. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t go through those same self conscious moments myself, growing up. Or even now. So this is a real thing that many of us have to deal with. What is your experience with this?
Have any of you ever had any body issues, life issues, or wished that you could change something about yourself that simply can’t be changed? Maybe you want to be taller, or skinnier, or maybe you’re a brunette but wish you were blond, or vice versa. Maybe you wish you could go to the gym and develop some muscles. Maybe you wish you had less body hair, or more body hair. Maybe you wish you were younger, or older, or were ‘boy model’ gorgeous. Or maybe LESS good looking. Maybe that’s a burden for you. It does happen, you know? Sometimes those really cute faces that you gaze at dreamily just want someone genuine to talk to without their looks being a factor.
Anyway, the question for this article is, “Have you ever had any physical issue with your particular look?” Was it something you experienced when you were younger? Do you still experience it now? What was it that you wanted to be? Did it bother you or change your behavior in any way? Whatever you want to tell us, spill the beans! You’re not alone.
“Only when I was young enough to not care, was I ever happy with my looks. I was a skinny little kid with shaggy brown, un-interesting hair. I remember in the fourth grade beginning to wish I was “as cute” as him or, wishing my hair looked as nice, as shiny, as soft, as neat… as anyone else’s. Basically, I learned to simply wish I was anyone but me. I lived in a rough situation at home that already had me hating my life so, not liking how I looked was the icing on the cake for me. I think the biggest thing I hated about myself was the fact that I had to wear glasses. I was about 6 when I got my first pair and wore them up until my freshman year of High School. “Nerd” was the term I heard more in my head when I looked in the mirror at home than I did at school, but I heard it enough from a few insensitive kids to validate applying it to myself. When I no longer needed to wear them, I always found other things about me not to like. I was horrible with compliments as no matter how sincere someone was, I always waited for the “but” in their statement. It sort of comes with the territory I guess. “I can’t find anything like-able about myself so how can you?” I have tons of examples of when this would happen. “You have the bluest eyes… but…” “I love your sneakers… but…” “You look nice… but…” When the statement didn’t come with a personal shot, I’d run one through my head. “…but, you’re still a skinny little nerd.”
Do I like what I see in the mirror today? Not really, no. Not at all. I mean, I should. But I don’t. I’m not fat but I hate my body size and wish it was more like it was when I was younger. I began losing my hair young and now wish I had back that hair that I hated back then. I don’t look my age as many people love reminding me but I look for the age in my face and because I am looking, I’m guaranteed to see it. Do I hate who I am? Not entirely. I’ve made mistakes in my time, I’ve made some people angry and fallen short of others expectations but, I have always tried to be kind and respectful. I just don’t like what I see in the mirror most of the time and probably never will. The difference between now and back when this issue reared its ugly head? Now if someone pays me a compliment, I thank them and know that they don’t see what I do. Which is a very good thing in the end.” – JeffsFort
“Have you ever had any physical issue with your particular look?” Was it something you experienced when you were younger? Do you still experience it now? What was it that you wanted to be? Did it bother you or change your behavior in any way?”
Yes I did, mostly when I was young. I’ve more or less accepted what I consider my physical ‘flaws’ now. I consider myself pretty much average. So I could look worse, I could look better. But in the end, it shouldn’t really matter. As we get older we lose a lot of what makes us attractive, anyway, I think. Not that I am old, yet. Although it depends on who you ask. My nephews will say I’m old. My uncles will say I’m young. XD” – Mike
“I still have body issues! LOL!
I’ve never like my body. As hard as I have worked on it in the past I simply can’t get it into any kind of order I like. Being single still, I worry. As I get older whatever looks I had are fading away. But then, I am not looking for someone who just wants a Grindr punch in the sack. I want someone who loves me for me. One day, I suppose, I hope that person arrives. Until then, I soldier on.” – MrM
You know, I definitely went through an extended phase when I wished I looked as cute as this boy or that boy. Plus I was having celebrity crushes at that age, and it was like, “OMIGOD!!! If I could just be Eddie Furlong or Brad Renfro or Aaron Carter for a few weeks…I’d take over the whole WORLD! Hehehe!
But, honestly…I can’t say that I remember ever really having body issues when I was growing up. Which is weird, because I was an emotional wreck during that time. I think I was about as damaged as any tween/teen could be at that time. And yet…I can truly say that I still felt comfortable in my own skin. I wasn’t really about my looks, or my weight, or my hair. I never had any ‘size’ issues below the belt, if you know what I mean. I can’t explain why though. It just never happened.
Now…on an emotional level, I was extremely bad with compliments! I couldn’t handle them. They felt like sarcasm to me. But, again, that was more of an emotional thing. I used to back away from people who seemed too friendly or interested or paid me any compliments. It was unnatural to me. I used to draw comic books when I was younger, and (unfortunately) I have hazel eyes, which weren’t really common. That was the one thing that I have always been super self conscious about. And when I would draw my comic book characters…I never put any pupils in their eyes at all. So, if I had one weakness, it would be that. Because, in direct sunlight, they change from brown to green…and it freaks people out sometimes.
Meaning…”I’m a freak.”
But, again, that’s an emotional reaction. Not a physical one.
For anyone who is feeling any physical pressure or paranoia, I want to tell you that you have nothing to worry about. YOU are somebody’s dreamboy! Believe me! No matter who you are, where you live, or what you look like…you are EXACTLY what somebody is searching for! Tall, short, skinny, muscles, chubby, white, black, blond, brunette, smooth, hairy…from age 14 to 40 to 80…somebody is searching for you right now. So get out there and let them find you! K?
Can’t be any easier than that! :P” – Comicality
“I’ve always had issues about my weight not being where I want it to be, but that’s all on me. I also never really liked my face and kept thinking of myself as ugly, but after a few “you’re cute and I’m not” arguments with my boyfriend, I’ve come to realize that a lot of these body issues could come from the fact that you’re never your own type and somehow try to compare yourself to your dream boy. Everything else fell into place after that. Now I’m mostly happy with myself, because he thinks I’m cute, and everything else I don’t like about my look are things I have the power to change.” – Anonymous
“Yeah I have always had issues with how I look, when I was in my teens I played Rugby and had the physique to match but I was convinced that I was overweight and hated myself for it, then after I stopped playing Rugby I did put on weight for a few years. Then I lost 85lbs for a bet and felt great for a couple of months and then convinced myself I was overweight again so the cycle started again, I also stopped smoking 10 yrs ago and put about 50lbs on so now I could do to lose that 85lbs again but cant get motivated to do it anymore lol.
Another issue i have had for many years is my teeth, As a consequence of having Tourettes I have broken most of my teeth and whilst I could get implants there is no guarentee that i won’t break them and at £6k, I’m not willing to risk it.
So, I shall remain an overweight, toothless hermit…..well toothless anyway…I might get round to dealing with the other 2 lol!
I used to hate how i looked and it used to really get to me but now i don’t really care. I just avoid full length mirrors lol!” – Tricky71
“When I was in high school, I wanted to be taller, thinner, with green eyes and darker skin. Maybe with darker, straight hair that doesn’t turn into frizzy curls above the sideburns. And freckles on the nose. But as time went on, I understood that was just wishful thinking. I can’t change my curly, straw-like hair, or my eyes, height, or skin tone. I could change my weight, or try anyway, but that’s largely due to genetics and an inefficient metabolism. For the most part, I do accept that I can’t change anything about the way I look, but I still get the occasional bout of moodiness about my waistline. Then I remind myself that I got married, and my husband clearly likes what he sees when he looks at me, and then I feel better.” – Page Scrawler
“Bullimia Nervosa ~ The Disease That Eats You (My small Story)
Since a very young age I was sexually objectified by a numerous amount of people. I had the unfortunate experience to basically view myself and my own worth based on how my body looked since 10 years old. Over a period of time especially when I started puberty at around 12 to 13 years old I developed eating disorders. this eventually came to the conclusion that any time that I felt that I ate something I felt guilty since my body was something that I used to use in order to value myself.
I had to be perfect and it had to be perfect. I thought that the only way anyone would love me as if I was perfect. I viewed it as a way to show the world what I was really worth. This eventually lead to serious bulimia at 13+. I remember throwing up in the boys bathroom when my friends were outside waiting for me they have no idea what I was doing. They were getting annoyed because lunch was over and I had class
I didn’t care though I needed to purge that lunch that I ate because later on that night I had to sleep with someone.
Long story short I eventually began getting help through my own family. Friends and family were always there for me and I could no longer suppress and hide the symptoms anymore.
I’m in my twenties now and I still deal with the problems every day but it’s a lot easier to deal with. Thanks com for this thread.
I also use my story kiss or miss to express Salem’s anorexia as a way to express my own.” – Julian William Taylor
If you guys want to add your two cents to any one of the ‘Q & A’ sessions for future issues of Imagine Magazine, we’d LOVE to hear your input and your personal stories on the forum! Feel free to attach your screen name, or do so anonymously! Drop by “The Shack Out Back” forum on the 1st and 15th of every month for a brand new topic of conversation! We look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂