There is an undeniable sense of social discrimination that people feel regarding their appearance. The truth is that the way a person looks is going to be judged in many levels. For example, if someone looks like they don’t take care of their personal appearance, they may not seem dangerous, but they seem undisciplined, lazy, and rude.
In contrast, someone who looks clean and smells good could still be judged for their physical appearance. People will judge someone for their height, their weight, their hairstyle, and even for the way they smile.
The point being that we live in a society that is obsessed by the way we look. The biggest problem with this is that some people take this very personally. They feel like their confidence is drained when someone judges their appearance in any way.
Why are we so obsessed with looks?
When we talk about the collective obsession with looks, we can’t exclude ourselves because we also judge people by their appearance all the time. We may not judge them because of their weight or their physical beauty, but we judge them by the way they dressed, by the type of hair they have, etc.
This obsession is almost like a defense mechanism in many ways. Let’s say you meet someone who is wearing torn clothes and has dirt all over those clothes. It is very likely that you will perceive that person as someone that could be dangerous if you walked pass them in the street.
This is also judging someone by their looks, just as much as it is when you judge someone for being overweight. Some people would say that the latter is not judging. They would claim that this is simply common sense and self preservation. With that said, at the end of the day, we are judging people by how they look without giving them a chance to show us who they truly are.
Separate what you can control from what you cannot control
The first step to being able to cope with a society that is obsessed with looks is to separate what you can control and what you cannot. The following is a bullet list of things you can control and it is followed by one with things you can’t control. This list should only be considered by people who are relatively healthy and have no serious illness that makes it hard for them to control certain aspects of their appearance.
Things you can control:
• Your personal hygiene
• The clothes you wear
• Your weight
Things you can’t control:
• Your facial features
• Birth defects
• Your height
• Your race
Now that you have a better idea of the things you can control, you should live your life based on those facts. Let’s say someone makes fun of you for the way your nose or your eyes look, this person is trying to make fun of you for something you can’t control, and your response to that should be completely neutral.
You are not going to clap at a person who tries to make fun of you, but by completely ignoring their comment, you are showing them that you don’t play this type of game. This is a great way to shut this type of behavior down and you will gain respect for your reaction.
Even if a person doesn’t apologize, you know that they know you are not the type of person to allow such comments to hurt them. In contrast, if someone talks about your weight and you don’t suffer from any kind of illness that prevents you from losing weight, this is the type of comment that you should see as an opportunity to upgrade yourself.
A reaction such as “you are right, I could be eating healthier” is going to make this person feel confuse as you acknowledge your weight problem. You could also just completely ignore the comment and move on, but if a comment triggers the need to upgrade your health, you may want to consider making that change.
Why you shouldn’t let your appearance take over your life
One of the main reasons why so many people become obsesses with their appearance is due to their fear of growing older. There is nothing wrong with aging, but some people feel that as they grow older, society will start to reject them.
The only way to deal with those feelings is to feel confident enough of your skills as an individual. If you feel people find you interesting or important due to how you look, this is going to end and there is no way to stop it from happening.
If you want your looks to stop being important, all you really have to do is understand that your skills and your principles as a human being should be the value you offer to others. Your skills, your accomplishments, your mindset, are all the real reasons why people will want to get closer to you.
Embrace the aging process.
When you start to grow older and you can see wrinkles or fine lines on your face, you start to feel insecure about your appearance. With that said, if you decide to embrace the aging process, you will no longer let anything related to this natural progression affect you in a negative way.
Embrace the fact that life is a cycle and the way you look now is not how you will look in ten years. Be proud of your age and take care of your health to allow your body to age gracefully. Once you do this, you will truly be an unstoppable force. Once that inspires others and find success without worrying about what people think of their appearance.
Life can be very stressful when we focus our efforts and our energy in our appearance. With that said, you can flip the switch and focus on becoming a better version of yourself. Change the things that you can change, and complexly ignore the ones you can’t.