Are you obsessed with appearance and beauty standards? Well, it may not be as normal as you think. Your concern about the way you look can take over your life.
Today’s society is truly obsessed with appearance. Just look at social media and you can see this blatant focus on physical beauty and high standards. In fact, this obsession has triggered a desire to change the way we look, sometimes in drastic ways. But there’s a root to this madness.
Truths about your obsession with appearance
On the surface, caring about your appearance seems harmless. But when this attention turns into obsession, it can be toxic. There are deep truths about those who are obsessed with their appearance. Here are a few of those insights.
1. Focusing on body parts
For so many of us, we have that one body part or attribute that gets the most attention. It may be our nose, our feet, or even our elbows. In fact, it can be any part of our body.
You may hate your stomach or think your hips are too large. In your mind, that one part of your body has the ability to govern how you look overall. And the saddest realization is you could have many other absolutely gorgeous aspects of your physical appearance. These are overshadowed by the negative.
2. Eating disorders
Whether it’s a problem with binge eating or some other unhealthy issue, these eating disorders contribute to the obsession with how you look. Even though you may be completely healthy, the mirror reflects a negative image when you have a disorder.
Here’s how that works: When you aren’t eating enough, you may still see yourself as overweight. If you are binge eating, this may be due to depression stemming from dissatisfaction with your appearance. Either situation is an obsession.
3. Body checking
It’s not so bad to check your appearance before you go out or if you feel like something is stuck in your teeth, but staring at yourself for long periods of time can become habitual.
Body checking will morph from a healthy activity into something uncontrollable. Many people who are obsessed with appearance start with compulsive body checking that increases dramatically over time.
4. Learned behavior
The constant attention to physical appearance may even come from learned behavior. Maybe you were taught that looking good, beautiful, or presentable was always necessary.
And yes, taking care of yourself is important, but obsessing over the way you look is not. But if you’ve been taught the opposite of this, then it’s deeply ingrained in your mind, actually creating that materialistic mindset.
5. Rewarded unfairly
Have you noticed how those who are considered the most beautiful by society get the highest rewards? Well, consider your school years. How were cheerleaders treated as opposed to school band members? Just being honest.
If you’ve always been rewarded unfairly due to your physical appearance, then even you may become obsessed with appearance.
6. Beauty standards
People who are obsessed with appearance may have gained this unhealthy habit within society’s standards. For instance, celebrities are adored and even worshipped by the younger generation. And when you’re trying to keep up with the entertainment industry, you will be endlessly climbing to meet those standards.
And it’s more than the entertainment industry, as clothing stores, beauty salons, and other businesses set standards of beauty every day.
7. Lack of inner beauty
Some people focus so much on physical beauty because they lack a connection with their inner beauty. It’s a spiritual connection with self that, for some, just isn’t as powerful as wanting to look a certain way. This is truly sad, as inner beauty doesn’t fade like physical beauty.
An obsession with appearance that’s grown from the pressure to look beautiful has damaged the ability to recognize true beauty, which is on the inside. And so, we are addicted to becoming more physically appealing.
Although we may seem normal to other people, we may indeed suffer from abnormalities in the brain. Maybe, to us, we appear hideous and deformed. This makes us constantly stare into the mirror, trying to find ways to change the way we look.
People with BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) essentially have “bad wiring” of the brain, similar to other mental illnesses. Many people with this disorder cannot function normally in life and fixate on minute details. Could it be that you suffer from Body Dysmorphia?
9. Subliminal messages
Sometimes our obsession with our looks comes from subliminal messages. Because we spend so much time online and surrounded by advertisements, we don’t even realize we’re absorbing negative materialistic messages.
Before we know it, our mindset has altered so much that we’ve become obsessed with whatever society wants us to be.
Here’s the real truth:
Being obsessed with appearances is not normal, in no way, shape, or form. Yes, it’s okay to check your appearance, and yes, it’s okay to take care of yourself both mentally and physically, but it’s not okay to focus entirely on outer beauty.
When you do this, you suffer on the inside. So, why are people so obsessed with the way they look? As you can see, there are many reasons. Do a bit of introspection and ask yourself, “Is this me?”
If you think that you’ve become obsessed with your appearance, the first step is realization. When you see the truth, all other steps become a bit easier to take.
Practice self-love and appreciation. Spend less time around materialistic people and more time with those who support your journey toward higher self-esteem. Good luck to anyone who struggles with this obsession. Understand this: there is always hope.
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