Help me stop being so superficial
I am superficial and I need your help! I don’t know how to unlearn or correct my worldview regarding appearance and weight. I was brought up in a very image-conscious household, and that has always affected me.
Until recently, I thought I was fine, but found myself having scary, negative thoughts about other people based on their bodies. It makes me feel bad and it prevents me from having new people in my life. Example: I meet someone nice and nice at work and he found me a friend on a social networking site, I look at his photos and notice that he was much taller and dressed very messy, and I am automatically turned off knowing it was. once heavy and messy. Or I meet someone super romantic or friend, they show me family photos, and I see their family don’t look like the sexy person sitting across from me, I start to make mental judgments about people who let go and don’t have any restraint (or eyebrows or teeth or whatever) then I find this person less attractive and guess they come from a strange family with tons of issues. (I know, I know, I’m the one from the weird family with tons of issues.) I know how fucked up this is.
In addition, I continue to exclude friends or partners based not only on appearance, but also on mutual connections. Look, it’s a small community, everyone knows everyone through someone, but I’m going to correspond with someone on Tinder and realize their sister was a mutual friend 15 years ago, and I’m going to will remember her as being really rude or embarrassing in a crowd like a joke, and I will be disgusted with my Tinder match for the insane behavior her sister exhibited about a million years ago. And then I see someone is a mutual friend with someone I hate, so I guess they’re hateful as well.
Is it a social media problem? A lot of insane beauty standards were imposed on me as a kid long before social media, so it can’t be that on its own – I’m just lost here. How can I stop judging people and myself about stupid, trivial, petty, and superficial things?
Drown in the shallow end
Hey there drowning,
Sit back and curl up because you are about to pursue a business that can last for years and, honestly, will probably never end. Unlearning the lifelong paradigms that have always been dear to us requires constant attention to our own thoughts and intentions.
You’ve already covered much of the problem, which is just recognizing that you’re focusing on looks to a problematic degree. You already know that this is not kind or affectionate behavior, and beyond that you also seem to be aware that how people look has little to do with how good they look. ‘To be human. I bet you could think of all kinds of gorgeous people in the world who are real trash humans (I sure can), so assuming ugly people are bad makes just as much sense as assuming hot people are good. It can help to start on your own by thinking of all the less-than-sexy people you like. If you have grandparents I’m sure they don’t look like Robert Redford and Helen Mirren. Your mum and dad can be sweet little balls of butter that you love dearly, and you might just have a longtime cousin or friend who has spread over the years. Imagine someone refusing to recognize their humanity or their worth because of their appearance. Also, keep in mind that beauty is totally subjective and that there are certainly people in the world who think that you – YES, YOU – are ugly. Beauty is defined by the individual, and remembering it can help you stray from your own beauty standards compared to the definition of mass media. Instead of focusing on one aspect of a person that you find unattractive, keep in mind that it doesn’t exist to please you and actually owes you nothing in terms of aesthetics. There is tons of media out there that tackles the issue of the beauty standard and how it hurts our relationships with others, so go google.
Need advice? Send an email to [email protected] or use our anonymous online form at flagpole.com/get-advice.
Do you like what you just read? Support Flagpole by donating today. Every dollar you donate helps fund our continued mission to provide Athens with quality independent journalism.