Be More Attractive
Most of us think about how we look, what we would should wear, and how we are being perceived by others many times a day. If you don’t you are one of the lucky few and I’m guessing your probably male and not on social media…; )
We all have vanity, well most of us do…
So far the only person I’ve ever known who even comes close to not really caring about how he looks is my brother, actually I would update that to include my brother and his wife. They have very little vanity between the two of them. My brother doesn’t really care about how he looks, and yet, even he, still considers how he is perceived by others. None of us are completely immune it seems.
For example, he likes a certain hat, not only for the comfort and usefulness of it but also deep down he thinks it’s cool. (Will you know what I’m talking about, if I say it’s like crocodile Dundee’s?) Yup he thinks it’s cool so somewhere he has at least a little bit of vanity.
Anyway, the beauty is, he’s not afraid to rock it, because he loves it, he thinks it’s cool, and that is the image he wants to project. He does not however, give a shit what anyone else might think about it.
He has his own back. He loves what he loves, no apologies.
But most of us reign in what we love based on what others will think, and that's a fact. We want to fit in and we want to look good to others. We’re born to fit in with our tribe, it’s in our nature even if modern life no longer requires it.
Here is the thing, we feel insecure or confident depending on what our thoughts are. Most of us tend to worry “what will people think”, while my brother thinks, “this hat looks cool”.
What you focus on grows. If you constantly bad-mouth or bad-“think” your body, your appearance, and your style, you will train yourself to see the parts you don’t love and magnify them instead of focussing on what you do love about yourself and training yourself to look for that.
If you constantly look outside of yourself for approval you will always be trying to please others instead of having your own back and pleasing yourself.
Comparison can really drag you down if you’re not careful…
When we look at skinny images or images of beauty we compare, despair, ruminate, and then catastrophize. Basically we compare our appearance to the images we see on Instagram or Facebook and decide we are not attractive, too fat, or that we are just not good enough.
Perfectionists especially are more vulnerable to compare and despair because they tend to also be ruminators and focus on something and continue to think about it over and over again. Hammering in the belief that they don’t measure up. How many of us are perfectionists? My hand is raised.
When we don’t have a clear sense of our own unique identity we are more likely to compare ourselves with others and be dissatisfied. (Carter & Vartanian, 2022) I find this very interesting, when you think about my brother and his hat, he totally knows what he likes and who he is. He does have a clear sense of his unique identity.
I also learned that when we look at diverse images, our own appearance satisfaction increases. We like knowing that we are all supposed to be and look different. (Manning & Mulgrew, 2022) I love knowing this, I love that diversity can make us all feel better.
Okay great, what do we do with all this?
1. Avoid social media that makes you feel bad and cultivate a feed full of human diversity.
Unsubscribe. Find feeds that inspire you without any shame coming up. It will truly make you feel better, it’s scientifically proven to make a difference in how you feel about yourself, don’t you want to feel better? Do it now. Fat, thin, male, female, black, white, Asian, freckles, scars, all of humanity.
2. Talk to yourself about your appearance like you would to a friend or a loved one.
We often treat ourselves terribly and don’t even realize it. We would never speak to someone the way we speak to ourselves in our self talk. Practice positive speech, practice loving words to yourself, train yourself to look for the good.
I noticed the other day when I was editing a video for my membership that I began picking apart my hairstyle, then I picked on my hair texture and moved right on to my face shape.
Now keep in mind, I had started out feeling great about my appearance. I was thinking I looked good.
Before I knew it I was looking for every flaw I could find and I was feeling really ugly. All because I let my mind run wild. Remember what you focus on grows. If you are focussed on your every perceived flaw and think you are ugly guess what’s growing? Your belief that you are ugly.
3. Have your own back.
Know who you are and what you love. Embrace the unique human you are and be the best version of that human you can be, unapologetically. Learn to please yourself, not others.
We can all be attractive.
Here’s why it’s a good idea and how to do it…
It is often recommended to patients with depression to get up, take a shower, and get dressed everyday to help them feel better. Taking care of yourself lifts you up, it just does.
Physically attractive people make more money, are more confident, social and this compounds how they grow throughout their life.
Guess what!? It is possible for each and every one of us to BE attractive. Attractive is defined as pleasing or appealing to the senses.
I know we all have it within us to be clean, well dressed, and well-groomed. We can smell good and we can have a unique style.
I know we can be kind, we can smile, we can make others feel welcome, seen, and loved. We can pay attention to others and be truly interested in them.
We can manage our minds and think positive thoughts, clean up our media feeds, and build our confidence. Confidence is very attractive.
We can all be attractive if we just put forth a bit of effort, this effort will make you feel better, so why not. Why resist?
A final thought…
When we think we look good, we feel better.
When we feel better, we take better care of ourselves and take more confident actions.
When we take better care of ourselves and take more confident actions, we look even better and have a better life experience.
Jeanne J. Carter, Lenny R. Vartanian, (2022) Self-concept clarity and appearance-based social comparison to idealized bodies. Body Image, (40), 124-130.
Taylah M. Manning, Kate E. Mulgrew, Broad conceptualisations of beauty do not moderate women’s responses to body positive content on instagram. Body Image, (40), 12-18.