11 Ways To STOP Feeling Ugly (2024) Once And For All!

The pressure to be notably good-looking is so strong in our society hence choking self-confidence in many.

But you don’t need these pressures pressing you down any longer.

Whether you feel ugly sometimes or most of the time, dig into this expert advice to cut off feeling ugly for good.

Let’s dive in!

1. Recognize That Everyone Was Made to Fit Their Purpose

Take note of this insight for it is the foundation of solid self-worth and self-love.

Commonly, when you comment how ugly you feel you are to someone, they might say something like:

“Everyone is beautiful in their own way, “ “You are beautiful the way you are…” 

They do mean well and I’m not saying you or anyone else isn’t “beautiful in their own way” or “beautiful the way they are.” But answering “I feel ugly” with such sentiments doesn’t do much but put a very short-lived band-aid on a deep issue.

So how do we deal with this issue of feeling ugly?

Embracing acceptance

The first and best solution is to accept that there’s such a thing as appearance beauty when it comes to human qualities – meaning some people are born attractive while others, not so much.

And it all has a purpose. Just like some people are born book smart, street smart, tech-savvy, farming experts, musicians, and many other qualities, being beautiful or handsome is one of those qualities distributed among the human race for a purpose.

Understanding the purpose

One of those purposes you can agree with me is that they’re a delight to look at. 

Even if uninterested romantically in a man or woman you consider good-looking, you’d probably stare at them because you like what you’re seeing. It’s like looking at beautiful aspects of nature.

This is why most models, air hostesses, and other looks-worthy careers treasure stunning physical appearance in their employees.

The truth is, everyone is meant to do something different in life and is equipped with everything they need to do it whether it is an artistic eye, good IQ, amazing EQ, a good hand on the farm, heavenly voice for music, or beautiful narrations – you name it.

Even if you’re not beautiful according to most beauty standards – and you’re not alone in that, you have the exact looks and abilities to make the difference you’re meant to make in this world. 

And even if you haven’t discovered your talents yet, you definitely have what it takes to make a difference in the world that’ll satisfy you and others you influence – if only you start paying attention to the right things.

Feeling Ugly
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Awareness of societal conditioning around beauty standards

Like many other human qualities, most people who are insecure themselves try to impose pressures on others like you to become as beautiful as so and so. If you’re not then you’re not good enough.

But if you understand the concept of everyone being equipped for their purpose, you understand that this mindset the society conditions is wrong.

Your role isn’t to be as your beautiful friend is because your purpose is different. There’s no point in desiring to be like them since you’d stop living your life with all that you have to stack up to the standard of someone else.

So if you focus on your role according to what you have and what you can build, you’d be much happier in fulfillment of your true potential.

Related: How To Be Enough For Someone: Effective Tips

Discovering your beautiful self

Having understood what we’ve discussed above, here’s how I’d like you to talk to yourself if you are truly not an attractive person,

“I am made for a unique purpose on this earth. And for that reason, I have various amazing qualities I know like X and more to discover about myself as I continue this journey called life. I don’t have to be as beautiful/handsome as Claire/Scott no matter how much the voices in my head push me. With all I am and are still becoming, I am beautiful the way I am.”

Stick around to understand more ways to battle feeling ugly.

2. Know What Beauty Means to You

Is beauty to you what the celebrity magazines deem as most attractive in their famous lists? Or is it based on the stares you get when out and about? Does it focus on bone structure, the shape of the face, type of hair, the color of skin, the shape of your waist – what is it?

What is beauty to you?

No matter how much you compare, your understanding of how beautiful someone is would always be foggy if you have no beauty standard, to begin with. You’ll find yourself confused with cultural standards that have nothing to do with real beauty. 

But to cut the story short, think about it and write down what beauty really means to you.

If you ask me, I have two main beauty standards on different aspects: 

  1. Physical beauty is someone good-looking according to my eyes regardless of what they or anyone else thinks.
  2. Inner beauty which I view as true beauty is someone who lives their authentic selves in kindness to themselves and others.

The funny thing is that as I discover the inner beauty of someone, their outer features also become surprisingly interesting which many genuine people testify – that when someone is beautiful on the inside, they wholesomely become beautiful.

Now onto you. What is beauty to you?

3. Identify the Cultural Beauty Ideals Pressuring You to Feel Ugly

Generally, we are the ideals we allow in our belief systems. In the case of beauty, what our cultures deem as attractive or ugly is what we take on and make our own beliefs

  • In Asia, skin care focuses on maintaining white or pale skin while in Brazil they love tanned skin
  • In America they prefer skinny women while in Africa the curvier the better
  • A nicely made-up face would be considered beauty in New York but naturally flawless skin in France is more desirable
  • Many places around the world treasure thin lips but the standard is changing after the internet popularized that full lips are more attractive

These are just popularly known cultural biases and clearly, no one can compete with all.

So ask yourself, “What is the cultural belief triggering you to feel ugly?” or better yet, “When you feel ugly, what beauty standard usually comes to mind? 

This helps you go to the next step.

Related: Tips On How To Cope With Feeling Not Good Enough For Him

4. Debunk the Cultural Ideals of Beauty

The best lips are full, the best body shape is slim, the best hair is straight…write down whichever cultural beauty beliefs you’ve been holding onto that make you feel inadequate.

Now reject them using reality. 

The best lips aren’t full, I’ve known beautiful people without full lips – Jeniffer Aniston is an example. The best body shape isn’t slim, I’ve seen plump people who are very good-looking – James Corden for instance. The best hair isn’t straight, I’ve seen beautiful hair in kinks, waves, and curls – like Yara Shahidi’s.

You know the twist you can apply to your narrative when debunking beauty myths you’ve been following. Disprove them with evidence in your surrounding or by searching for people with features like yours online.

Break free from the negative beauty myths to get the confidence boost you need to live your best life.

5. Live Out Your Reality of Beauty

Remember when we talked about what beauty means to you? If you can practice your type of external beauty with easy-to-do style changes, go for it.

But if it’ll involve invasive skin changes and energy-draining routines, it’s not worth your mental health, it’s not worth your time.

Even better, practice the inner beauty you want to see in yourself. If you desire to be kinder, practice more kindness. If you want to be more optimistic, practice gratitude. If you want to ditch shallow thinking, learn to be a deep thinker.

You get the point.

Moreover, remember that you’ll feel ugly if you don’t take care of yourself well so do your best to follow hygiene and rock a style that makes you look your best.

6. Surround Yourself With Authentic Confidence

One best way to establish and maintain the changes you’re making in your mindset is to surround yourself with a supportive community.

This could be people around you or online who are chasing after living their authenticity in confidence, books around the theme, or other content to help you solidify a healthy mindset regarding your beauty.

7. Remember the “Spotlight Effect”

The spotlight effect is a social psychology explanation behind the tendency to overestimate how much people notice and think about us.

Spotlight Effect
Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

When experiencing the spotlight effect, you walk around thinking everyone is seeing your flaws, your mistakes, and a whole bunch of issues that only happen in your mind. This takes a toll on your self-esteem.

You spill coffee on the table during the break and you keep thinking, “Everyone must be saying I am a clutz.” or in the case of a beauty standard, “Everyone must be seeing my big nose, oh they’re probably thinking how ugly I am.”

But the truth is, everyone is too caught up with their lives to think much about your features.

They might notice that you’re averagely good-looking or even less than that but no one would dwell on such thoughts as opposed to what you think.

Remember this to cut short thoughts of how ugly you look whenever they crop up.

Related: Ways How To Be ‘Good Enough’

8. Get Busy Around Your True Values

In religion, they say “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop” meaning when you’re bored out of doing nothing interesting in your life, your mind tends to go on the negative which drains your self-esteem.

Therefore, to remove your focus on your negative body image, get moving with your hobbies and interests. Soon enough, thoughts of how ugly you are would fall on the rear.

Even better, you’d probably discover more real ways of knowing and expressing yourself – something that helps you get wiser with time.

9. Spin Your Imperfections in the Positive

To embrace your imperfections, you need to identify them and positively talk about them.

You can do it in different ways. 

Shift your focus on another good feature about you

You can shift your focus to the positive parts about yourself since it’s unrealistic to have everything on you being perfect.

For example, “My feet aren’t the prettiest but the legs sure did a good job compensating – after all, I can’t expect to have every part looking perfect.” 

Spin one of your imperfections in this manner right now to see how amazing it works.

Remember to be grateful

Practice gratitude keeping in mind other people’s shortcomings: 

“I am grateful for having these hands even if they’re not so attractive, some people wish to have at least any natural hands if possible.” This is something you can tell anyone who talks unkindly about some of your features.

 “At least I have this dark skin man, others desire normal skin but can’t go out in the sun freely due to albinism. I’m grateful man!” Something like this would sure shut your bully up.

Shift your focus on your abilities

“Even if my ugly face doesn’t delight people, I’m grateful I’m blessed at playing the piano that I can delight the ears of many.”

“Even if I am not that attractive, at least I can make people laugh”

“I know I don’t have the best looks but I can sure tackle math.”

“Even if I don’t turn heads when I walk into a room, I can turn minds to learn what’s most important in life.”

The list goes on. As we discussed earlier, no one is completely disadvantaged in their entire life. You’re given something to be proud of, and the ability to make other people’s lives better somehow.

Ask the millionaire blogger Jon Morrow who can’t move anything but his face. 

10. Remember “Society” Would Always Ask For More

If you haven’t realized it yet, no matter what good you do, someone somewhere is going to criticize you whether you’re good-looking or not.

Society (which could be your loved one or stranger in the park) would always point out this wrong and that about you. And if you’re truly ugly, chances are that you’ll encounter this more often.

But it’s best to remember that society never gets satisfied with anything. 

If you have thin lips, some people would tell you to get fuller ones. If you have a round butt someone might tell you some more hips would do better. Even if you have the best nose in your family someone might tell you to consider a nose job.

No matter how you look, you’ll never be good enough for society.

So it’s best to stop worrying and not care anyway.

To learn more, check out The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Gaining More Self Confidence

11. Seek Personalized Help When Feeling Ugly, Depressed, & Worthless

Whether truly ugly, average looking, or stunning, how you feel about your looks is majorly an issue of your mindset which makes up your self-esteem.

Personalized Help
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

While occasional feelings of ugliness might crop up in your bad hair days and such, frequently feeling you’re ugly is a sign of a much deeper mental health issue.

You might be:

  • Depressed: With depression, you can experience feelings of ugliness and worthlessness. This condition may also lead you to neglect self-care which further promotes feeling ugly.
  • Having a Body Dysmorphic Disorder: With this condition, you’d find yourself being obsessed about minor real or perceived flaws you have to the extent of avoiding social situations due to shame and anxiety.
  • Gender Dysphoria: This is a condition of distress you might be experiencing because you feel expressing yourself differently from the gender you are. For instance, you might be female but feel wearing and doing male-ish things and hence feel ugly in female skin. Many people go through such experiences but avoid sharing since they feel powerless and embarrassed.

Whether experiencing the above or related behavioral disorders like an eating disorder, it’s common to feel ugly because of something you struggle with. 

If this is the case, it’s best to seek a counselor to help you understand and deal with that issue so you can feel good about how you look and restore your mental health.

This Low Self-Esteem Treatment Plan is something you can check if struggling with feeling ugly most of the time.

Why Do I Feel So Unattractive? Feeling Ugly Meaning

You can feel unattractive because you’re depressed and are feeling all kinds of worthless or you may be having a body dysmorphic disorder and are obsessing over your flaws. You may also be struggling with insecurities because of your environment, failures, eating disorders, and other issues affecting your self-esteem that you connect with your looks.

How Do You Know if Your Ugly? Feeling Ugly All the Time

If you want to know if you’re ugly according to popular opinion, these are signs to watch out for:

  • Kids come up to you and tell you bluntly – they don’t lie
  • When you make jokes about your looks, no one laughs or disproves you
  • When the person many people say you resemble is ugly
  • When you have friends of the opposite sex and they all love you as a brother or sister
  • When no one around your age comments well about your looks
  • No one flirts with you
  • People compliment many other things about you but not your physical appearance

How Do You Deal With Feeling Unattractive?

  1. Recognize that everyone was made to fit their purpose
  2. Know what beauty means to you
  3. Identify the cultural biases pressuring you to feel ugly
  4. Debunk the cultural biases of beauty
  5. Live out your reality of beauty
  6. Surround yourself with authentic confidence 
  7. Remember the “spotlight effect”
  8. Get busy around your true values
  9. Spin your imperfections in the positive
  10. Remember “society” would always ask for more
  11. Seek personalized help

On Feeling Ugly After Pregnancy

After pregnancy, it’s natural to feel unattractive since your body looks different. You may feel you’re too fat and need to lose weight, out of shape, and ultimately ugly but it’s not the end of your physical appearance. After some time plus post-partum body restoration practices, you can get back some of your old looks.

Closing Word

Feeling ugly might mean that you’re actually ugly but it’s no reason to continue feeling so. Accepting it and living your potential with all you have will set you up for a confident, fulfilling life.

But in case you have a distorted view of your looks for some reason, it’s time to deal with your mental health and get a new perspective about your own beauty.

What signs reveal you’re ugly? Now, what are you going to do about it? Let’s talk in the comments!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.