How do you accept the negative impact on your physical appearance in a superficial world?

Replenished

Senior Member
Messages
226
Likes
368
I'm sure like me, many of you have seen a deterioration in your physical appearance through ill health. Some of that is natural aging, but, it often seems more extreme than that.

I hate to sound shallow but when I feel I look like crap, and see my appearance worsening in the mirror, I also feel awful mentally. My self esteem is rock bottom and I can't stand the sight of myself in the mirror most of the time. Even if I feel a little better health wise and can manage to do some social activities...I don't want to because of my concerns about peoples judgement on how much my appearance has deteriorated.

That's not to say I don't look after my appearance. I do. But it's more so a haggard, gaunt, ill, wrinkled look from the stress. I'm in my early 30s and look like utter shite.

We live in a superficial world where looks and appearance means a lot, unfortunately. How do you deal with looking more and more awful by the week?
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
837
Likes
2,909
I don't consider at any point I have had a choice. From the bags under my eyes, to my weird skin texture and my fluctuating weight that my intake has little to no impact on at no point have I had any control of any of how this makes me look. There is little value focusing on the things that are not in your sphere of influence, focus your efforts on the things that are.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
3,984
Likes
6,957
So true....we have to learn to accept the face in the mirror. Really, if you can wear a big smile, people will tell you that you look great but that doesn't necessarily feel good either b/c we know we aren't. Accept the compliment anyway....it's good to hear.

We change as we age. Have you ever noticed how the bride who was beautiful when she married, has totally changed in looks and it's now the groom who is more of a star in the looks dept.? Still, after time...it really doesn't matter as personality wins all. At least in my world.

I'm from a large family and grew up with some very handsome brothers. The interesting thing is that even though I loved them, I also knew them and handsome can become ugly very soon....thus I've always based my taste in men on their personality, smile...things of that nature. Neither is foolproof, but it's a start.

So no, I wouldn't let how I look stop me from a social life of any sort (although nights are difficult and I no longer go out then). I don't assume that people are looking at me b/c I don't look well...and so what if they do? Sooner or later illness will come knocking on all of our doors. We just need a healthy dose of compassion to live in the world of chronic illness...and that takes time, work and acceptance. Yours, Lenora.
 

hapl808

Senior Member
Messages
1,115
Likes
2,801
Even healthy people are all fighting a losing battle against time, it just all feels accelerated for us. Before being moderate-severe, I always looked quite young for my age which was lucky. Now I look more my age, and like you said - bags under the eyes, fluctuating weight, etc. Since I'm more moderate-severe now, I can't exactly hide that I'm sick anyways, so I just try to put myself 'together' a bit if I see people. It's disappointing, but that's all we can really do. Sometimes it's actually reassuring because they are more likely to understand you're sick if you 'look' bad, rather than if you're too weak to stand up. That is the superficiality of society.
 

splusholia

Senior Member
Messages
225
Likes
598
I would be aware that your appearance can improve for the better as you intake more nutrients and improve your health (if possible). At 29 I looked awful - gaunt, hollow-eyed, etc. Now, at 37, my looks have improved since taking supplements and absorbing nutrients from foods better. My hair is much thicker now too. I also try to take good care of my hair, and I use good skincare products. I try not to obsess about what I cannot change - e.g. I can’t exercise to tone my body, etc.
 
Messages
11,038
Likes
26,395
Sometimes it's actually reassuring because they are more likely to understand you're sick if you 'look' bad, rather than if you're too weak to stand up. That is the superficiality of society.
Interesting comments- as in other PR threads, there resides the concept: We Don't Look Sick.

There is also the idea the illness cannot be noticed, or observed and this is, in part, why we are unseen.

Well I"m not buying any of that in my case.

I look younger than my years in some ways, older in others.

I was thinking about dying my hair gray. Because then I"d make more sense. I have almost no gray hair, my hair will someday go white but until then, its not.

So if I can muster getting my hair up, wearing actual clothes, somehow putting a smile on my face, and then if the camera is distant from me, well maybe I can tolerate a photo being taken.

I look like walking death in my DMV photo. Preserved there for all time. I was horrifically awful that day so it documented the worst possible condition (short of bedridden).

***
I ordered some lovely pajamas. They were on sale so I got a good price for them, and I'll put them on now and then to feel a bit more elegant and spruced up. Shifting one's internal state.

It sure doesn't t help that Personal Maintenance requires energy.

I lost enough weight to look deflated and the skin doesn't recover, and I was too old. Blew aesthetics, entirely as a result.

***
I never could pull off being a girl, and being glamorous. Its all about physical torment. In college, I had gorgeous shoes, but my back was giving me huge grief preventing wearing heels, and I'm reporting to the Student Health center. It was so bad I could not walk.

I can't wear pure gold earrings, so much for female jewels.

For whatever reason, I cannot wear most women shirts due to some issue with too much exposure of the neck.

I go to the closet, put clothes on, take them off.

Dresses? bras? The later is a form of physical torture.

Back with the shoe thing- I also cannot wear slip them on shoes...flats. The pretty feminine kind. Because my left foot is smaller than my right, a whole size smaller and I was a slightly clubbed birth defect. You can see it on the baby footprints. Thats the other reason I can't wear heels. One is falling off.

:p
 
Messages
11,038
Likes
26,395
I lost enough weight to look deflated and the skin doesn't recover, and I was too old. Blew aesthetics, entirely as a result.
my daughter made me eat more...I got far to thin. One looks great in clothes. So I think I look a bit less wiped out having put back on a few pounds, but my doctor has not "weighed in"...(hah, my doctor himself lost a ton of weight and is really skinny now)
 

Treeman

Senior Member
Messages
601
Likes
1,622
Location
York, England
I tend to wear a neutral expression, I think that hide's how I feel inside and my I'll health. My weight changes as I put it on very easy and it takes an age to lose eating keto. I spend the vast majority of my time at home and have not had my hair cut for 3.5 years. I'm male and if I do go out I wear it in a trendy bun, think that probably makes me look like someone with a mid life crisis!

I don't care what people think, I just care about recovering, then I'll show them how life should be lived!
 
Messages
11,038
Likes
26,395
My weight changes as I put it on very easy and it takes an age to lose eating keto. I spend the vast majority of my time at home and have not had my hair cut for 3.5 years.
Resorted to cutting my own hair. Its long. So if its long, its not too hard and my hair is a whole mix of straight ones and curly/frizzy ones so I get away with it not even being even. I just grab a chunk and Lop some off.

Manbun sounds like a good way to manage keeping it longer, so you can cut it yourself.

I was really careful the first time, tried to give myself a more "properly done" haircut, on account of the training I have (my best friend is the Hairdresser). Too much combing, layering, and too much concern with it being even.

My arms up on the air to long, I crashed pretty intensely after the first self Hair Cut.

oh be far less careful....
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
837
Likes
2,909
I bought a wahl clipper to temporarily cut my hair since I was really unwell and it really needed doing, have now been cutting my own hair for 5 years. I actually have got fairly good at it but when I am at my worst I just number 3 the entire lot and look like a very ill thug. I stopped caring about that stuff, everything is about energy saving so I feel less awful.
 
Messages
15,159
Likes
35,009
Location
Second star to the right ...
I hate to sound shallow but when I feel I look like crap, and see my appearance worsening in the mirror, I also feel awful mentally.
There's absolutely NOTHING superficial about that. We live in a society that focuses on the external, and evaluates, judges, and determines our intrinsic value by that. And if you're a woman, raise that by a factor of at least 3.


I know, I know. We're all soooooo evolved and sooooo above all that, and after all, it's what's inside that really matters, right?

Maybe that's true in the long run, once you're been friends for years, or together for yonks, but even Socrates said "Love enters first thru the eyes ...."

I truly didn't give a crap when I was bedbound and semi-comatose, and luckily DB and I had been married for long enough that none of that really mattered as much as it once had. But as I slowly came out of that, the shock of what it had done to me was just.... depressing. And I told myself the same thing you said "That's soooooo superficial. You're more evolved than that. You're smarter than that. None of that really matters."

Bullshite. If it can change the way you feel, it's important.

I started using my tiny reserves of energy to first run a brush thru my hair, and pull it up in a poufy messy bun. Then I managed a slash of oipstick. I was astonished when DB, the original Lives-In-His-Head-Absent-Minded-Professor noticed what was really a miniscule change.

I still cant do too much mre than that except on my fairly good days, when I add a bit of blush and a dash of poweder, and that's it. No more gorgeous repro art nouveau earrings, no more carefully curated outfits, no more flirty heels, just the very basic .... basics.

I also got back into using a lactic acid face wash, which helped slap my skin into better shape, and when I wasnt researching medical stuff, which is pretty much always, I'd quickly research actives, like B3, Vit C, retinoids, peptides, ceramides, and on and on ..... all the things that had become standard during the years when I was a lump in the bed, requiring, like a roast, occasional turning and basting, and which ones do what and where to get them cheap and make my own stuff, which is pretty simple, but it's helped a lot. And thank God for Amazon !!!!

I dont want to get too dull about all this, but how we think we look, or feel we look, DEEPLY affects our relationship to ourselves, to the few others still in our lives, and the world that we live and move and have our being in. Anyone who tries to tell you differently is either a lama or a madman.

Dont feel superficial. What you're feeling is the first step to something better, at least it was for me. The smallest effort can produce the greatest results. Honest.

EDIT.... for the usual crepe .... typos, run-on sentences, missing letters ....
 
Last edited:
Messages
15,159
Likes
35,009
Location
Second star to the right ...
I don't care what people think, I just care about recovering, then I'll show them how life should be lived!
An EXCELLENT attitude, and one I wish I could emulate more completely. Its not so much that I care what others think, but I care a LOT about what I think and feel. And a little lippie really helps. It also feels really good on your lips, a sort of protective layer between you and a harsh, unkind polluted world ....


I know. I'm a superficial clot, and my attitude isn't worth a can of mushy peas .... tho who would want one beats me :xeyes::xeyes::xeyes:

EDIT .... yeah. Typo ....
 
Last edited:
Messages
15,159
Likes
35,009
Location
Second star to the right ...
I bought a wahl clipper to temporarily cut my hair since I was really unwell and it really needed doing,
I've ben wondering about one of those. DB wont go to a barber right now, and the effort of holding my arms up and trying to slowly and painfully trim his hair pretty much does me in for the day.

Thank you for mentioning it here. How simple is it to use?
 
Messages
15,159
Likes
35,009
Location
Second star to the right ...
I just try to put myself 'together' a bit if I see people. It's disappointing, but that's all we can really do. Sometimes it's actually reassuring because they are more likely to understand you're sick if you 'look' bad, rather than if you're too weak to stand up. That is the superficiality of society.
Aint that the sad, soggy truth. Astonishing and sad.
 
Messages
15,159
Likes
35,009
Location
Second star to the right ...
@Replenished

PS ..... This is a great thread, on a topic that most of us avoid talking about, like death and taxes, because to pay any attention to all that is sooooooo ..... superficial. Or because we're in the kind of shape that doesn't leave enough left-over energy to split any off to anything not absolutely essential to survival ....
 
Messages
11,038
Likes
26,395
I was just admiring an ad for a miracle product, they wandered into the square of ancient Chinese folks and applied the miracle to below the eyes and voila! they dropped 20 years! No more eye bags.

I really want to order the secret products from Korea. They aren't for a minute going to rest until they solve our wrinkle problem. Give me that snail slime, and add the bird nests soup ingredients, too!

thank you Netflix, finally they filmed some man doing the Buzz cut with the device. It took six seconds, and so unfair. That the man can be ready to go out, in six seconds and there we are, another hair fail.

I discovered a new hairbrush really helped the situation some call- permanent dread locks.

I think we could have a revised ME ranking system based upon a 1-20 ranking tied to abilities to maintain ones HAIR. Mild- I manage to get to my hairdresser once a year. Severe- 20- dread locks formed and reach the knees.

Did anyone listen to the rather amazing podcast describing this family who had been like Maharajas, were hiding in the Forest in India, their home dissolving into vines, and the daughter was in her 40s and supposedly she had never washed her hair?

Since jungle rot does set in, this was very hard to imagine.
 
Messages
15,159
Likes
35,009
Location
Second star to the right ...
I ordered some lovely pajamas. They were on sale so I got a good price for them, and I'll put them on now and then to feel a bit more elegant and spruced up. Shifting one's internal state.
I yearn for a pair or two of comfortable and pretty lounge-y things, but I an never find any that I like. So I live in the tattered shreds of ancient, once attractive lounge-y things that most sane poeple would use to polish the silver.
It sure doesn't t help that Personal Maintenance requires energy.
Oh Lordy, does it ever. I mean if you do the whole thing, AM nd PM. Which I absolutely don't. Can't. Some days just the lippie and the messy bun put me down til at least lunch, sometimes longer. Sometimes I cant do it at all.

I can always tell when I'm starting an upswing. I dont resent the minimal effort that the lippie and bun take, and they dont dump me on my @ss for a sizeable part of the day.

Wooooo-HOOOO !!!
I lost enough weight to look deflated and the skin doesn't recover,
Your skin is more resilient than most people think, and like a Persian cat, responds fairly encouragingly to any fforts to revive it. It may not come back all the way, but it's astounding how much ground it can cover with just a little expression of concerned intervention from its owner.

Also, as @splusholia pointed out, decent nutrition and enough protein intake to undertake repairs helps a lot ....
I really want to order the secret products from Korea.
Yeah. Nooooooo. Thier products are awesome, frm what Ive read, and have garnered almost slavish respect internationally, but they seem to believe that anything worth doing is worth doing in anywhere from 8 -12 different steps, twice a day.

Nuh-uh.
They aren't for a minute going to rest until they solve our wrinkle problem.
And we'll be happy to accommodate them once they solve their neighbor-to-the-north problem
Give me that snail slime, and add the bird nests soup ingredients, too!
And again, yeah.


Noooooooooooooo. Call me provincial, but I draw the line at products derived from the mucous trails of a creature that carries schistosomiasis, cute as they are.

That one really baffled me. Are the Koreans pranking us? Daring us? Laughing at us?

It's a mystery.