I am tired of trying to be pretty but it is all I want in life

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    For some reason, I am so fixated on looks and I don’t know why. I am confident in my personality and I am constantly told that that personality is all that matters but that doesn’t change my perception. I understand that looks aren’t everything… but for some reason, they are extremely important to me and I can’t change it. I always compare myself to pretty girls from my high school. I feel this inner need to be prettier than them and I get depressed when anything hints towards me being uglier than them. I NEED to be beautiful. Even if I am not prettier than the prettiest girls in the world, I will be happy being equally beautiful to them. My self-esteem sucks and everyone says I’m pretty but it’s probably because I call myself ugly and they want to make me feel better. Part of the reason I feel so bad about myself is that I have developed feelings for this guy who is not good-looking and he really has made an effort to win me over. No other guys have gone after me in a long time except him… and he is considered “unattractive” by most girls and I feel like that makes me ugly too. If hot guys don’t go after me then I must be ugly.

    There have been times when hot guys have tried to date me but I compared myself to their beautiful exes and felt immediately insecure about myself. For example, once this really attractive football player was trying to date me out of nowhere. I felt so insecure because all of his exes were blonde, skinny, popular, and adored by guys. I felt so ugly and wondered why he wanted me. Please help 🙁 I am not trying to be superficial I am just trying to be honest about my feelings. I literally starve myself to be skinny and dress nice and wear makeup and grow my hair super long but I still feel ugly

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Katie.

    Dear Katie:

    You wrote: “I am not trying to be superficial”- I don’t have a problem with you being superficial and I don’t think wanting to be pretty is any less or more superficial than decorating one’s home so that it is  pretty or creating a pretty work of art. The problem I see is that this quest to be pretty as you described it here will bring you lots of misery as well as spreading that misery to others. This is why I think good psychotherapy  will help you feel better and  live better long term.



    Hi Katie,

    It’s hard to focus on STOPPING doing something. Can you bring something new into your life to occupy your mind or give you a new perspective? I see that you’re a good writer. How about  writing for a school publication? Or writing poetry? You could write letters to prison inmates It’s pretty cliché, but worrying about someone else is a good way to stop worrying about one’s self. Are there other volunteer opportunities that you could participate in that happen regularly – weekly visits to a nursing home, be a big sister, animal shelter, YMCA?




    You know, society places a lot of heavy expectations on females. From the perspective of society, females should be kind, sweet, demure, pretty, smart but not too snart, a good listener and the list goes on. Those expectations is then enforced by your environment in some way but even if you meet the criteria, somehow it’s not enough so you should be doing more. But the cycle continues while your self esteem continues to take criticisms that you aren’t even trying, what’s wrong with you and so on. So it becomes your fault then your problem that you aren’t meeting that expectation so you keep trying and trying and trying but you can’t even see the end in sight.

    You don’t feel you are enough as you are, you think that you can do better, you can be better, you can actually be pretty. You want to feel you’re pretty because maybe then people will accept you, maybe they will actually, really like you. Maybe you can even accept yourself. Maybe then you can like yourself. But that won’t ever happen as you continue the cycle of wanting to feel pretty because that comes from the acceptance of yourself. Wanting to be pretty is one thing but continuing to paint an image of yourself as ugly in your head then starving yourself is another thing.

    Try and go see a specialist who can help you understand the story you are telling others and yourself about that “ugly” image in your head. See it for what it is then what you might see on the surface. People don’t punish themselves with such words just because they are bore, it’s usually because they don’t know how else to deal with themselves.

    Good luck.

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