How to react when others mock your looks

With all the compassion, kindness, and love crusades being spread all over the world, I find it funny that some people still enjoy making fun of someone’s physical appearance in 2020. But since we can’t change other people – that’s not true though, research says a certain percentage can sway public opinion – we have the power over our reactions. Here I list seven ways on how to deal with someone making fun of your looks.

1. WORK ON ACCEPTING YOUR BODY AS IT IS. This is easier said than done, and I’m sorry to say we can’t manufacture self-acceptance. It involves looking AT your reflection as if you and your physical body are separate entities. This process is going to be really painful, but the trick is to be as objective as you can, trying not to judge or blame yourself (or your parents) for how you look. It’s also going to take long, but trust that good things take time.

First, look at each part of you one by one. Check your hair, your hairline, your forehead, your eyes, your eyelids, your brows, your nose, your nostrils, your cheekbones (or the lack thereof), your lips, your teeth, your tongue, your gums, your ears, your jaw, your chin, your double chin, your neck, your nape, your shoulders, your chest, your breasts, your torso, your belly, your arms, your armpits, your hands, your fingers, your genitals, your butt, your thighs, your knees, your legs, your feet, your toes, your nails, your skin, your voice. Describe your parts as objectively as you can, using only your sight and touch. What is the shape of your eyes? What is their color? How does the skin on your face feel? How does the skin on your thighs feel? Look at your armpits. Describe your teeth. Are they aligned? Are they complete? What is their color? How many moles do you have? What is the shape of your fingers? Do not judge. Just describe, as if you’re doing basic inventory. All of that comprise your outer body.

Second, describe how you feel about each individual part. What do you think about your right eye? How about your left eye? What can you say about your neck? Do you like the shape of your legs? What do you feel about the shape of your toes? More importantly, but still using just your basic senses, why? Take note that you have to do this to all parts, not just the parts you or other people always notice.

These first and second steps allow us to see that there are already so many parts in our outer appearance and there are parts of us we may actually like. The face is the first thing we see, and there are already many different individual features. I find it impossible that one person can say they can’t find even one part of their outer body they like, unless they’re fishing for compliments. (For example, I don’t like my face shape, my eyes, and the color of my lips, but I really like the bridge of my nose. Also, my profile is hideous, but I really like my chin up front, especially when I smile a certain way.)

Now – and this requires honesty, not false modesty – answer this: do you still think you’re ugly?

2. ASK YOURSELF WHY OTHERS’ OPINIONS ON YOUR LOOKS MATTER. This requires your absolute honesty, so this is going to hurt. You will cry. Do not skip this step because you have to face your demons before you can start healing. Do this without judging and without justifying your feelings.

Do you want to be accepted by other people? Do you want to be famous? Do you want people looking at you? Do you want admiration? Do you want to be desired? Do you want to be loved? Do you want to be envied? Do you want to be paid for your looks like those celebrities on TV and YouTube? Do you want to have an easy life? Because fortune favors the beautiful, right?

Be brutally honest. No one else will hear your answers. No one will judge.

Why do you feel this way?

3. WORK ON THINGS YOU CAN CHANGE, BUT ONLY IF YOU WANT. There are parts of us we can’t change, like our genes, or believe it or not the shape of our calves. But there are things that we can always improve on. We can improve on our overall well-being by adopting a healthy and balanced diet, doing physical activities we enjoy, getting some sunshine, meditating, practicing good hygiene, and getting enough quality sleep. If you want, you can save up for frequent visits to the dermatologist or for fixing your teeth. If you think you have an underlying medical condition that is hindering your progress, go to the doctor. Take note, however, that you have to want to change for yourself, not for anyone else.

4. REST IN THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR BODY IS CHANGING ALL THE TIME. One of the books that changed my life forever is Deepak Chopra’s The Book of Secrets. Here, I learned that our cells are constantly working, non-stop, moving, and that nothing in our body is permanent. The cells that make up my heart will someday be my liver or my kidneys or my skin, and my bones will someday be made up of cells previously from my brain. In a matter of a few years, I am literally a different person. This awesome discovery led me to the decision to show my appreciation to my cells by feeding them nourishing food (particularly “good” carbs, because carbs are food for the cells), exercising, getting quality sleep, hydrating, and getting enough sunshine. I also do something silly: when I meditate or I pray, I actually tell my cells how grateful I am of them for all their hardwork for keeping me alive and thriving. I’m not sure if that helps, but I swear I don’t get sick a lot.

What does this tell us? The appearance we have now is not going to last forever. In a few years, our eyes will be slightly different, our skin will change. Knowing this, we now have option to put the focus from our outer selves.

5. STOP BEING TOO INVESTED IN PEOPLE’S PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, including your own. Science and secular humanists dispute that there is no soul; that what we theist idiots call soul is our consciousness. Regardless of who is right, we know that what we are (outside) is not necessarily who we are (inside). There is someone else in there: someone made up of DNA, organs, systems, neurons, memories, schools, books, movies, songs, experiences, arts, religion, families, culture, medicine, and even extraterrestrial DNA – if you believe the weird guy with the weird hair – who has values, virtues, beliefs, principles, and personality. Who we are is not what we are. Do not be too invested in the outer aspects of your being. Stop spending so much time in front of the mirror. Instead, read, find your passion, work on mastering your skills, know yourself, be a better human being. Do not strive to be interesting for others; be interesting enough for yourself that you don’t need people’s acceptance. Conversely, do not be invested on other people’s appearances. Stop complimenting or judging others on their looks. Stop following social media influencers that impose unrealistic standards of beauty. (Know that standards of beauty change all the time as well.) Stop being fixated on looks. Remember: our bodies are changing all the time.

6. WORK ON BEING OKAY WITH BEING ALONE. Humans are social beings and Homo sapiens have dominated the rest of the animal kingdom (to everybody’s detriment) because of our ability to work in groups. Obviously, being social beings worked well (?) to spring humans to domination, but this has also caused us to identify ourselves in context of a group. Who am I when nobody wants me? If we think about it, romantic love has hijacked the world too much, that we are made to believe that the be-all-end-all of our entire existence is romantic love. Sometimes, our insecurity comes from the fear of rejection, of ending up alone, of not being chosen. So, work on being okay with being alone.

7. Finally, DECIDE THAT THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU. We cannot change how other people perceive us, but we can change how we perceive others. Decide that you will not define others based on what they are but on what they do. Of all people, you know how it feels to be ridiculed for things you’re already insecure about, for things you can’t change immediately. Don’t let others feel the same. If you constantly practice to look past the physical in others, soon you will find yourself doing the same for yourself.

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