Feeling Ugly and Unattractive

Feeling ugly and unattractive is a highly common problem that probably all of us have experienced at one time or another. Whether you’re male or female, and no matter how good looking you are in reality, there have probably been times when you felt low and unattractive. This can unfortunately have a big impact on our happiness and our success and has a lot of consequences.

First of all, feeling ugly damages our self esteem leaving us feeling genuinely less happy with ourselves than we probably did before. Then at the same time it makes us feel less capable. It is attractive people of course who find attractive partners and by the same token it is common for attractive people to get the more desirable jobs. If you feel ugly, then you aren’t going to want to pursue a career as an actor or actress, and you might feel like you can’t be as successful in an office based job either.

Perhaps more seriously, if you’ve ever heard of the law of attraction, you’ll know that feeling ugly can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you feel ugly then you’ll find yourself dressing less attractively (to draw less attention to you, and because you can’t ‘pull off’ more attractive clothes), you’ll find yourself walking with less confidence (and confidence is sexy) and you’ll take less time in looking after yourself.

The reality is that you most probably aren’t ugly. Apart from anything else beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that aside even by conventional standards very few people are genuinely ‘ugly’. And even if you are there are things that can be done both about the way you look, and the way you feel. Here we will look at what to do if you feel ugly.

Change Your Thinking

First of all it’s time to change your thinking. If you feel ugly then no doubt you are probably focussing on a few key areas of you appearance that you aren’t happy with and that you think are ‘ugly’. Perhaps you have a double chin, or a large nose, or small eyes. In any case you shouldn’t focus on things you can’t change as it’s not healthy or helpful.

Instead what you should focus on is what you do like about yourself and what can be changed. While you might not like your jaw, or you might not like your ears, there will almost always be something you do like about yourself. Perhaps it’s your teeth, perhaps it’s your jaw line, perhaps it’s your eye color. In any case there will be something that you have going for you and you should focus on this instead. Next time you think ‘I don’t like my nose’ in your head, make sure that you follow this up immediately with ‘but I do like my jaw’. It’s a little psychological trick that can transform your perceptions.

At the same time you can also improve this area of yourself and make it your feature. If you don’t like your eyes but you like your lips as a woman, then you can start wearing a red lipstick to draw attention to them, and you can take care to keep them moisturized and great looking. Meanwhile if you don’t like your lips but you like your eyes then you can draw more attention there with eye makeup or by making effort to keep them wide. For men changing your eyebrows and growing a beard can draw attention to your eyes.

Spruce Up

One of the best cures for feeling ugly is to have a makeover and this can be a style makeover, a makeup makeover, or just a new health and beauty regime. In any case, dedicate some time to making the most of what you have and showing off your assets. If you dress to show off the best parts of your body, if you make sure your skin looks good and healthy, and if you try a new hair cut then you’d be surprised to find that it can actually transform your look entirely and make a swan out of even the ugliest duckling. The best way to achieve this is to turn to the professionals. Go and get a makeover, or spend a little more money on a haircut (you only have to do this once and then you can get subsequent hairdressers to just copy the style). Don’t be afraid to really mix things up either and to try bold decisions – maybe colored contacts, or how about blue hair? Another rather big change that can make a huge positive difference is to have cosmetic dentistry such as veneers or crowns.

One thing to remember is that no matter your physical features, there’s probably a look out there that will appeal to you and suit you, so make sure to experiment and to find it.


Working out is something that can improve your mood incredibly – a great way to get rid of those depressing thoughts – but at the same time it can alter your physique, your confidence and many aspects of your health giving you a great ‘glow’. This is one of THE best ways to make yourself into a slightly more perfect physical specimen in both body and mind.

Change Your Goals

When you feel ugly this is often a result of having unrealistic expectations and our role models have a lot to answer for in this respect. If you find yourself looking at the covers of magazines with a heavy heart and thinking you’ll never look like that, then you will likely find that you do indeed start to feel ugly. The reality though is that these celebrities are a) very rare in their looks and b) nowhere near as attractive in real life. Learn photoshop and you’ll quickly start to see the tell-tale signs of airbrushing and of warping to make hips look thinner and busts look bigger.

Better then is to have more realistic icons who have more interesting features that tell a story. Personally I want to look like Clint Eastwood. He has a face like granite that’s perfect for scaring bad guys. I’d rather look like a grisly man who’s lived a tough life than an airbrushed androgynous phony.

Focus on Other Things

At the end of the day, once you’ve had a makeover and gotten into shape, there is only so much you can do about your looks. Does it really matter though? At the end of the day there are things far more important than what society perceives as being good looking and in fact sometimes being incredibly good looking can be a curse if it leaves you overly dependent on getting buy with a flash of your white teeth. Instead focus on skills and abilities that are a little deeper and more important – sure you’re no Brad or Angelina, but maybe you could be an Einstein or a Mozart.

Likewise you should also try to be a little less shallow yourself. If you feel ugly then it means you have obviously judged yourself on your looks. If you do the same with others then perhaps that’s no surprise. Rather then, try judging people less on their physical appearance in general and this should hopefully spill over into your perception of yourself.

Comments 14
  1. The Clint Eastwood comment is what really got me, I'm on your page 100% on that one. I'm 25 years old and have been overweight (ranging from mildly to topping out at 310lbs in college) for most of my life. From the sheer self-loathing this caused me I wound up technically anorexic for about 7 months, eating a bare minimum of 500-600 calories a day. This wasn't on an emergency diet, this was a new and novel way to self-destruct and I couldn't make myself care or stop. I avoided working out for a long time because I brutalize myself, not out of hopes of getting results quicker, but because I sincerely feel like I deserve punishment and if no one will do it for me I (violently) used to do it to myself.

    I hate my softness, though. I hate that my face will always be rounder and softer, that I'll never look any kind of intimidating unless I'm wearing layers and layers of well-tailored clothing. I've been told for years that my 'presence' is terrifying but I'm permanently convinced that I look like a gross, awkward and vulnerable little boy. It's horrifying sometimes, having thoughts like "Maybe I should carve my face up with a kitchen knife so no one will look at it anymore" more than once in my life (try several times a month at points).

    1. I know this comment is really old, and you probably won’t see it, but I’m a female and I have had the same exact issues and thoughts (albeit from a feminine perspective), including temptations to cut my face since I was a teenager. I just wanted to tell you you’re not alone in that. I wish I could give you a hug or something.

      1. I have been overweight my whole teenage life and adulthood. Please never hurt yourself. I have felt the same way you two have felt. I will keep everyone in my prayers.

  2. I'm not too sure this helped me. I was bullied all my life. I'm pretty sure I was convinced that I'm ugly from almost every boy and girl in school growing up. Everyone around me including my own family members close to my age would constantly comment on things they didn't like about me. Now I'm married and have a husband that also points out my biggest insecurity, my looks. He says he's doing it playfully, but it really hurts. With years of pretty much "confirmation" from everyone around me that I am NOT pretty, I just feel ugly and like no amount of inspiring articles or nice comments could change it.

  3. This article helped me to refocus and realize I was just looking at one area and using that as an excuse to feel sorry for myself.

  4. Unfortunately some of us really are ugly… I’m a 56 yr old man… I was told I was ugly even as a child… I grew up to be ugly… I was a fat kid… grew into a fat adult… Tried everything you can imagine to lose weight… to look better… because I was ALWAYS rejected by women. Again… fighting my weight and I lost… lose gain lose gain… it has always been a yo-yo life. Women don’t want me… they never have. At 56… I’ve given up. I never had children… never had the home and wife and all the things I really wanted. Being ugly is almost like being disabled… except nobody cares.

  5. Frank and Jessica V. have written some truths. Consistent rejection from the opposite sex, is confirmation that someone’s physical appearance is a turn off. I know people with good personalities but poor (comparative) physical features that get blatantly snubbed by the opposite sex and I know people with terrible personalities but (comparatively) good physical features that get attention from the opposite sex. That is a fact.

  6. I’m a man and feel ugly also. I never had a girlfriend in my life. I don’t even approach women because of rejection that I fear. The things sometime I don’t like is my square face and big nose. I’m on the skinny side to. It does not do any good to go to the gym. Because I can’t put on weight. I have an active job a lot of walking every day. So I stay skinny all the time. I’m not into going to bars meeting women because I don’t drink. When I was in school ready for my graduation no girl wanted to walk with me. I ended up walking alone. It made me sad and felt ugly no girl cared about me. I’m in my 40’s now and still single today. Most of the time I just like staying at home after working and not going out. There are times I feel like giving up finding a woman because I don’t feel attractive looking. Please reply if you would like.

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