How to Feel Better If You Don't Like the Way You Look

Fun fact: We've all had an awkward phase (or two or three or 50). TBH, some of us here still feel like we're going through one.

Whether it's been a bad hair phase, a sad run with braces, cringe-worthy style, or we simply just haven't blossomed yet into our beautiful swan-like selves, we can't think of anyone who hasn't disagreed with their appearance at one time or another.

Unsplash: woman staring in a mirror at herself

(via Unsplash)

If you currently feel low when you look in the mirror, there are a number of things that can help (actions we've taken personally to view ourselves differently).

Keep reading for how to feel better if you don't like the way you look.

Find a Unique Way to Make Your Look Stand Out

Social media wants us to believe there's only one way you "should" look, but in reality, nobody's perfect and no two people are the same. Even the so-called flawless girl with five million followers probably has stretch marks somewhere or some other imperfection covered up with clothes or filters.

That said, it's totally okay and completely normal to have insecurities about your appearance. It's a natural feeling (yes, even for those girls). If you don't find yourself attractive in one area, make yourself stand out somewhere else.

For example, if you're insecure about your acne, find a fun style aesthetic that works for you. As the saying goes, "Clothes make the man (err… girl)." If you feel confident in what you wear, you'll likely begin to feel better about your appearance overall. If you don't exactly know how to get there, we've prepared some pointers.  On that same token, if you lack confidence in, let's say, you're body, focus on your hair. Hair truly, truly is your best accessory, so make the most of yours (long or short) and be the poster child for cool-girl hair.



Change Your Self-Care Habits

A little goes a long way when it comes to self-care. Whether it's upping your workouts from zero days a week to two, eliminating refined sugar and processed foods from your meals, taking on a daily skincare regimen, or taking a step back from your chaotic life to focus on your mental health, changing even one little thing in your self-care routine can work wonders. When you put the time into taking care of yourself, you naturally start to feel better. And guess what? When you feel better inside, it shows on the outside (seriously, you'd be surprised!).

Take a moment to consider your schedule and lifestyle and think of what you can do to better yourself daily or weekly. Rome wasn't built in a day, so it's not like you're expected to ditch all your vices overnight and suddenly become the face of healthy living. But think about what's actually possible given your current lifestyle. What can you sacrifice and be okay with? What would truly make you happy, and what in your power can you do to make that happen?

Girl upset in locker room

(via Shutterstock)


Consider the Real Reason You Feel This Way

Do you feel like a big dork with braces? Did your skin have a major breakout you just can't shake? Did you suddenly gain weight or hit puberty before your peers? Those are pretty relatable, expected reasons to get down about your looks. While it feels like there's no end in sight, this awkward phase will eventually go away. And if you follow any of the guidance above, you may see differences quicker than you think.

But if you've considered everything and simply just cringe when you look in the mirror, are you being unfair to yourself? There's a good chance you're letting social media affect your view. You've got to understand that between insane makeup techniques, filters and photo editing apps, people can essentially appear however they want online. Even we can admit that once we started using a seemingly harmless filter app, we had a difficult time seeing original images of ourselves the same way. We took a break from using the app to recenter our vision—and guess what! It worked.

Even before social media, it was really hard not to compare ourselves to others. So, of course, the internet has made things so much worse. But seriously, you've got to remember that everything is heightened online, and all those girls who seem like they're posting confidently are usually posting with another girl in mind. Rest assured you're not alone in your insecurity.

Girl in pink one piece smiling in front of a pink wall while wearing a hat

(via Shutterstock)


Do you lack self-esteem in other areas, too? HERE's how to feel more confident on a date.