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Thread: Self-identity and appearance

  1. #1

    Self-identity and appearance

    This probably seems a weird thing for a first post but Iím not sure where else to put it.

    I have issues with mental health and with keeping up with my appearance.

    Most days, I roll out of bed ten minutes before I have to leave for work with the clothes I wore yesterday.

    I know that we canít expect to look like a model, and I know that everyone can improve their looks with some effort, BUT...
    Whenever I spend time (2-3 hours) applying makeup or doing my hair, at the end of it all I donít feel any better about myself than I did before.

    I know itís nice to try and look your best for your partner, but when I look in the mirror after hours of primping and preening and donít feel any prettier for it, it seems like such a wastes of valuable life time that I will never get back.

    Why should I bother trying to improve my looks when I feel the same after Iím done? If I am a 5 out of 10, I still look like a 5 out of 10 even after makeup and hair. The only difference is that I look like Iíve TRIED, which feels worse.

    Like if I do nothing and look terrible, itís because I didnít try. But if I try and STILL look terrible it feels even worse, and like I wasted my time.

    So whereís the incentive to try at all? Iím trying to find a good motivator to do my makeup every day for work and change into some clean clothes. Maybe brush my hair or shave some days. Buy a new outfit (I only have one outside of my work uniform).

    It all seems so pointless and wasteful since I hate what I see in the mirror regardless. What can I do to make myself WANT to try when I know I will hate the outcome either way?

    Looking for some motivation. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Self-identity and appearance

    Remove expectations. 2 - 3 hours is way too much time if you don't like the result, or you don't enjoy the process.

    Try to form a habit (i.e. force yourself) of giving yourself the once-over (shower 5 minutes, brush teeth 2 minutes, brush hair 2 minutes, put on clean clothes 5 minutes) every day, including days off.

    If you aren't motivated to do it out of respect for yourself, offer it as an act of kindness to those around you.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  3. #3
    bibliophibian volcaniclastic's Avatar
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    Re: Self-identity and appearance

    I think the real problem here is that you don't like what you see on the inside. As long as you hate yourself on the inside, what you do to yourself on the outside will not matter.

    Why do you feel you need to wear makeup? Why do you feel the need to shave? I appear female and do neither, and I am no uglier or unhappier for it.

    Basic hygiene is a must. Convince yourself out of bed in the morning, even if that's all you can manage. When you can manage that reliably, convince yourself to bathe.

    Then work on self-love, because it sure sounds like you need it.
    We are all these things [...]. Pride, desire, compassion, cleverness, belligerence, fruitfulness, loyalty...and guilt. But above it all stands love. And if we desire to be more than human, that is the star by which we must set our sights.

    Questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart.

    Hot Pickle!

    You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

    ďLeaving is not enough. You must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house heís never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Donít wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did. And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion with a knife and five cranberries. Donít lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street.Ē

    Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell

  4. #4
    Sr. Member faye_cat's Avatar
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    Re: Self-identity and appearance

    I also struggle with mental health, and it took me a long, long time to like what I saw in the mirror. what Volcaniclastic said has a lot of truth, if you aren't comfortable with who you are, then how you dress and look isn't going to change that.

    D. de corbin had it right, remove the expectations. Focus on self care and basic hygiene: Take a shower when you need it (depending on hair type and lifestyle, this is gonna vary. Some people say a light one everyday, some say every other day, etc.) . Brush your teeth. Put lotion on as needed.

    Ultimately, the goal is to find clothes and a style that make you feel happy and confident. So if you like only wearing lipstick, then find a shade that makes you feel good and rock it! You feel most confident when you wear tank tops and jeans? Stock up on those! You like bold, bright, twirly things? I can show you some stores and we can figure out when they have stuff going on clearance.

    It's a struggle, but it boils down to: Self care and self expression. Don't waste your energy on things that do nothing for you.
    ďI am Cat and I walk alone and all ways are the same to me.Ē ~Rudyard Kipling, The Cat Who Walks By Himself

  5. #5
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Self-identity and appearance

    So...I roll out of bed 10-20 minutes before I need to leave for work, toss on whatever clothes (I sleep au natural) I find that smell clean and are weather appropriate, wear my hair in a ponytail, and rarely shave or wear makeup. If I do either of the latter two, the hubby would probably think he forgot our anniversary or something. While I don't "not bother" because I'm not happy with myself, I don't think that someone who does "bother" is a sign that someone necessarily likes themselves either. I honestly, care very little for external and typical standards of beauty for myself or others. Its one thing if someone likes wearing makeup or dressing up (sometimes it can be fun, I do it for historical reenacting, but its part of what is essentially a costume for an alter ego of sorts), that's fine, but if you don't actually enjoy it and are only doing it to meet societal standards, eff that and find a routine that works for you and helps you better about yourself. Stop focusing on how you look and start focusing on how you feel. Feeling clean and smelling good--the basic hygiene stuff, feels nice. Do it for that. If makeup doesn't make you feel better, don't use it. Figure out what does make you feel better--as long as its something constructive and good for you, do that instead. Sometimes though, you just have to decide to do something you know will suck first but make you feel better in the long run that you just don't feel like doing. If you think the reason you can't do it on your own motivation because you are depressed, get professional help.
    ďYou have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    ďWe still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.Ē
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

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