Dear 100 Hour Board,
I saw someone ask this question a long time ago to other writers and I want to ask it again. I've heard that everyone is insecure about something in their appearance but often I doubt that. I would like to change multiple things about myself but when I walk around and see other people in comparison, they just look like confident radiant gods and goddesses who never feel that way. Whereas I find myself critical almost every time I look in the mirror.
What (if anything) would you like to change about your appearance? Use a pseudonym if you want but please respond. It would be nice to know I'm not alone. And please don't just say "be more grateful, you're amazing." I like myself and am still working on gratitude, but I'd like to know I'm not incredibly shallow and petty for sometimes wishing certain things were different.
-Smaller nose, more muscles guy
Maybe one of the reasons the people you pass by seem so confident is because they aren't currently looking in a mirror. I've noticed that when I'm not looking at them in the face, I don't focus on my physical insecurities.
If I could, I would make my nose a bit smaller. It doesn't bother me like it used to, though, which is good. And of course if I always had perfectly clear skin, I'd be a big fan.
I would love to have thicker hair. I would also like smaller thighs and a flatter stomach, and to get fewer zits. Also I think one of my legs is slightly longer than the other, and it makes that hip stick out weirdly, which looks bad and is also very asymmetrical. And some of my toes are sort of funky-looking.
Based on the number of responses you're getting here, and what I know from everybody I've ever talked to about their body image, everybody definitely has at least one thing they're self-conscious about. It's just that most people don't go around advertising it to the world, so it's easy to think that nobody else is self-conscious about anything. The vast majority of people who know me probably have no idea that I would change those things about myself if I could, and I don't spend all my time obsessing over them or anything. In fact, I'm a pretty confident person, but if someone gave me the chance to magically change those things about myself, I would take it in a heartbeat.
You're not petty and shallow for acknowledging that you don't have a perfect body and that there are things you would like to improve, so I hope you don't feel bad about yourself.
I totally feel where you're coming from. My first few weeks I was intimidated by how put together and good looking people were here at BYU. I felt pretty self-conscious about it, and I think wishing we could look a little different is pretty natural.
Growing up I always wanted to be 6'2" and weigh 200 lbs. That was mostly to be good at sports, so I don't care too much about it now, although being taller would be nice. I think if I could change anything though, it'd be to get rid of my acne and to have skin that actually tans instead of going from white to sunburned. Acne annoys me and I think I'd look better without it, so if I could magically get rid of it I totally would. Also, bright red sun burns are painful and not all that attractive.
I feel ya. If I could change anything, I would magically make myself in shape and make my thighs smaller. I never noticed or cared about the size of my thighs until one day when my boyfriend mentioned that he thought thigh size was a sign of how healthy/fit a girl was. Since then I have been very observant of my thighs, especially as they've been growing because I fail at exercising during the winter. (It's just too cold.)
If this is considered shallow and petty, then I think everyone is shallow and petty in some regard.
-guppy of doom
I'd like to lose the rest of the weight I gained during my pregnancy... and then some.
Ah, well. 9 months on 9 months off and all that. Even if post-pregnancy body is squishier than I'd prefer, it's working pretty good for me (with the exception of my current cold).
Of course you're not alone in disliking aspects of your appearance sometimes. Everyone has moments of insecurity and jealousy. Sometimes I'll be sitting at work feeling totally normal when all of the sudden I'll be really self-conscious that I look fat, so I'll wrap a cardigan around myself and hope no one is looking at me. I have moments where I look at my nose or my thighs or my dry skin and wonder why I don't put more effort into being healthy and taking care of myself.
You're not shallow and petty, you're a normal human being. And it's awesome that you can like yourself in spite of self-criticism and insecurity.
I would probably change my nose, but I've come to learn that it is not as bad as I think it is. I'm sure that is true about your body as well. Try to remember that almost everyone feels insecure, even those who seem the most confident.
-Sunday Night Banter