If someone uses these 11 phrases, they’re self-conscious about their appearance

When we’re self-conscious it can show up in many subtle ways. It can change the way we act, the things we do, and the things we say.

So many of us feel the pressure to look our best.

It doesn’t help that we’re bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards that never seem to account for all the diversity that exists in the real world.

Is it any wonder that even the most confident people can feel self-conscious about their appearance from time to time?

Sometimes we may not even notice the ways that insecurity shows up. But if someone ever uses the following phrases, they may have more hangups than they realize.

1) “I’m no oil painting”

Self-depreciation is often masked in humor.

People who often make themselves the butt of the joke may do so out of insecurity.

If people frequently put themselves down over the way they look it gives you a glimpse into some deeper self-beliefs lurking below the surface.

Despite trying to laugh it off it becomes a form of negative self-talk, as highlighted by Berkeley Well-being Institute.

“Research has shown many who engage in self-deprecating talk have lower self-esteem (Owens, 1993). We often switch on self-deprecation when we are feeling insecure, but this thought process can snowball, creating a negative feedback loop as one exacerbates the other.”

2) “I hate having my picture taken”

My sister and I couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to the camera.

Since we were kids, she always was an expert — ready to strike a pose at a moment’s notice.

I on the other hand would run and hide from the lens.

The truth is, I just don’t like how I look in photos.

It’s uncomfortable for me to see myself reflected, so I shy away from it.

Photos are a wonderful way to capture a moment. But feeling self-conscious can mean a lot of us avoid it.

3) “I wish my X was Y”

I’m talking about those people who only ever focus in on their perceived flaws.

So they say things like:

“I wish my nose was smaller”

“I wish my biceps were bigger”

“I wish my tummy was flatter” 

Rather than see what makes them beautiful and unique, their mind hones in on things they want to change about themselves,.

4) “Do I look alright?”

This is uttered whenever we’re looking for validation.

Sometimes a little bit of fishing for compliments could be at play.

Other times it’s because they are worried that they don’t look good.

But either way, it’s a sign of being self-conscious.

Because if you need to receive praise to feel okay in your own skin, you probably aren’t giving yourself enough validation.

Frequently questioning how they look and needing reassurance signals that someone doesn’t feel worthy or attractive enough.

5) “She’s so beautiful”

Of course, noticing how good-looking other people are isn’t always a sign of being self-conscious.

But if someone seems fixated on how everyone else looks it can show insecurity. Especially when it’s said with envy.

Chances are, they are comparing themselves to others. Often through a distorted lens where they don’t feel like they measure up.

Rather than appreciate what they have to offer, they look around longingly at everyone else.

6) “I’m having a fat day”

I hear so many women say this phrase quite innocently.

They usually mean that they’re feeling particularly bloated or they’ve eaten quite a lot and are feeling the effects.

But when you stop and think about it, this is body shaming, pure and simple.

Not only are all of us very different shapes and sizes, but our own bodies change a lot over the course of a day, a week, a month, and of course, over the years.

When we use sentences like this, we’re sending subconscious cues to ourselves and others that it’s not okay to deviate from the stick-thin standard of health and beauty.

7) “But I don’t have anything to wear”

It’s true that our clothes can be a form of expression and be used to reflect aspects of who we are.

They can also help us to boost our confidence.

There’s no denying that when we feel like we look our best, we often feel our best too.

But we shouldn’t buy into this whole “clothes make the man” idea.

At the end of the day, judging ourselves and others based on outfits is clearly a very shallow measure of worth.

If someone wants to skip a social engagement because they don’t feel like they have anything nice enough to wear it can be a red flag that they’re fixating too much on appearances.

Despite probably having plenty of options in their wardrobe, they worry that none are good enough.

8) “Does my bum look big in this?”

It’s such a classic line that it’s become a bit of a cultural joke.

It conjures images of the self-conscious girlfriend turning to her other half for some reassurance.

Of course, it goes for any part of your body or hang-up you may have.

Seeking the encouragement of outside sources shows it’s an insecurity for them.

9) “I look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backward”

I confess I’ve used this common expression a few times.

We usually say it when we’re feeling a bit disheveled. Maybe our hair feels out of place, or we’ve not slept so well.

Basically, we think our appearance isn’t as good as it could or should be.

But it’s a good idea to be really mindful about the language we use when we describe ourselves.

Words are powerful and we send subconscious messages that affect our self-esteem when we use unkind sentiments.

As pointed out by Verywell Mind:

“Negative self-talk can be devastating for your mental well-being. It undercuts your motivation, leaves you susceptible to mental health problems, and makes it harder to be successful in life.”

10) “What on earth does he/she see in me?”

Attraction is so multi-faceted.

It may feel like we live in increasingly superficial societies where we are judged solely on looks. But we’re not as shallow as it can seem.

Looks may play a part in our physical attraction to others, but plenty of other qualities count far more.

Besides, it’s not just a cliche, it’s also a truism that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We all have very different ideas of what makes someone good-looking.

But if someone really cannot see what makes them attractive to others, it’s a big sign of a lack of self-esteem.

11) “No I don’t, I look awful!”

This is less about any specific phrase and more about rejecting compliments.

When someone says something complimentary, how you respond speaks volumes.

If you get embarrassed and find ways to refute what they’ve just said, chances are you find it very hard to accept praise.

Your aversion to flattery may run deeper than you think.

It’s not simply a sign of modesty. Something else may be going on.

It can be difficult to accept compliments when they conflict with our own self-image. Which is why it can be a sign that someone feels self-conscious about their appearance.

Build yourself up, don’t tear yourself down

I’m not going to pretend that ditching all our hangups and insecurities about the way we look is easy.

They’ve often been brewing quietly in the background for many years. So it’s not simple to rid ourselves of the questioning doubts.

But we can all become more aware of the language we use and what we are really saying with it.

That way we can improve our positive self-talk and dig deeper into areas where we still need to inject greater self-love and self-acceptance into our lives.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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