People who secretly dislike their appearance often display these 10 behaviors

Some people are pretty vocal about how they feel about themselves. 

They’ll complain loudly or make digs at their perceived flaws. 

Others, on the otherhand, will deal with their self dislike quietly. Understandably, they won’t want to draw attention to themselves, the way they look, or how they feel. 

But it’s only natural that through their behaviors, they let slip. 

So, in this article I’ll be covering these 10 subtle but telling behaviors of someone who secretly dislikes their appearance: 

1) Avoiding mirrors and photographs

In a world where most people seem addicted to taking selfies (or bombing other people’s), a person who actively avoids photographs and mirrors is rare. But what it signals is that they might be feeling self-conscious about their appearance. 

You’ll notice that they rarely spend time looking at themselves in the mirror, and if someone does take a picture of them, they won’t be eager to see it, let alone have it published on social media. 

Ultimately, they don’t want to be confronted with their image. 

For whatever reason, they dislike their appearance enough to want to block it out entirely. 

2) Frequent comparison with others

Let’s be real – we all compare ourselves from time to time. 

I spent the best part of my youth wishing I looked like Rachel McAdams and comparing our vastly different nose sizes. 

But most people, as they learn to accept their appearance (somewhere around the 35 + age mark, apparently) realize that doing this does nothing but make you feel bad about yourself.

After all, there will always be someone better looking than you – that’s just life!

Not people who dislike their appearance, though. 

On the contrary, you’ll notice that they often work such comparisons into conversation. Most of the time, they don’t even realize they’re doing it.

But these comments hint at the fact that they feel their appearance or features fall short of what they consider to be beautiful or attractive. 

3) Excessive grooming or makeup use

I hated my appearance growing up. For starters, I was so lanky. Tall, skinny, and awkward. 

On top of that, I had a gap in my front teeth the size of a football field, a hooked nose, and spotty skin. 

So yeah, like many teenagers (and adults)  going through the same thing, I slapped on as much makeup as possible. 

Now that I’ve come to terms with my appearance (and grown out of the lankiness) I can finally walk outside makeup-free and confident

So, if you notice someone who constantly keeps themselves impeccably well-groomed or won’t leave the house without a full face of makeup, it could be because they’re unhappy with their appearance

4) Frequent changes in appearance

Another thing you might notice about people who dislike their looks is that they’re constantly changing them.

One minute it’s a new hairstyle, the next they’ve added a new tattoo or piercing. 

They’re always searching for ways to improve their appearance, because, well, they’re unsatisfied with it. 

I know that feeling. 

Every time I bleached my hair or tried out a different makeup style, I secretly hoped it would be a magic key, unlocking all the beauty I wanted to see whenever I looked in the mirror. 

Sadly, it rarely does. 

And while some people may switch up their appearance purely out of fun, if you notice them displaying the other behaviors on this list, then there’s a good chance it’s down to insecurity

5) Social withdrawal

In extreme cases, people who are completely unhappy with the way they look will avoid going out and taking part in social events. 

Perhaps they fear judgment from others

Perhaps their insecurities get the better of them, and they don’t see the point in leaving the house except for obligations like work or food shopping. 

I had a friend who struggled with her self-image. She’d put on a lot of weight after having kids, and although we all told her she was still beautiful, she couldn’t see it for herself. 

I invited her to my birthday party one year, and she gave some weird, unconvincing excuse as to why she couldn’t come. 

When I gently pushed her to tell me what was wrong, she broke down and revealed that she dreaded the thought of going out, especially to a party where everyone would be dressed up. 

That’s when I realized her dislike wasn’t just a phase that we all go through, like having a bad hair day, it was something much deeper. 

6) Sensitivity to comments about appearance

I don’t know many people who LIKE comments about their appearance (unless they’re positive) but most of us can brush off a negative comment without taking it too much to heart. 

But if someone truly dislikes their appearance, someone making a remark could really upset them. 

Even if the comment was made in innocence or without malice, just the fact that attention has been drawn to them makes them incredibly uncomfortable. 

As a lanky girl growing up, I would receive the odd positive comment – mainly old ladies telling me I could model since I was so thin.

Instead of feeling good, it used to make me very self-conscious and I hated people mentioning anything to do with the way I looked. 

Just something to keep in mind before you make a casual remark about someone’s appearance…

7) Body language

Now, there are also subtle (and not so subtle) physical behaviors that give away someone’s self-image struggle

You might notice that they:

  • Hunch over and try to make themselves as small as possible 
  • Cross their arms and legs (in a way, trying to shield themselves)
  • Frequently look down and avoid eye contact 

All of those behaviors scream to the fact they’re trying to hide their appearance from the outside world. 

In other words, they would love nothing more than to be invisible. 

8) Checking behavior

I mentioned at the start that people in this situation may avoid cameras and mirrors, but the opposite can be true, too. 

You might notice them constantly checking their appearance. They’re always straightening their collar or slicking a hair back in its place. 

It’s important to recognize that in this instance, it’s not vanity. 

Most of the time, they’re not admiring themselves but scrutinizing their flaws, over and over again. 

They’re highly conscious of how they look, and that causes them to fuss over their appearance more than normal. 

9) Excessive exercise or dieting

Dieting isn’t usually a cause for concern – most people I know go on diets periodically…especially after the holiday season. 

Most people I know also work out. 

But there’s a fine line between doing it to be healthy and maintain a normal weight, and doing it in excess because they’re trying to fundamentally change their appearance. 

If it’s the latter, you’ll notice that they take it to an unhealthy extreme. 

They’re simply desperate to change how they look. 

If you know someone like this, it’s important to support them and help them recognize that they could be causing more harm than good. 

10) Low self-esteem and negative self-talk

And finally, people who dislike their appearance will sometimes make mention of it.

“If only I wasn’t so chubby.”

“Yeah, right, like he’d like me with my face.” 

“I’d never be able to wear that with my figure.” 

Or, if someone compliments them, they’ll dismiss it straight away. I remember literally telling people, “No, I’m really not,” when they’d call me pretty. 

It’s sad to think back to that.  

But ultimately, what slips out in conversation is a reflection of how they’re feeling on the inside about their appearance. 

So, hopefully, this article has shed light on how people with such a complex behave. If you know someone going through this, it’s best to be kind and patient with them. 

Help boost their self-esteem if you can, and remind them that their self-worth isn’t tied to their appearance. 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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