what causes imagined ugliness (BDD)

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Can beautiful people feel ugly?

Imagined ugliness or BDD is a disorder that forces some people to believe that they are unattractive or even ugly even though there is usually no significant problem with their appearance.

Because a person who suffers from BDD always develops incorrect beliefs about his looks he uses incorrect logic to justify his false beliefs about his looks.

"If i really looked beautiful i wouldn't have ever had doubts about my looks" This is one of the common phrases used by people who have BDD and the reason they use such logic is that they don't know that very beautiful people can suffer from imagined ugliness as well!

Can a very beautiful person feel ugly?
yes of course, read this article to know how it happens.

what causes imagined ugliness (BDD)

We all know that the media has a powerful impact on the way people see themselves. A large percentage of males and females are dissatisfied with their looks just because of the impossible standards the media sets for them. (see How the media affects people)

Now the question is, why are some people more vulnerable to the messages the media sends?

The answer lies in the past experiences of those people. Let me tell you a quick story of one of the sufferers of BDD and you will quite get how can a beautiful person find himself ugly.

Joe was a handsome kid but during high school bully's used to beat him in front of his friends every now and then. Joe grew up feeling weak and his ultimate goal in life was becoming strong.

One day Joe got a comment from one of his friends who told him that his chin is a bit small and since that day Joe started believing that he is ugly!

Psychological wounds and your looks

Joe was obsessed with wrestlers during his teen-hood because he always wanted to become as strong as a wrestler. One day He noticed that most wrestlers had big jaws and since then he started believing that a large jaw signifies power.

When he was told that his chin looked a bit small he connected the dots together and believed that he looked weak!

Because he had a deep wound that resulted from feeling week for years and years he quickly connected this wound with his physical appearance. (see also How psychological wounds affect your life)

In other words, Joe's subconscious mind didn't think that he looked ugly because he had ugly features but it believed he looked ugly because he looked weak!!

These facts were 100% transparent to Joe who believed that he looked ugly for an unknown reason. Joe always started hating his facial features for an unknown reason but behind the scenes his subconscious mind knew that he hated them because they looked so feminine (or in other words weak!)

The conclusion

People usually dislike their looks when they associate the way they look with a deep psychological wound that they developed some time ago.

Some people hate their looks because deep inside they believe that they look boring, Others believe that they look dumb while a third group believe that they look weak. (see Dealing with negative feedback about your looks)

In short, you might be hating your looks right now because of an old wound and not because you look bad. Heal that wound and you will see your real looks when you look in the mirror.

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Want to know more?

How to treat imagined ugliness

Dealing with Imagined ugliness

Why do some people dislike their looks

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