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Do you also struggle with appearance anxiety?

Cheistina Lin

Introduction

According to a survey conducted by a youth media outlet on university students nationwide, 59.03% of college students experience a certain degree of appearance anxiety. The proportion of male students with severe appearance anxiety is even higher than that of female students. Additionally, 59.67% of female students and 37.14% of male students have moderate appearance anxiety. Are you also one of them? Do you have appearance anxiety as well?


What is appearance anxiety?


Appearance anxiety refers to the doubt and lack of confidence individuals have about their own appearance, feeling that they are not as attractive as others. It leads to a lack of self-confidence in one's appearance and a sense of inferiority and embarrassment due to appearance anxiety. For example, a girl who constantly worries about her looks, believes she has an asymmetrical or disproportionate face, and thinks that the way she sees herself in the mirror is different from how others perceive her, causing distress and concern about her appearance. This is appearance anxiety. According to surveys, the majority of individuals affected by appearance anxiety are middle school students, high school students, and college students. Appearance anxiety is not exclusive to female students, as even male students can experience it .


Why do we develop appearance anxiety?

One of the reasons for the development of appearance anxiety is the tendency to compare ourselves with others. In the same classroom, at the same school, or in the same workplace, you may come across people who look different from you. who are more beautiful or handsome, or those who have better social skills and receive more attention. At that moment, you may start comparing yourself to them and develop a desire to look better than others. This comparison can lead to appearance anxiety because once you have such thoughts, you begin to focus on your own face, scrutinize your own photos, and start doubting yourself. This is one of the contributing factors to the development of appearance anxiety.


On platforms like Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), there is a trending term called "reconciliation with one's own natural face." Many individuals, both male and female, participate in this challenge and share videos of themselves. While everyone claims to be posting their bare-faced photos, it is often evident that these pictures have been heavily edited with beauty filters. The excessive use of filters undermines the purpose of sharing genuine bare-faced photos and actually exacerbates appearance anxiety, making it difficult for people to muster the courage to genuinely share their natural faces.


Indeed, external factors, such as the opinions of others, can contribute to the development of appearance anxiety. When others make judgments or comments about our appearance, it can trigger feelings of appearance anxiety. For example, in the case of your friend, she Posted Her Photos on Instagram, but her so-called "friend" saved through sharing them with Others to GoSsip About Her APPEARANCE and Body. Upon Learning About this, your Friend Developed Appearance Anxiety, Feeling that she was not attractive and beComing AFRAID of receiving further evaluations from others. As a result, she deleted her photos and retrained from sharing them. This illustrates that malicious evaluations and the influence of others can act as a catalyst for the development of appearance anxiety in many individuals.



The Effects of Appearance Anxiety


The impact of appearance anxiety on individuals is multifaceted and can include the following:

Decreased self-esteem: Appearance anxiety can lead to feelings of insecurity and low self-worth regarding one's appearance.


2.Psychological health issues: Excessive concerns about one's appearance can contribute to a range of negative psychological effects, potentially leading to more severe conditions such as depression.


3.Camera or photo aversion: Appearance anxiety can result in a fear of being in front of the camera or reluctance to participate in social activities involving photography. Individuals may fear being perceived as the least attractive and experience a decline in their social abilities.


4.Health problems: Worries about facial swelling, acne outbreaks due to "heatiness" or other perceived issues may lead individuals to develop unhealthy eating habits such as extreme dieting or imbalanced eating patterns, potentially resulting in malaria nutrition.

Face up to our appearance

There are indeed many effects of appearance anxiety, but it's important not to let it trouble us. Instead, we should strive to avoid its occurrence. We should embrace self-confidence in the face of our appearance because each person is unique and should be true to themselves. If we feel overwhelmed or stressed by appearance anxiety, it can be helpful to confide in friends, teachers, or parents about our concerns, seeking some comfort and support. Engaging in outdoor activities or taking time to relax and unwind can also help divert our attention and provide temporary relief from worries.


It's encouraging to see that there is a growing movement in society spreading the message of "no to appearance anxiety." Examples like the new song "Allergy" by the Korean girl group (G)I-DLE, emphasize the importance of learning to appreciate ourselves and rejecting appearance anxiety. Likewise, many celebrities, such as Zhou Xun and others, are speaking up on television programs, urging us not to succumb to appearance anxiety and encouraging us to embrace our own appearances. Each of us is different, our appearance represents ourselves, we should not have appearance anxiety, I hope we can all face up to our appearance.

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