Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

Why are people constantly obsessing over their appearance?

People spend a fortune on beauty products etc which they claim "make them look good" - and these same people refuse to believe anyone who tells them they look good anyway.

Why are people so obsessed with what they look like? If the whole human race were blind nobody would care, so why worry? You are the way God made you!

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    we shouldn't worry about perfecting our appearances, but worry about perfecting who we are as people. It's sad that people are looked on upon as objects by others. You can't have fun with an appearance, but you can have fun interacting with another person's personality.

  • Smiley
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Great Q - it is an evolutionary drive to attract a mate which in our culture has gone nuts..

    The whole premise is that men especially are attracted to a fertile/non-pregnant/non-diseased female, hence why hip/wait ratio, slim but not size 0, shiny hair etc are all appealing..

    But here is the madness, with the likes of plastic surgery, someone who has a nose job for example still has the genes for large noses and so has just created the ILLUSION of being a certain way, their offspring may still inherit large noses and because we are all obsessed may well grown up self-conscious because of it..

    Women are programmed to compete for a mate, they do this by trying to be the best looking, female fertility is finite - hence the looking as young as possible etc but this competition was usually on a small scale (like a village) until photography, tv, cinema, net etc all took off, now women have to and do feel the need to compete globally.

    This explains why almost all women feel they or parts of them are ugly - who can possibly match up to an ideal - even women who for a short time are attractive get older, or lose that so beauty is really transient.

    As you say though, if we all lived on a desert island or could not see then it would expose how silly it all is.

    Advertisers though make money from people's insecurities and any female mag has ad's every second page with a perfect model for some cosmetic, perfume or other ALL with the underlying message 'You are NOT ok as you are - buy this..'

    Women I feel as well as being illusionists, are more and more treated as decorations and so I strongly believe although we are no longer chained to the kitchen sink we ARE chained to the bathroom one now instead..

    Sad. I used to be the same - I would not go out without a full face of make-up and the whole nine yards, these days I am so minimal it is not true and yet I have never felt more attractive or more confident.

  • 6 years ago

    Malignant Narcissism

  • 1 decade ago

    Say you meet Bill. Bill has a beard down to his shoes, a bald head, and bifocals. He is indeed a character and a decent man.

    If some people were given the choice between going to a cashier that looked socially acceptable, rather than Bill, they would in a heartbeat. And employers are well aware of that. Media plays a big role in who is acceptable. On tv, Hillbillies and roadhogs have long beards and bald heads. Most people aren't fond of associating with those kinds of people. Unfortunately, they are usually the butt of many jokes.

    But there are other people who would be drawn to Bill, because they had a good experience with someone similar to him. Maybe the person's elementary principal had an epic beard too and he always gave out tootsie rolls, so Bill is associated with the good feeling a tootsie roll makes.

    It could easily go the other way too. Like if a person's grandmother had bifocals but was a stingy ol' bat, they'd take one look at Bill, walk the other way and say "I don't need that stress."

    Although everyone makes judgments on first impressions (and don't lie to yourself), many take the time to look a little deeper, or scorn themselves for judging and try to be unbiased. Still, it doesn't change the fact that people are judged and are going to try to look the best they can.

    Sure, it's unhealthy to try to go to extremes to change your appearance. That says a lot about your self-esteem and dependence on the opinions of others. But keeping a clean cut appearance is what most people try to maintain. One thing's forsure, some people love to be dirty and lazy, but the reason they clean up is because of social appearances, not because they want to.

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  • 1 decade ago

    All behavior is learned, in this case driven by the culture. We all need, and want the approval of others.

    Maybe interesting to note that this behavior seem to manifest to a greater degree in Anglo-Saxon cultures, than in oriental.

    In historical context, this behavior can be traced back to the most ancient of times. Given the choice of see someone with a painted face or being blind, the answer would be obvious.

  • 1 decade ago

    Unfortunately, the whole human race is not blind. We live in a shallow world -where looks can mean everything (it affects jobs, relationships, the way we are treated, out self-esteem, etc.) We are always striving to be perfect, to look our best.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because these beauty products are advertised on every corner of every street. There's images everywhere of what people in suits want you to look like because it means you're transfering your money from your bank account to theirs.

    They're told by the man about how to look, and made to feel small if they don't look like that.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Have you considered the possibility of body dysmorphic disorder? If your obsessions are this debilitating, you may need to seek therapy.

  • Amy H
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Because too many people let the media tell them what to think.

  • 1 decade ago

    my boyfriend keeps telling me i'm beautiful but i don't always believe him however i don't fuss about with my appearance i only wear a bit of make-up

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