The Uggers are good at one thing: repeating “you are ugly” and “Nobody likes you” until you believe it. Here’s what I do when I feel ugly; these tips for dealing with the Uggers might perk you up even on your worst days.
In Hello, Beauty Full: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You, Elisa Morgan helps us see ourselves differently. We struggle under the ongoing weight of “not-enough-ness.” Not attractive enough. Not smart enough. Not fit enough. Not creative enough. Not good enough. Not sexy enough. Not strong enough. Not whole enough. Not womanly enough. And therefore, not beautiful. We are broken and ashamed to be so.
If you feel ugly, it’s because you aren’t seeing yourself accurately. “You are 20% more beautiful to other people than yourself – the woman you see in the mirror every morning,” says Eva Ritvo in 8 Things You Never Knew About Being a Beautiful Woman. “Why? Because when you look at your reflection, all you see is your physical form, and all you’re doing is looking for flaws. But when others see you, they also take in your personality, style, intelligence, sex appeal, wit…the entire you.” When you feel ugly, remember that you’re focusing on what you think is ugly about you. Here are other ways I deal with the Uggers when they tell me I’m ugly…
What I Do When I Feel Ugly
Last night I went out for dinner with friends at a little neighborhood pub. When I went to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and BAM! Attacked by the Uggers. I felt so ugly. I was wearing a drab gray hat, my hair was frizzy from the rain, and my face was sort of puffy and gross from a cold I was getting over.
I didn’t feel ugly when I left the house; it was only at the pub that I was attacked by the Uggers. Don’t you hate when that happens? Sometimes I feel ugly before I leave the house, but mostly it’s when I’m already out that they attack.
I try to figure out why the Uggers are attacking
Sometimes I feel ugly when I actually look ugly. I’m sick with a cold, my nose is running, my head is congested – of course I feel ugly! So I let the Uggers attack, and I say “Yup, you’re right. Today, I am not looking tip top. But tomorrow, you wait! I’ll be pretty again, and I’ll take you downtown and mess you up.”
What makes you feel ugly? Maybe it’s pretty friends, or a critical parent, or your own self-critical thoughts. Maybe you compare yourself to pictures of girls on magazine covers or in movies, and you think there’s only one way to be a beautiful woman. Maybe you hate yourself because you’re ashamed of how you look or talk.
Figuring out why and when you feel ugly can help you deal with the Uggers when they attack.
I remember that ALL women feel ugly sometimes
“There isn’t one kind of beauty,” says Jennifer in in How to Feel Beautiful No Matter What You Look Like. “There isn’t one face, body, hair, eye or skin color that is the definition of beauty. There’s an infinite amount of beauty – it can be found in the way a person moves, a well-sculpted arm, a graceful neck, lustrous hair, compassionate eyes, hardworking hands, a soothing voice, an enthusiastic heart.”
Who do you think is the most beautiful woman in the world? I think Catherine Zeta-Jones is stunning, and Susie Alexander. Susie is just a regular woman – I used to go to her church. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, I thought she was so beautiful! But my husband thinks I’m prettier because he loves me. He sees me as a whole woman, not just a pretty face.
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When I feel ugly, I remember who loves me
One of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had – it changed my life! – was when I asked God how He saw me. It was during a Bible Study; we were learning about conversational prayer. We were told to ask God what His view of us was. We were given 15 minutes, and we were to write down everything we heard from Him.
Have you ever thought about how God sees you? He created you to look exactly the way you do, and He had a reason. I don’t know what His reasons are. You don’t know why He gave you your body, face, hair, eyes, feet, or nose. But He knows, and He’s pretty smart. God don’t make no mistakes!
Here’s the verse I read when I feel ugly: Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive with thanks. – 1 Timothy 4:4.
But I always forget to shimmy!
Here’s one thing I always mean to try when I feel ugly, but I forget:
“My Guatemalan girlfriend who is like an auntie told me that whenever I feel blue, I must look at myself in the mirror, throw back my shoulders, lift my heart and breasts high, and shimmer! This usually makes me laugh out loud, even if I’m on the verge of tears.” – from Tips for Improving Body Image When You Feel Ashamed.
What makes you laugh? Do it. It helps me when I feel ugly, and I suspect it’ll help you, too.
I reach out for a hug when I feel ugly
When all else fails, I ask for a hug. I don’t want people to tell me I’m not ugly or fat. I don’t want to be convinced that I’m pretty.
When I feel ugly, I just want love. When you feel ugly, reach out to people who love you for who you are. I KNOW there are people in your life who care deeply about you, and who would love to hug you. (Friendly warning: don’t have sex with them. That’s not the kind of love I’m talking about).
Know you are loved. Allow the warmth and comfort of their love, God’s love, and your own self-love to help you deal with the Uggers when they attack. If you don’t know how to ask for love, tell me in the comments section below. I’ll help you learn how to reach out for healthy love from other people and from God – who loves you more than you could ever know.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked,” says Louise Hay. “Begin approving of yourself and see what happens.”
What about you – how do you respond when the Uggers hiss “I feel ugly” in your ear? What makes you feel better?