The Problem With The
Way We Think We Look

Hey there! Happy Monday!

Today I want to talk about a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately: negative self-image and critical self-talk.

The Problem With The Way We Think We

Last week, a friend and I were talking about how we’ve grown more comfortable with our bodies and appearance as we’ve gotten older. I mentioned how in my early twenties I cared a lot about make-up and even wanted to make it part of my career.  I very rarely wear make-up anymore and some days I leave the house without even brushing my hair. Over the years I’ve become less concerned with what people think of my physical appearance.

Still, later that day the same friend posted a picture of me in her Instagram story and my immediate reaction was to criticize the way my stomach poked out and how messy my hair looked. I almost messaged her to complain but stopped myself and chose to respond with something positive instead. I thought about our earlier conversation and how my reaction to the photo was the exact opposite of what we had talked about.

The fact is, we are very often way too hard on ourselves. Most of the time when I observe something negative about myself in the mirror or in a photo, it’s amplified way more in my head than it is in real life. Most people never notice or care about the tiny things we see wrong with our own appearance.

I can’t count how many times I’ve had conversations with friends where they criticize the way they look in some way, and almost 100 percent of those times I see absolutely nothing wrong with their appearance.  They’ll point out a pimple on their face or a hole in their sweater that I never would have noticed if they hadn’t called attention to it.

The Problem With The Way We Think We Look-

Over the years I’ve become gradually more confident in my appearance, but there was a time not that long ago when I looked in the mirror and felt ugly and didn’t believe anyone who told me otherwise.  I was bullied in middle school and high school and at 31 years old I’m still not over that completely.  I had horrible acne and there was a group of boys who liked to call me “buttface.” It’s funny how something so silly can have such a big impact on someone’s life, but as an impressionable teenager, it was earth-shattering. It caused my self-esteem to plummet and I’ve had a really hard building it back up.

Sometimes while posing for photos, I’ll purposely make a silly face to ensure that even if it is a “bad” picture, people will think, “well, she’s making a face so she meant for it to be bad.” I have friends who are only ok with their photo being taken if it’s from a certain angle to highlight their “good” side.  We’ll have someone take a photo of us then immediately check it to make sure we look ok, only to have the photographer take more photos if we’re not satisfied with our appearance in the first or even second shot. I have several friends who aren’t comfortable having their picture taken at all because they can’t stand the way they look in them.

The Problem With The Way We Think We Look-

I don’t know a single woman who is 100 percent confident in her appearance, whether it’s because she feels fat or thinks her nose is crooked or is embarrassed by a birthmark on her face. I know this issue affects men too, but as women, we are constantly bombarded with make-up and hair ads on TV and in magazines. I often feel like I’m in the minority when I go out without make-up on. I’ve heard many women express guilt for not having the energy to wear more than foundation and mascara some days.  I stopped wearing make-up for a few reasons, but mostly because I detest the idea that women need to paint their faces to look/feel acceptable in public.

I know that this is a societal problem that isn’t going to be solved with one little blog post but it’s bothered me for quite some time and I felt the need to talk about it. I think that we can start to help the issue by being a little kinder with the stories we tell ourselves about the way we look. Going back to the story from the beginning of this post, I could have easily messaged my friend and said, “OMG I look so horrible in that photo- take it down!” but I chose not to. I chose to not believe the negative self-talk.  I chose to look at the situation logically and realized it’s never as bad as we make it out to be in our heads. Another person might have looked at the same photo and thought,” WOW! She looks great!”  I’ll never know and it shouldn’t matter. Because the only thing that truly matters is the way YOU feel about you. That’s what I’m going to continue to work on and tell myself. And you should, too!

How do you combat negative self-talk about your appearance? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading!

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Some Things I Really Loved This Week (#3)


Hope your week has been great! Welcome to the third edition of Some Things I Really Loved This Week, a blog post where I highlight things I saw, heard, and experienced that impacted me in a positive way! Feel free to let me know what YOU really loved about YOUR week in the comments!

Songs I Can’t Get Out of My Head

A Scary Time (for boys) by Lynzy Lab performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live (if you listen to only one song on this list I hope it’s this one. Super powerful. Go vote.)

Gun Song by The Lumineers

L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. by Noah and The Whale

Hero by Family of the Year

Nobody Speak by DJ Shadow featuring Run the Jewels

Experiences That Made Me Happy

Some Things I Really Loved This Week-

Celebrating our two-year wedding anniversary at Chiesa in Montford. Jeff and I have lived in Asheville for three years now and I’d been wanting to go to Chiesa for just as long. I’m so happy we chose to go there for our anniversary dinner.  The atmosphere was the perfect combination of cozy and romantic. Our waiter was amazing and the food was incredible. I can’t wait to go back.

Some Things I Really Loved This Week (#3)

Our fifth InstaMeet on Thursday morning at Odd’s Cafe! I can’t believe Holly and I have hosted five of these already. It’s so much fun to meet so many of our insta-friends in person.

While I was sitting at Odd’s waiting for people to show up for the InstaMeet, an older woman approached me and told me that she’s retired and her job now is to give people hugs to improve their day. I know with the recent news cycle it’s sometimes hard to remember that there are still awesome people around that just want to do good and spread joy, but there are. This woman is proof of that.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

Local Products I Enjoyed

Some Things I Really Loved This Week (#3)-

OK- not really THIS week but I forgot to mention it last week: I drank my first pumpkin beer of the season at One World West and it was really delicious for a few reasons. One, it’s called Nectar of the Gourds so with a name like that you know it’s gotta be good. Two, it was super light and crisp, which I prefer to some of the heavier fall beers.  Three, the pumpkin flavor wasn’t overpowering, which is usually why I tend to stay away from pumpkin beers. This one is mixed with fresh pumpkin, ground nutmeg, organic clove, and Ceylon cinnamon. It was really refreshing!

Picture from

Asheville Tea Company’s Spiced Apple Roobios Tea. Blended with locally-sourced apples and cinnamon, cloves and orange peels, this probably my favorite tea to drink during the cooler months. Add and a little honey and you’re golden (literally). This tea reminds me of an old favorite: Harney & Son’s Hot Cinnamon Spice, except that it’s herbal (i.e. no caffeine) and it’s local. Ya can’t beat that with a stick!

Inspiring Things I Saw on the Internet

Photo by Laura Wilson.

Things That Made Me Laugh

The Paint Bug posted this hilarious representation of what it’s like to color in one of those meditation coloring books. I don’t know about you but the thing that really frustrates me about those books is that all the separate parts of the drawings are really tiny and it takes a lot of patience to color in each one. I guess that’s the point but I’m not patient. Give me a Disney Princess coloring book any day.elfin birds mug

I LOVE Effin Birds! Every one of their designs cracks me up. A lot of them are pretty vulgar but that’s kind of the point. It’s literally just pictures of birds printed alongside ridiculous phrases. I want everything from their website.

This fox being brushed is amazing.

And that’s all I’ve got for you today!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

As always, thanks for reading!!

Blog Posts From This Week You Might Have Missed: 

Our Fall Wedding at Yesterday Spaces (Part Two- The Details)

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