IT’S a sad fact of life but many people just dread going out to face the world.
And it’s not to do with the weather, hayfever or laziness – but because of appearance.
Some people are obsessed with how they look, what they wear, how big they are and what people think of them. Quite apart from low self esteem this can often lead to more serious problems such as eating disorders.
Conditions such as bulimia and anorexia are still rife among teenagers and shocking figures have seen the rise of manorexia – which is a ‘nice’ way of addressing a serious problem.
However the figures are not nice at all. The number of boys under the age of 14 admitted to hospitals with eating disorders has rocketed from 24 to 78 in the last 10 years.
Overall, 228 males were admitted last year — more than double the figure in 2001.
It is now thought that around 20 per cent of the 1.6 million people suffering from eating disorders are male.
But what drives someone to resort to such drastic measures?
Both men and women can suffer from lack of confidence which can manifest itself in an obsession with looking your best.
All it takes is one comment and confidence, perhaps built up over time, is destroyed.
Like most people I admit I suffer from time to time; obsessed with looking good or trying to impress someone but why?
Why should people feel the need to have to impress others/their peers due to the clothes they wear or how their hair looks?
The problem is you can hear a negative comment once and you may think about it for a while and nine times out of 10 you will brush it off.
But when the same comments come back again and again and again that’s when an obsession with appearance can rear its ugly head, no pun intended.
If you have no problem with the way you look then the comments may just wash straight off. It’s a bit different though if you’re the one making them.
You may not even be aware of how an innocent throwaway remark may affect someone; even when laughed off those remarks will often hurt and come back to haunt.
We should be happy with who we are and the way we look no matter what. Easier said than done maybe but we can all do more to help ourselves and boost confidence. For example there are ways you can lower your weight by making small dietary changes and increasing exercise, a more sustainable way of achieving long term results.
So the next time you think about publicly picking somebody up on carrying that bit of extra ‘puppy fat’ or other perceived imperfection, think again.
There are more subtle ways of addressing people’s ‘problems’ without making it a big deal.
Just imagine how you would feel if someone broadcast a problem of yours to the wider world?