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Ugliness and how shame is a form of social control

Q

quilteddown10

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Hi! Ok, so I'm a 45 year old man with - as the title suggests :) - a bit of a problem with the old face. To cut a very long and bumpy story short, I have been getting verbally abused, ridiculed, humiliated and shamed for being facially unnattractive since the age of 15. Being called 'vile' and 'disgusting' on a regular basis, people making vomiting noises, people shouting unpleasant things about my face at me as they drive past, have all been the constant in my life where all else has changed. As a consequence I have social anxiety, as you would expect. But more than that. I have a real fear of being seen, of being looked at. I've had some really quite awful things said to me such as 'If I had a face like that I'd top myself', 'Your face makes me feel sick', 'You are extremely ugly', and many, many more. I get it from all walks of life and all ages. Men, women, black, white, young, old. To be honest, it's a daily occurrence. I struggle to keep it together at work sometimes and go into a very dark hole which makes me quite incapable of sustaining conversation. I can only conclude that I exemplify some sort of universal ugliness. The weird thing is that neither of my parents are ugly. I guess that's the randomness of genetics.
I'm actually quite a naturally bouyant and cheerful person so it pains me greatly that this mood is immediately crushed, on stepping out into the world.
I know I shouldn't care - sticks and stones, etc. But to hear yourself being spoken of like that, like you are some sort of disease, is really quite shocking and soul-destroying. I try and avoid feeling sorry for myself but these experiences have traumatised me and they get in the way of my loving relationships. It's almost like I'm leading a double life. The adoring father and son on the one hand and the shamed beast who daily gets things thrown at him by the passing people.
Should I care? Is it possible that I really am so stupendously ugly that people feel I naturally deserve such treatment? I would simply like to be able to go out into the world and be allowed to return home without my self-esteem in absolute shreds. Why is the British public so vitriolic about unnattractiveness? Would they allow themselves to be so abused thus?
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

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Hi quilteddown10,
Welcome to the forum
I'm so very sorry, you don't deserve to be treated like this.
We are all different, people should be kinder.
It must hurt, we do understand.
Many of us have been bullied or abused.
It is a hate crime, you could ask the police for advice.
Hugs
 
LORD BURT

LORD BURT

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You could be a mirror for these folks. By that I mean they are projecting onto you about themselves.

Regardless : As Doc Style I prescribe the following:

Consider wearing tinted sunglasses when you go out.
Wear a blazer and a shirt in muted tones but looks classy not business like.
Get yourself a pair of good boots and pair it with some dark jeans or chinos.
 
2

2Much2Feel

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That makes me so angry to read that people are so heinous at times, that is the ugliness here. From your post you sound like a really great guy, and may I say extremely strong, as you have a family and a job and keep going despite some people being so disgusting. They are the ugly ones, and I cannot believe (yet unfortunately do at the same time) that you've had to deal with this, esp so often. Of course it would be crushing, of course you would develop a complex. You've made it this far (past the teenage years, which is in itself a huge accomplishment!) and I say, you have a good life, you've overcome things that would have broken a lot of people, and you have people who love you.

There's no way to control what other people do, and unfortunately there are a lot of asses out there. Since you can't control that, can you look at your life and what you've accomplished and realise that that is far more important and far more than those people could likely do? I know it sounds stupid, esp when it's become ingrained in you after all these years, and shedding the past when it's been reinforced like that is something I struggle with every day in a different way, so I know how hard it is. All I can say is that you sound like a very strong, intelligent and successful person who has overcome the ugliness that society can be. I'm so sorry for you having to encounter such people. You are the winner here, they are the ugly ones. For anyone to judge you based on such a shallow aspect of what someone is, this is coming from people who do not know you. Your family and coworkers and friends know you and who you really are, deeper than the shallow stuff (which eventually fades on everyone anyway). Take care, try to listen to the people who matter in your life, not these ugly people.
 
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BoutonLune

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Hi @quilteddown10

Sorry to hear that. Funny how people can behave as ugly as they want yet have the gall to ridicule another.

It saddens me there are so many people like this around. Some people think looking good or even reasonable is a free pass to disgusting behaviour.

I am glad you have a family that love you. But understand this must have a negative effect on you.
 
Q

quilteddown10

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You could be a mirror for these folks. By that I mean they are projecting onto you about themselves.

Regardless : As Doc Style I prescribe the following:

Consider wearing tinted sunglasses when you go out.
Wear a blazer and a shirt in muted tones but looks classy not business like.
Get yourself a pair of good boots and pair it with some dark jeans or chinos.
Hi Lord Burt

that's kind of how I dress! Minus the shades (I look terrible in them)
 
Q

quilteddown10

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Hi quilteddown10,
Welcome to the forum
I'm so very sorry, you don't deserve to be treated like this.
We are all different, people should be kinder.
It must hurt, we do understand.
Many of us have been bullied or abused.
It is a hate crime, you could ask the police for advice.
Hugs
Not a hate crime (nor would I wish it to be) but, blimey, the things people get worked up over.
 
B

BoutonLune

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Not a hate crime (nor would I wish it to be) but, blimey, the things people get worked up over.
Well it sounds very hateful to me. You are being verbally attacked on how you look. I could not cope with that kind of thing. I mean we are all judged and a lot of us don't fit peoples picture of good looking. But to deal with what you are is unacceptable.

How does your family feel about what you are going through. Are they aware?
 
Q

quilteddown10

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Hi BoutonLune

I have talked to people about it. The paradox is that those who love me like how I look. I guess that means it's difficult to like someone (because you know them personally) and also find them ugly. The converse it that we hate that which we also find ugly. Not exactly a new idea.

It's only the sheer volume of it all and the almost murderous vitriol that underpins it that makes me, eventually, have to talk to someone about it. I'm quite good at putting up with difficult things and getting on with it, but there is something so exhausting and corrosive about this that I think 'No, bugger this, I'm actually going to speak up about it'.
 
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ManDss

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So sorry to hear this. I know its a sensitive topic. Anyway, throw those kind of comments to a person I think thats truly disgusting.

I know the easy answer is "stop caring", is the only I could think of, I know its not easy, and some bad taste gonna remind in your mind, but its the only you can do.

Even if a face is ugly thats no reason to make the kind of comments you mentioned they say.
 
B

BoutonLune

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Hey @quilteddown10

Some of what you say is similar to what I commented in another thread. Easier to add a link:

Looks (Click Me)

A lot of people struggle with how they look or how they look to others here on the forum (no doubt everywhere else too). It's a depressing problem. Although a lot of what I read is more centred around it being an obstacle in a romantic way.

Yours is a bit different. You sound pretty much okay within yourself if others would not be so hateful.

It worries me as those with very low self esteem and other mental illness struggles often could not sustain the type of attacks you have encountered. I can see you have a very good attitude but it is wearing you down 😞
 
Q

quilteddown10

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Hey @quilteddown10

Some of what you say is similar to what I commented in another thread. Easier to add a link:

Looks (Click Me)

A lot of people struggle with how they look or how they look to others here on the forum (no doubt everywhere else too). It's a depressing problem. Although a lot of what I read is more centred around it being an obstacle in a romantic way.

Yours is a bit different. You sound pretty much okay within yourself if others would not be so hateful.

It worries me as those with very low self esteem and other mental illness struggles often could not sustain the type of attacks you have encountered. I can see you have a very good attitude but it is wearing you down 😞
Yes it's like I have the inverse of BDD. I think I'm fine but everyone else thinks I'm (quote) 'absolutely minging'! Maybe that's how I have to deal with it but it's hard to regain blissful ignorance when you've broken through the 'fourth wall' (if you see what I mean). I have to have SOME self-esteem in order to function as a human being: as a father, a son, an employee, etc. But I can't base it on the belief that 'nice things will happen today' because, often, it's quite the opposite. I guess I try and understand it. As a process.
 
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BoutonLune

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Yes it's like I have the inverse of BDD. I think I'm fine but everyone else thinks I'm (quote) 'absolutely minging'! Maybe that's how I have to deal with it but it's hard to regain blissful ignorance when you've broken through the 'fourth wall' (if you see what I mean). I have to have SOME self-esteem in order to function as a human being: as a father, a son, an employee, etc. But I can't base it on the belief that 'nice things will happen today' because, often, it's quite the opposite. I guess I try and understand it. As a process.
Well absolutely. You should have some self esteem, why not? Sounds like there is a lot in your life to feel good about with yourself. I doubt everyone thinks that about you. Though I can understand if you have been getting these comments over a long period of time it will feel like that.

The big thing is that those who love you do not see what these vile people see. Ignorance can be bliss. Again most of us here have been robbed of that through other people. And once you see something you can't un-see it. Even if it has become magnified and not necessarily accurate. I don't know if that makes sense, but anyway that is how many things have been for me.

I am glad you are able to look at from the perspective you do. Almost like you are trying to learn something (yet to be determined, lol) from it.
 
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liv33

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You've become a scapegoat, I think
They likely don't even think you're as ugly as they describe you
Someone sees some vulnerability in you and other people follow along, because of conformity and because it's an easy way to unload their issues and responsibilities
They're trying to push you away and make you feel unworthy to be part of society as a way to push away their personal problems they don't want to face
 
Q

quilteddown10

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You've become a scapegoat, I think
They likely don't even think you're as ugly as they describe you
Someone sees some vulnerability in you and other people follow along, because of conformity and because it's an easy way to unload their issues and responsibilities
They're trying to push you away and make you feel unworthy to be part of society as a way to push away their personal problems they don't want to face
Well, that’s one way of looking at it. Another is that ugliness is a form of stigma and all social groups have to regulate it. I take an even more biological approach than that. It’s more than a stigma because stigma is essentially an arbitrary difference that a society or group has decided to regulate and exclude. Ugliness is not an arbitrary difference precisely because it is signifies the core genetic integrity of the individual. Basically, we have to behave negatively towards ugliness just in case it attempts to enter the local ‘mating ring’. I sound like I’m describing monkeys or other social animals but we are so wrapped up in being people we forget we are animals through and through.
So, oddly, even though this evolutionary perspective means my ‘ugly shaming’ is in fact a deeply personal phenomenon, it is a function of a sexually reproducing social group that relies on the face to signify health and genetic integrity.
The weird thing is that neither my parents are ugly and neither are carriers of any serious diseases. I am fit and healthy and neither of my children are diseased or deformed. So what exactly does my ugliness signify?? It’s likely that if I had brothers and sisters (I’m an only child) there would be variation between us. Some more or less attractive/unattractive than the others. I, unfortunately, take the hit but as an only child it feels like the weight I feel the world.
 
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