Managing the fear of being rejected because of one’s appearance

According to various studies carried out since 1976, dissatisfaction with physical appearance has increased from 20% to 60% in women and from 15% to 50% in men.

This dissatisfaction often involves the fear of being rejected based on appearance and can have more or less negative consequences on mental and physical health.

Focusing on your personality strengths and satisfying relationships with your loved ones helps mitigate these deleterious effects.

According to research in this field, sensitivity to rejection based on appearance is correlated with other dimensions, such as low self-esteem, the propensity to evaluate one’s self-worth based on physical appearance, and the tendency to view oneself as physically unattractive.

In addition, individuals suffering from such body image anxiety are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as compulsive sports or undernourishment.

The process of social comparison is also more pronounced, often fostering dissatisfaction. When a man compares himself to a same-sex individual who is more muscular, there is a good chance that he will evaluate his appearance in a negative way and thus feel disappointment. The same is true for a woman comparing herself to another woman whose physique is close to socio-cultural ideals.

It is precisely because they fear rejection if they fail to meet certain beauty standards that most engage in these behaviors.

In research published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, participants were asked to express themselves about the negative characteristics of their appearance. In a second phase, they were invited to express themselves on one of their strengths, on a satisfactory relationship, or on a neutral subject.

Participants who were asked to speak on a neutral topic were the only ones to show low self-esteem and experience negative emotions after the experience.

Recalling one of their strengths or satisfying relationships helped the other participants mitigate the deleterious effects of negative thoughts about their appearance.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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