Style/looks judged by family(46 Posts)
Is it just my family, or do others have problems with being judged for my style/looks?
My Mother and sibling seem to think it's socially acceptable to tell me I look better with highlights (I'm naturally dark); I look tired/pale if not wearing make up; piercing (tiny) makes me look like a chav, oh and so does having my hair cut into a bob! Not sure how?! Shoulder length currently.
Looks seem to be a pertinent subject in my family. Looks, weight, tatttoos, piercings on others (in the street, on TV) are often commented on before even considering what a person may be like.
I know we all judge to a point, but I think that this goes beyond normal. I'm 37 now so I am able to make my own decisions (luckily!), but I feel as if this affected me a lot when I was younger. The more I think about it, the more I realise it has taken me a long time to be able to make my own decisions without looking for validation.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this issue. Other than that, my family are very kind. I just find it all very shallow and a bit sad really.
They are giving themselves permission to act this way and so are you by not standing against it and letting your feeling be know.
It is harmful to themselves and others
I have told them. It just kind of gets ignored. I am very vocal.
They don't say anything to other people. It just seems to be a thing in my family that everyone but me finds acceptable. I definitely don't do this with my own family. I wouldn't dream of it.
I've noticed the difference between my own and my husbands family. They place no focus on looks at all. I think this is what highlighted it to me. Before then, it seemed so normal to me.
My mum is like this, especially about weight. It's the first thing she notices about anyone and she'll usually comment, favourably or not. I'm not overweight but I'm not skinny (size 10-12) currently and I know she thinks I should lose some weight. She'll call perfectly normal sized women, on TV or in the street, fat, despite being bigger than them!
It comes from her own insecurities, as does her constant judging about what makes someone 'common' (tattoos, piercings, unnatural hair colours etc - all of which I've had / currently have). It's hard but I try to remember it reflects how she feels about herself, and I feel a bit sorry for her about that.
My family is the same way. Everything about my physical appearance is commented on and when I was younger it really upset me and I would often argue back. Now that I am older I have realised that they don't care about my feelings and they won't change so now I just ignore their comments.
It's very sad that people create such negativity. Especially within their own families. When I think about it, then yes, my mother is probably insecure. She's 'good looking' and was especially beautiful when she was younger. I don't think she likes ageing at all (not that anyone does), but I thinks she struggles more than most.
My sibling is also considered very good looking. I would say also insecure though. I think being with a very normal, down to earth husband has saved me from this bollocks! I used to care so much, I really don't care about how I'm perceived anymore. I used to think I had to be the best looking person, or I wasn't worthy in some way. Crazy!
I have been thinking about this because it struck me just how few plain looking women compared to men there are on the telly for example.
I watched Fairytale of NY last night and Shane's teeth can't be missed, I said to my DCs that he gets away with it because he's a talented musician. I don't think the female equivalent would ever have got away with it and been allowed to front a band no matter what her talent.
He's an extreme and this was filmed a few years ago BUT I still don't see many plain young women with high profile jobs compared to the number of plain men. The BBC may have more women to say comment on business, sport or science but they are inevitably attractive and glamourous.
My mum does the weight thing. It's baffling. Why would you even notice, let alone comment on another person's weight?
I get this too and find it very difficult not to react to this. Feel as if I am always bracing myself for a weight or appearance comment . Also get irritating complements such as 'you do look nice have you slimmed?' Or 'your hair does look much nicer like that!' grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
My family and my DH's family dies that. I've even had many 'friends' comment about my look and so did DH with his work mates.
I compliment if I see something nice, if not I keep it ti myself. I'm not particularly diplomatic or wise, I just know that it's not nice and none of my business. It baffles me why so many people feel entitled to do it.
They are also in my experience mostly said by insecure people who want to do things they know you can do or achieve which they are for some reason incapable of doing or achieving themselves.
Eg bald guy often comments about my DH's thick hair if it's getting too long. They are in their 40s ffs!
The weight thing and too thin too fat jabs are another classic.
Op ignore or tell thrm firmly: whats it got to do with you? Its my xyz and i like it.
Have you ever considered tackling it head on. Could you reply back:
"If you have nothing pleasant to say, say nothing"
"I'm really not interested in your opinion, and it is such a pity you haven't picked up on that"
"How about we start critiquing you Mum, or is it that you can give it but won't take it"
"I've come here to have a nice time, not to listen to you speak to me like that"
"These comments are all about you and the stuff in your head and not about me"
"When you speak like that Mum, you're showing yourself up as a vacuous, shallow, nasty minded person"
"Never ever say that to me again. How dare you, just fuck off with your nasty comments"
"Ha ha ha, God you are ridiculous."
My parents are both very overweight and yet comment on others weight and clothing. I'll never forget my mother saying "oh look at old thunder thighs" about Stacey's Solomon on X Factor. They also tell me that anything under 2 sizes too big is too tight for me and have massively contributed to my dysmorphia. Lots of "people will stare at your massive arse if you wear that" comments from them. I don't talk to them about anything anymore though so it's much easier now.
Strangely they only did this to me when I was size 12 and below. When I went up to a 16 they were fine with what I wore. And they never say anything to my very, very large sister who does wear clothes many sizes too small.
Olivia benson, it is like we have the same mother!!
What man was ever.told he looked unwell unless painted beige with red and black circles? Tell them to get lost.
I suppose we aren't as boundaried with our own families. Or maybe that's just my family. And in fairness there is a bit of them wanting you to look your best.
My issue is bum and thighs and eventho I'm a pretty average size 10-12, it's always pointed out to me. Friends cannot get over how self concious I am about my bum and thighs. I do realise that it's a combination of my own sensitivity and their criticism, but it is ingrained in me and I have to 'talk' sense to myself a lot. Those criticisms last a lifetime.
I might make it my new year resolution to answer a criticism with 'So?'
Why do such people feel they have the right to do this? It must be down to an attempt to bolster their pea-sized amount of confidence. Making personal comments which they know must be hurtful is bizarre.
There are other types of people who never ever compliment you on something nice - be it food you have prepared for them, your hair looking great etc. Must be down to a sense of inadequacy. Horrible trait, though.
It's their own insecurity speaking.
I've never been fat but my mother once told me, when I was 19, crushingly, that in order to wear shorts "you need to have no beam at all" (I think this was a reference to being 'broad in the beam'). I am 5'8" and at that time I was a size 12/14. She has struggled with her weight all her life and was then probably a size 20.
In my early teens, she took me to a big supermarket and invited me to choose some pick & mix, which I did, of course. Later, at home, when I started eating them, she said, "If I were you, I'd have more respect for my skin and my figure than to eat things like that". She was pretty big at the time. In hindsight, I can see the cynicism in her behaviour.
She told me another time, in my early 20s, that if I'd "only make an effort", I'd "stand out from the crowd more".
She was very attractive when she was younger. I think she was envious of me because she was losing her looks. That's not a nice thing to think about your mother, but I think that's what it was. I bet it's the same with your mother, OP.
She told me in my 30s that a coat I was wearing "looked a bit shabby" after we'd come home from somewhere. It was moleskin, from Jigsaw, and was made to look slightly distressed. After that, I pulled her up every time she tried having a dig, and she stopped. I'd say things like this:
"When I want style advice I'll ask, thanks".
"Do you understand that uninvited criticism of my appearance shatters my confidence?"
It did the trick. Try it.
sallyinsweden this is really useful as sometimes the brain can blank processing the unexpected rudeness but having these responses on standby is useful. Thanks
ijistneedmycoffee i really identify with this. I've witnessed others being utterly self conscious about things that didn't look remotely worthy of such insecurity to everyone else and been the one insecure about completely normal and average traits. Its the years of remarks from people we trusted or looked up to... . Only later did i understand why. You start believing them and that voice carries on with you through out your life until you can successfully challenge it in your own head.
nettleelf thank you for posting this. How horrendous of your mum to say that. It reminds me of my tween and teen years so much.
It's sad how many of us have had nasty personal comments from our families but i suppose understanding the insecurity and jealousy behind it makes it easier to see those remarks for what they are; a reflection of their own fears and insecurities.
Families are weird. I went through an anorexic stage in my life. My dads comment was... if you were one of my horses I'd have you put down.
What astounds me is the people who have the nerve to comment on someone else's appearance and style must think they are the absolute bees knees. I find it helps to look at them, think to yourself would you want to be like them and then once you've realised it's a no, then be thankful you are who you are and that you're also not a nasty spiteful bitch too.
I get comments about my skin. I'm Caucasian and fairly pale. The rest of my family are olive skinned weirdly enough. They make comments about me looking tired and sick and can't understand why I won't bucket on the fake tan to look like them. Nothing against people who tan, but I like my skin the way it is.
I'm thirty and I wish the fact they think my skin is undesirable in its natural state didn't bother me, but it does.
My mum is always telling me I have a big bum .. in five foot and size 10 so yes although I'm an hour glass ( I'm 32g) . I do have a small waist which makes my bum look bigger .. I'm not exactly fat ... i think is because she is straight up and down so not used to curves !
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