Ugly: In the Eye of the Beholder?

Let’s face it: We all judge. Whether you mean to or not, it’s in our nature. It’s hard not to in a world where looks are EVERYTHING.

Read my article from Her Campus Temple (Circa April 2012) about:

Ugly: In the Eye of the Beholder?

How do we define the word “ugly?” Is it the girl sitting in the corner of the library with the glasses, stringy hair, braces and no makeup? Is it a heavyset girl with love handles? Our society has so carefully crafted the perfect female, that almost no females are completely happy with themselves.


According to, more than 90 percent of girls between the ages of 15 to 17 years old want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. ‘Obese boys and girls have significantly lower self-esteem than their non-obese peers,’ says the website.

Ugly is formally defined as “very unattractive or unpleasant to look at,” but what does it mean in our society to be “ugly?”

“Being ugly means not being attractive to whoever is looking at you; it’s subjective,” says Alana Shaw, a political science major.

This statement is in conjunction with the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Shaw’s boyfriend may find her attractive, she says, but another male may think she is ugly. But are looks everything?

“I look at appearance as something temporary, a variable we all want to last forever,” says Tyler Buchinski, an architecture major.

It also depends on what you view as attractive. “Personally, I think it’s more of an internal quality,” says Alexandra Thompson, an English major. “If someone is warm, caring, and considerate, their energy will attract people no matter what they look like.”

It shouldn’t matter whether or not someone looks Playboy perfect. If you have a good personality, then your character automatically compensates for your appearance.

“If a girl has a good personality, despite anything wrong with her physically, she cannot be considered ‘ugly,’” says Michael Cecchine, an English major.


So if beauty is subjective, why do we still consider women like Khloe Kardashian the “ugly” sister even though her personality and humor has won the hearts of viewers all around the world? All the while, Kourtney and Kim, who have both had plastic surgery, are the beautiful ones. But because Khloe is tall and has meat on more places than just her backside, she is isolated as the unattractive one.

Many people don’t seem to understand how calling someone “ugly” affects their self-esteem. Khloe may seem strong and impervious to the harsh words, but she has admitted that it has negatively affected her. But that hasn’t stopped her from finding a husband, making her money and living her life.

How has she persevered, you ask? One word: confidence. Realizing that you can’t change your looks so you might as well make the best of them can help you move past the superficial and attract people with your energy.

“I think that when you learn to have confidence in yourself, your views of yourself and of others change drastically,” says Shaw.

So stop worrying about trying to look like a centerfold and focus on what you do have and what you can change. And you can always change your attitude. You may find that that matters so much more to others in the end.


3 thoughts on “Ugly: In the Eye of the Beholder?

  1. There is an over emphasis on outter appearance and no emphasis on what’s inside. We do not prepare the youth during their developmental years to develop love for themselves and confidence within themselves. Moreover, the people they see in the media certainly did not “Wake up like that.” Empowering them to cut their own path by unveiling the truth… There is no one quite like you. You are special. God made no mistakes when making you. You have a place in this world and you have something to offer… These are the things we need put emphasis on. Don’t believe the hype because the cake is a lie! Be well. Great post!

    1. I completely agree with you! Our society is so based on looks and appearance that it’s disgusting. It’s gross and people should feel ashamed!

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