Room for improvement: Why our self-perception needs work
The concept of looking good is complex. What defines it and why? What does it consist of when we judge ourselves? A recent survey asked participants about the time in their life they think they looked better than ever, and the results can teach us a great deal about how our self-perception needs to change.
The survey addressed topics including age, relationships, work, diet, fitness, motivations, and strengths. Not surprisingly, most respondents felt they looked their best from the ages of 18 to 25. More than three-quarters of respondents felt they looked their best when romantically involved. Twice as many women as men said they look best while married. Fifty-eight percent of respondents reported having an average or unhealthy diet during the time they looked their best. The perception of looking good had little to no correlation with healthy eating and exercising habits. In terms of motivation, almost 20 percent of people reported that they looked their best when motivated to do things like attract a crush, get married, or make an ex jealous. When asked to pinpoint the reason for looking their best, respondents overwhelmingly chose their body as the primary strength,. The distant distant runner-ups includehair, energy, smile, skin and fashion.
Sure, looking your best is a bit of a superficial concept. But 70 percent of respondents acknowledged that their personal happiness made a huge impact on looking so good. Various quotes from participants also shed a great deal of light on that fact that looking good comes from the inside. One participant stated that they “…began to be happy with (their) place in life,” while another said, “I finally embraced the aesthetic that I wanted to have, and stopped trying to please others.” Even if we sometimes devalue a healthy lifestyle or find ourselves motivated by unfortunate events, happiness is the most obvious catalyst for looking your best. When you’re with someone, trying to be your best in a relationship, accepting yourself for who you are, you’re destined to “look good” while doing it.
The best days lie ahead
While some survey responses confirmed that various complexities and points of confusion exist when we assess ourselves, the good news is they teach us we need to change. Pushing away self-deprecating social norms and focusing on a holistic sense of wellness could lead to much more significant strides in overall improvement, inside and out. Our guttural assumptions about definitions of beauty and self-worth have created unhealthy tendencies. These are evident here through the sometimes confused responses of the survey participants. Despite some of the negativity, there is hope…51 percent of respondents believe their best days are ahead of them. We can’t help but agree!
For more details on the study, see the infographic below:
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