February 25, 2011 - submitted by Brian, Netherlands

"I'm very insecure about my appearance. I think I'm very ugly. I've got acne, protruding ears and glasses. And probably a lot more... I'm just so afraid that I'll never have a girlfriend and that I will die alone. Although I've got a lot of good friends who tell me that I'm not ugly, I know that they're not telling what they're thinking... I just feel so sad. Brian"

The Oracle replies:

You're not alone in your insecurities but you do have to accept that people see you very differently than you see yourself. Maybe you judge yourself because of your single status. It matters not one jot what you look like whether you are single or not - the right person loves who you are. I realize it's easier said than done to be more confident (as I have said before confidence is attractive in itself) but you have to believe that beauty is a) in the eye of the beholder and b) comes from within. You may say "yeah, yeah, cliches...." well, cliches wouldn't exist if they weren't based on fact! Ugly is a very harsh word. I have seen people shun model beauty as they don't find it attractive; everyone is different and has different tastes. What you see in the mirror is not necessarily who you are or how others see you. I don't want to appear flippant as I do totally understand how acne can be a totally debilitating disposition but it does not mean you are ugly, nor do any of your physical attributes. It's hard but try to focus on your strengths and don't let what YOU think make you dismiss what others say about you. They see the real you and whatever negative feelings you have trust me when I say you will not die alone. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that your acne can be cured, you could get yours ear fixed and laser eye surgery - all of which I assume you know, all things that may bring confidence but maybe your thoughts are deeper rooted and you need to address those & start believing in yourself. Others clearly already do so you should join that party! Over to you...

I know for a fact that you are not ugly without having ever seen you, just by reading. I can tell that you are a kind person, and you seem like someone any girl would be lucky to be with. Looks are not everything and sometimes are not even part of the equation. It sounds cliche, but personality IS everything. As a girl, I think it is much better to share similar interests and sense of humor with a companion than to have them be stereotypically "attractive". And when you have feelings for someone, they ARE physically attractive to you no matter what.
However, I do know that we all want to look our best. Just remember that everyone gets acne, that sticky-out ears are not a negative thing, and that there is nothing wrong or dorky or unattractive about wearing glasses, being a glasses wearer myself:) Many women find glasses especially attractive on men.
Girls who don't give you a chance based on looks are shallow and immature and you deserve better.
Plus I am guessing that you are a Coldplay fan, which means you have a fantastic taste in music, and taste in music trumps looks any day! Allie

Brian, I don't think you're gonna end up alone. This is just a period of your life and you're gonna surpass it for sure (though you are not convinced of that now). In the meanwhile, if you feel insecure about your appearance, there are some things that you can do to improve it and feel better and more confident about yourself. They say confidence is one of the most attractive things.
First of all, you should see a dermatologist. Sometimes a nice face is hidden behind the acne. I struggled with it last year and people really don't help with their comments. A GOOD dermatologist can make miracles with your skin. I tell you by experience.
If you have a friend, a cousin or a brother who looks in a way you'd like to look like, ask them for help. They could give you some advices about clothes and some other things. And about the ears, you could ask the hairdresser for a haircut that helps you in that way. Don't think the glasses are a problem, but if you don't like them, look for another model or for contact lens.
I think that if you work out those things, you'll feel much better. You said you have a lot of good friends, so I imagine your personality is not a problem. Try to focus on the positive things you have; those things that you like about yourself. Take advantage of them!! Hope it all goes alright for you. Love from Argentina. Noelia

Brian, a lot of times people will stereotype a person before they've gotten to know them. Once people get to know you for who you are, what you look like won't matter. What matters is what you think about you. Don't think you're unattractive, and don't be too hard on yourself. We usually critique ourselves more than we should for some reason. Glasses and protruding ears are NOT ugly. Acne can heal. Just remember, it's not what's on the outside that matters. It's what's inside you that not only matters, but it's what shines through. Don't worry about not having a girlfriend or dying alone. There IS somebody out there for each of us; someone who will love everything about us, even the parts we don't like ourselves. Dana

You mustn't be upset about your physical appearance. The thing that matters the most is what kind of person you are inside. I am sure that one girl at least will realize your value and see deeper, into your heart. You must always be optimistic! Try to be a really good person and help others so that girls actually see what kind of person you really are. But remember, that you must always stay yourself and not pretend to be something else than what you really are. Ionna

First off let me tell you that your friends aren't lying to you. They see the good qualities about your appearance that you might not be able to see right now.
Everyone has something good about their appearance. So what if you have protruding ears, who's to say that's unattractive? Look at Will Smith. Do you know how many girls go crazy over him? So don't worry about dying alone, there's many people out there who would find things attractive about you. Nobody needs spectacular looks to get someone to love them or be with them. What does help is what you do, whether it's helping others or making people laugh for example.
Many people value personality over looks any day.
Just learn to be confident in yourself. If anyone tells you otherwise, just brush it off.
I'm telling you this through experience and I hope this helps. Caitlin

Well Brian, the thing is, if you believe that that you'll never have a girlfriend, then that may be the outcome. You need to present yourself with confidence, no matter how you look. Acne is normal, plenty of people at some point in their lives have had it... if it's that much of a problem go to a dermatologist, if you hate your glasses, buy a new pair or wear contacts. There are always options, saying that you're ugly won't make anything better for you. Looks are not everything, a confident and lovely personality is, don't fret, if a girl does not like you move on. Just think, 'If you don't love yourself how do you expect someone to love you back?' Hope this helps you. Jasely, 14. USA

Some people are just blessed with a beautiful appearance. But, those people are not always the nicest people. If I had the choice, and I'm talking form a girl's perspective here, I'd choose a nice and caring personality over a good-looking appearance. I know it might sound cliche, but I can assure you it really works that way. You said you have a lot of good friends, so they probably think the same way. Maybe you can talk to them about how insecure you really feel. I think that you won't die alone, because I believe there is someone for everyone. Lots of love, Charlotte

If anybody has any sense at all, you'll be getting lots of replies like this, but please please don't worry about your looks! Humans are genetically programmed to attract someone who we want to reproduce with, and usually pick our potential matches based on looks... But has anybody you have ever known, gone out with someone who had the worst personality ever and just gone on looks? Wouldn't you rather be with someone who appreciates you for who you are, flaws and all? Trust me on this, you sound like a really nice guy and it takes someone brave to admit their hang ups, like you've just done! Good luck, and please don't be sad about it :) Also, I have problems with acne and got teased about it at school, but it does get better. (If it's really bad you can see a doctor about it, it's more common than you think ). Karma Hugs, Fran

Do not think that way. Looks can get a lot of girlfriends, but I tell you that they're not a supplement of a long-lasting relationship. Even though you are not handsome, you will have someone as long as you show how you love her so much. It is actually someone's constant love for another that makes a couples' relationship so tight. When you marry, physical appearance is nothing. Your wife wants you to work hard and take care of her and your children. That is how to show your love. RJ

Brian, I've got good news for you: you are not ugly. I guess you are somewhere in your teens, so the acne will go away with time. You can even wear contacts if it bothers you much. But honestly, there's no need to. In that age, girls are complicated. Some of them don't look past the outer appearance and some never learn looking inside, too. These are the ones you should avoid falling in love with. ;) My (now) boyfriend used to be afraid of dying alone, too. He also wears glasses and is not a tabloid-beauty, but I wouldn't want him any other way. When we talked about his fear I said to him what I say to you now: you are right just the way you are and there will be someone who loves you that way. It just might take some time. So continue to look forward to that person and try not to lose hope. Sarah

I know what your are going through but I've got a good message for you:
acne will go away and there are a lot of people who don't mind you have glasses and do not care what you look like. if your friends lied that was to help you and not make you insecure, please realize that they care for you and they are probably loyal and nice people.
I do not know how old you are but you will find a girl that likes you and you will fall in love with her.
in the time before that happens I advise you to stick with the friends that you like and go jogging or training to let the pressure off or do something else you like and are good at and were you can be occupied by, that always worked for me and I hope it works for you too.
I am dyslexic and English isn't my home language so excuse me for my bad English if there is any. Michael

The one lesson I really learned growing up is that it takes all types. Looks couldn't matter less without a personality...or brains, for that matter. Maybe you're physically beautiful, maybe not, but WHO are you? And WHO do you want to be? Remember, physical beauty fades, but humor, intelligence, courage, selflessness, kindness and conversation are what make memories that last forever. You will grow into yourself and find the confidence in the aspects you grow to own. Personally, I'm far happier being the dunce and getting a laugh, than asking the mirror if I'm the fairest one of all...

I read what you wrote, and you don't mention any of your good aspects. Even though you may think that you are ugly, other people don't care about that. It doesn't matter what you look like, because if someone is right for you, nothing else matters.
You need to focus more on the good aspects of yourself. You can't all be bad, you might have nice arms or legs, nice feet or even a bellybutton that you're proud of. Why don't you try something new, maybe get fit if you aren't, or try just something different.
Whatever it is, it has to make you feel good about yourself. Proud of what you can do and who you are. You will find someone who is right for you if you want a partner. Also, your friends are probably right in telling you that you aren't ugly, because friends don't lie to make you feel better, they are your friends and are there to help you. Mindy

Thank you everyone! See you next Friday...
Click to read this week's Team Oracle question, and send us your answer.