On Calling Ourselves Ugly

JB likes to take pictures of me in my most unflattering states. I’m not sure how or when this began but it drives me nuts. Nuts.

The other night, I honestly forget where we were but I know there was terrible lighting, he snapped a pic of me on his phone and looked like he was going to post it to Instagram. Like the self-conscious ninja that I can be, I grabbed his phone before he knew what hit him. I looked at the pic, and before I even realized what I was saying, I said out loud to him “Ugh. I’m ugly don’t post that.”

And he got really upset with me.

He scrunched up his face and looked like I kicked his dog (Well my dog too, Jacko. I wouldn’t kick Jacko). He said “Don’t say that. Why would you ever say that? That’s not nice. I really don’t like that at all.” It was kind of awkward to be honest, and I’m marrying the guy, there isn’t a lot of awkward between us.

I basically wound up apologizing to him and to myself for calling myself ugly. I don’t even know why I said it. I don’t actually think I’m ugly. I mean, I don’t think I’m Giselle, I do have eyes but, I think I clean up nice from time to time and am in general not a terrible looking female human.

This little instance though, reminded me of how far I’ve come. I’m proud to say that I really don’t talk shit about myself much anymore. This wasn’t always the case. I mean, I obviously don’t say things like this very often or else it’s clear that we would have a serious problem in our relationship.

But I hear women doing this all of the time and it makes me sad. I think one of the most important things I’ve done for myself, in life in general, was to stop talking shit … about myself.

I refuse to call myself fat, ever. And I consciously try to stop myself from partaking in all of the other mental shit-talking that my mind tries to pull on me. You know, that little voice inside our head that’s always telling us that we aren’t good enough? Yeah, that one. I always try to shut her down but sometimes she slips out, like the other night.

I’m thankful that I have him to shut her down for me when I can’t, I suppose. Because he’s right. It’s not nice. And this kind of poisonous bullshit, if left unattended, can wreak havoc, first on our self-esteem and then eventually on our entire lives as it trickles down into every little nook and cranny and interaction.

When we continuously think and say mean things to ourselves, we eventually start to believe them.

The Universe is funny too, because just as I was reflecting on how upset he got with me, I found myself tumbling down an internet-blog-hole and landed face first onto this quote:

“It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in moments where you are truly yourself.”

Isn’t that tops? I think it is.

I don’t know why, but that quote immediately reminded me of this picture taken with my two besties from college at our friend’s wedding. Maybe it’s because I feel like in this pic, we’re really being ourselves, making each other laugh like we have for years. Of course, it’s not the best picture of me, there are a lot of things I could say that aren’t nice. But honestly, we look so happy and alive. How could I?  And how many of these moments have we had together without a professional photographer present?

So yes, I agree. It makes no sense to call ourselves ugly because we don’t always get to see ourselves in moments like these.


** I don’t know who originally said this but, I’d like to give some blog love and thanks to Smart, Pretty and Awkward and A Cup of Jo for leading me to it.  Muchas gracias, muchachas.



  1. Spot on. I love it all so much – definitely sharing it! Also, consider yourself lucky to have a fiance who takes pictures of things. That’s something I wish my boyfriend would do more. He is so into whatever the moment is, it doesn’t occur to him to ever take photos, which is a great quality, too, but I wish we had a photographer following us around so we’d have pics of all the great times!

  2. Love this post. I used to do the same thing, and my man would get upset. Now I understand why. First of all, it’s a big fat lie. Secondly, it hurts him because he loves me to pieces. And he sees beauty in me that goes beyond what I can see being inside this body of mine. Now that I get it, I watch my words more carefully and catch myself.

  3. Thanks for the kind words, ladies! And thank you so much for reading! I’m so happy this post resonated with you.

  4. this feels like one of those mental notes that you make self-affirming post-its of. definately something I am a culprit of, and should make a larger effort to “shut down.” thanks for the wonderfully written mental note 😀

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