Is Our Obsession With Appearance Ruining Relationships?


Most of us like to look our best for special occasions, like parties, weddings, and Christmas. We believe our looks dictate how others see us and we’ll sometimes go to extreme lengths to improve our appearance and prevent our looks from fading. This line of thought has spawned a huge, billion-pound beauty industry and it is often claimed this trend has gone too far.

Most parts of our body can be altered by surgery or exercise,  Our skin can be peeled and plumped, teeth improved and whitened, and our eyesight corrected with laser surgery so we don’t have to wear glasses. These are only a few treatments and procedures available, and while some people have achieved a slightly more youthful look by employing these methods, others have not. A great deal depends on the skill of the surgeon. They don’t all have the same skills.

While some facial procedures may show an improvement in appearance, we should be aware that as we age, there are certain features of the body that can’t be improved successfully. No matter how trim our body or how improved our facial features, the way an older person stands, moves, bends, walks, sits, lies down, or runs (if they still can), will instantly give their age away.


Many individuals try to combat the ageing of their bodies by exercising it. Keeping your body active is often advertised as the best way to keep our bodies young and fit for longer, but professionals argue over how much exercise we should be doing. Some enthusiastic individuals pack in as much exercise as they possibly can, but could be doing more harm than good. Many doctors now believe short periods of moderate exercise are best for us.

Regardless of how much exercise we do though, have you ever seen an older person, dancing or running. We can’t get away from the fact that age is a dead giveaway when you look at the moving body. Is it futile then to try to stave off the effects of time on our looks?


While it does feel good to be looking your best, we humans should aim to be  more than just something lovely to look at. When we interact or build relationships with others, we expect far more than someone who worries all the time about every line or wrinkle, or whether their eyebrows or eyelashes need a treatment. We are complex humans and as such, we have many sides to our personalities. Others warm to us because of who we are rather than how we look.

Think of people you know who have some of the following characteristics, and how you feel about them. Is it true you can be drawn to people with certain character traits even if they are not particularly good looking?

positive or negative attitude

inquisitive or disinterested

thirst for learning new things or contented with how things are

Enjoy the company of others or we are a loner

a giver or a taker

independent or dependent

An honest person or dishonest person

friendly or unfriendly

non-confrontational or argumentative

peace-keeping or disruptive

This list is only part of who we are as individuals. Our attitudes make up the largest part of who we are and have a far greater impression on people we meet than how we look. Someone who offers us a kind word when we’re feeling low makes a far greater impression on us than the aloof beauty who doesn’t even notice how we’re feeling.

Those who have had all the expensive beauty treatment may well look prettier than those who haven’t, but living life to the full is far more than looking pretty. It’s joining in and giggling madly when everyone’s having a snowball fight without worrying about your facial lines getting deeper if you laugh hysterically. It’s grabbing the ball your child threw at you, or pulling the sleigh without fearing your expensively manicured nails will break.

Life is meant to be lived, not spent in the beauty parlour.





About caroleparkes

My husband calls me a butterfly because I flit from one hobby to another. Apart from being a wife for 52 years, a mother of three sons, and a grandmother, I'm also an author, genealogist, amateur artist, a lover of most needlecrafts, and occasional poet. Of the above, my most enduring interest has been writing and I hope to be doing it well into old age.
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16 Responses to Is Our Obsession With Appearance Ruining Relationships?

  1. You make some good points. Fuelled by the beauty industry, the obsession with appearance has gone completely over the top.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do like the comment about life is meant for living – not in the beauty parlour – Amen to that

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BooksBy JJ.Hughes says:

    Absolutely – looks are skin deep but true beauty is inside


  4. Excellent! Important! So timely!
    And so many people today are taking hundreds of selfies. I know a young woman who bragged she has over 500 selfies on her Facebook.
    I’ve known some physically attractive people who became ugly after you got to know their bad character, selfish hearts, and cruel spirits.
    AND I’ve known some people the world would say were not attractive who became so very beautiful after you got to know their wonderful characters, generous spirits, giving hearts, etc. 🙂
    PS…I came by via Aunt Uta’s site.


    • caroleparkes says:

      Thank you so much for that lovely supportive reply. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with presenting yourself in the best way you can, but some people go to extremes nowadays, spending way too much time thinking of themselves and how they look. For some, it has become an obsession.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it has.
        I know some people have always been selfish, but do you think it’s caused selfish people to become more selfish…more self-focused,..more “needy”? I’ve been pondering all of this recently.
        Would appreciate your thoughts!
        Carolyn 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • caroleparkes says:

          There have always been selfish people in the world, as you say. People are all different, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t think I would equate a person’s obsession with appearance as selfishness. I see it more as a need to fit in and be approved. There may be a lack of self-approval for whatever reason. Maybe they’ve been put down too many times, or they’re comparing themselves to the doctored fashion images we see in magazines. Whatever the cause, there is a way out from feeling unhappy about your appearance. Focusing on the needs of others will take your mind away from what you look like. For example, those women who demonstrated about banning the bomb at Greenham Common, all those years ago, didn’t care what they looked like. They were focused on far more important things. In my view, looking outwards at another person’s troubles or world problems rather than worrying about how you look would make you a more attractive person than someone fretting about going out in the rain or wind.

          Liked by 1 person

        • caroleparkes says:

          Being so self-involved could come across as selfishness to others, I agree.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. auntyuta says:

    Reblogged this on AuntyUta and commented:
    “. . . living life to the full is far more than looking pretty.”
    I do agree with this. In my opinion the whole post is very well written and I want to reblog it! ‘


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