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    I'm 20 and i've been this way since I was 12ish. I can be completely okay and then all of a sudden i see myself in the mirror and i start to feel completely down; I start to feel unmotivated and depressed; i just don't see the point to anything anymore. Just need some words of advice...

    I know this won't make you feel any better, but you just have to remember that in the 21st century we are given an 'optimal state of achievement' which is virtually impossible to achieve for many. Through films, music and magazines we are made to feel inadequate if we aren't as physically attractive as celebrities, if we aren't as clever as scientists or wealthy bankers, if we aren't as creative as award winning artists.

    We are made to conform to an ideal that is constructed on purpose to make you feel bad about yourself. This is because this kind of ideal is what fuels 21st century service economy capitalism. Excelling in creativity, fashion, education, wealth, physical appearance and employment, are all seen as important to your personal worth.

    But such ideals have been invented by people. Without the media, people would not feel this sense of inadequacy about themselves. I'm not going to pretend that appearances don't 'matter' in the 21st century - they do - to certain people. Indeed, so does everything else I mentioned. So you have a few choices:

    1) Realise that what 'matters' is not what other people believe in, but what you believe in. Don't let yourself be made to feel worthless by 21st century society. You are a perfectly good human being, doing your best to survive in an unforgiving world.

    2) Realise that even if you are not confident in your looks, not everyone will care about them, and you can develop many 21st century passions in life - creativity, education etc. and indeed, begin a caring and giving relationship with a person without optimal physical attractiveness.

    3) Realise that the majority of people, even beautiful people, are not wholly confident in their looks. The media forces beauty on us so much, that even the most beautiful people doubt themselves. You may not be unattractive in the eyes of many people (even if you are in your own eyes).

    I'm sorry that you feel this way about yourself and I just hope things get better for you.

    Hi Anonymous,

    I can't say without further details but based on you feeling as though things are pointless because of your appearance it seems like you may be suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

    However it could be that you're just like most other 20 somethings- unhappy with your appearance, feeling inadequate and lacking confidence.

    Try to consider why you feel your looks will matter- for example are you worried that you won't find a partner, that you won't make friends etc? A CBT therapist told me to consider whether I'd really like to be friends with/date someone who was so bothered about appearance. People's behaviour towards others, their inner beauty does matter too

    I understand the your feeling as you write this post, it is difficult to deal with things like this.

    I was very lucky to have met this one girl who encouraged me to find my confidence, to feel good and keep my chin up and I think that matters a lot.
    Dress nicely everyday, feel great!! The new dress you have been saving for a special night, well take it out wear it to a lecture, walk around like you own the world, and damn right you will!! Get a new hairstyle, get highlights! See I know its weird especially when you are with people who see you everyday and they'll be like what the hell is wrong with you?!? But its a process I suppose of self discovery, whatever you feel gorgeous in!! And doing it more often. We do not have to look good for the random people on the streets, we do nto owe them anything. All that matters is what makes you feel great inside, if make up, pretty dresses colored contacts, funky shoes help then THAT'S IT THEN!!

    I hope you will be able to look at yourself and see the true you, you are very special, you are your interests, your songs, your talents (even fashion!!), the things you like to do, and how you're as a human being.
    This is video of an experiment that was done on some women where they described themselves to an artist and where someone else described them and the two drawings tell a story:

    Love xxx
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