Is absolutely hating your looks a sin?


It doesn’t apply to me, but someone I know. Truthfully. I’m not just trying to cover it up. I just don’t want to even vaguely identify her, but there is a young woman I know, and she absolutely hates her looks. She talks about it every day, she’s told me, can’t even look in the mirror when she’s putting her makeup on:confused::frowning: because she just can’t stand her “butt-ugly face,” as she calls it. I ask her what she doesn’t like about her face, and she says everything. She says she’s not looking to attract anyone, she just hates being so “ugly.” She feels dark in her soul when she makes faces of hatred at herself, she’s even scratched her face and left bloody trails sometimes when she’s extremely frustrated. She’s obsessed with how awful she thinks she looks, and she really does feel she’s extremely homely and it just bothers her so much. I tell her she isn’t ugly, and she believes I truly don’t, but it doesn’t change her own mind of herself. She just thinks I must have a bad opinion of what “pretty” is. How grave is this? Is this mortal? Vanity? Extreme self-hatred? She’s never been told by anyone that she’s ugly…It’s just a very strong opinion she’s had of herself for years, and I’m just wondering how grave this is.
Thank you for any thoughts, and I hope she won’t read this.:o:(


It seems to me someone scratching their face and leaving bloody trails could use some counseling to help them with this issue. I’m sorry she is suffering so much anguish for this and pray for some resolution to the issue with some help.



I agree with Mary777. This is a grave situation. It could easily lead to a worse situation. Yes. be her rock, but convince her to seek professional help. Praying for her.


I don’t think that she is committing a mortal sin (I don’t know about the scratches), but there is some immorality involved. It is bad to be obsessed with how good we think we look, but it can also be considered vanity to consider ourselves as extremely ugly and hate ourselves for it because we are placing too much importance on appearance. If she is full-on scratching her face until it bleeds, I think she needs some sort of professional help.


This is not a moral issue, this is a mental health issue. She needs to be under the care of a psychologist.


Absolutely. She is self-harming. There is a known mental health condition known as body dysmorphic disorder, where people simply can’t see themselves as the rest of the world sees them.


Sounds like she suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, (chronically hating ones looks). I agree, she needs prompt psychological care. Most likely this is a mental illness, which greatly reduces her culpability.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard that Michael Jackson suffered from BDD, too.


:thumbsup: 1ke is 100% correct here. This had nothing to do with sinning, but with helping someone not hate themselves and find meaning in their life. Praying for all who feel this way about themselves. :o


Thank you for your thoughts on this. I had believed it might be a mortal sin, or at least a sin at all, and it still could be. It depends.


She may also be thinking dark thoughts. Years ago, I was on medication to address a hormonal disorder. The medication had a side effect that gave me dark thoughts. Luckily, I only had to take the medication for a month. After I stopped the medication, the dark thoughts vanished. Your friend may be suffering from a disorder that has an organic cause. Maybe she could see physician first.


It is a sin to despise yourself or to not treat yourself with respect. Rationalizing sin until it takes on an amoral dimension was condemned as a modernist heresy by St Pius X (1903-1914). Whether or not it is grave is immaterial: God knows that. The rule taught by the Zealous Doctor (the opponent and a contemporary of the 18th century Jansenists) is that if you don’t positively know that it is mortal, then it is not mortal.

Homosexuality relates to a person’s hormonal/pysiological state; there is still a moral dimension.
Anorexia relates to a person’s mental state; there is still a moral dimension.
Any lust under the sun relates to a person’s mental state; there is still a moral dimension.

The moral dimension isn’t in the existence of the disorder in of itself (except in that it comes from original sin, which is not personal sin), but the moral dimension is in how the person responds to the disorder.

This person’s self-deprecation over her looks seems quite radical, and likely means that it isn’t circumstantial (in the way almost every junior high girl in existence suffers from his insecurity). She may - through discipline - grow far more or far less susceptible to it, but she will contend with it her entire life. Even with this kind of poison, it can be used as a tool in God’s kingdom if the person permits it. Crosses are placed on people in order to foster spiritual growth within a person. Suffering for its own sake has no value, but suffering against spiritual assaults is meritorious.

Some people seem to carry no such crosses and are born more-or-less physically and mentally healthy. These people carry the cross of pride, perhaps the heaviest of them all.


Actually, she’s sometimes thought that, that she was made to be ugly, or at least see herself as ugly, as a Cross. She still talks about it everytime I’m around her, and sometimes she’s been in tears over how horrible she thinks she looks. She doesn’t enjoy being this way, as no one would relish such mental illness. She wants to be what she calls “reasonably pretty” or “just average,” but to be “so butt-ugly” is a curse. She’s actually been this way for the past few years, and it’s gotten worse in just the last year and a half or so. She can’t go anywhere until she has okayed her appearance with herself, and if she doesn’t think she looks too awful, she’s all right with being seen in public. I just sympathize with her. She will never go to a doctor, would never spend the money or take the time, and I know she will just never change her mind. It’s like trying to make someone like the color purple if they just don’t and never could. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if you just don’t like what you see, you’re just never going to. It’s mere opinion, as with anything else involving how something looks.


Maybe body dismorphia? How do you know she was never called ugly? I bet someone very important to her may have implanted in her head she is ugly. That strong of an opinion does not come from nowhere. Maybe she was abused? I do not want to classify her behavior as sinful. I just think something somewhere is wrong.


I know her closely, have for years, and she was not abused in any way by anyone. I think I would have known. She may have the image disorder. Lately, she hasn’t been talking about it, at least not to me, because she knows I get sick of hearing it. I truly feel for her, but just wish she’d get beyond this. If she were truly ugly, I’d know. I wouldn’t tell her she was “pretty” if I truly didn’t think so.


I do not think her behavior is essentially sinful. What is her age? Does she look at photoshopped pictures of 40 year old super models that happen to still look 18? Too much media, magazines, movies can make a young girl hate her looks. There will never feel good enough. There is the thigh gap, the hip dip, the perfect proportion legs, perfect breast shape. Too much celebrity can do that to people.


I don’t want to say too much more about her, but I will say that no, she is not particularly young. And she doesn’t have magazine celebrities as her role models, either. In fact, she hates the way they look, as far as the ridiculously over-sized breasts (which I think is rather ugly too), and the puffed up lip look. She does think super-skinny is attractive, though, which I do too. I really do think some of those models are quite pretty…But they misuse their beauty and trash themselves and that is what is wrong.


I do not know if her behavior is sinful. She needs a prayer.

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