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Woman Visits MIL’s House To Discover She Has Photoshopped Her Husband’s Face In Their Wedding Pics
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Woman Visits MIL’s House To Discover She Has Photoshopped Her Husband’s Face In Their Wedding Pics

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Even the most resilient of people might take one’s negative comments to heart, especially when they’re coming from someone they love.

Redditor u/AnActualMudpup recently opened up to the ‘Entitled Parents’ community about her MIL constantly criticizing her sons. To one of them—the redditor’s husband—she even suggested getting a nose job. Not only that, she went as far as photoshopping his face on his own wedding pictures.

In order to better understand how negative comments about a person’s looks can affect them, Bored Panda turned to a board-certified clinical psychologist and adjunct professor of psychiatry, author of the book Letting Go of Your Ex, Dr. Cortney S. Warren, who was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. You will find her insight in the text below.

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It’s difficult being constantly criticized, especially by a family member

Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)

This redditor’s MIL not only made comments about her own son’s nose, but even photoshopped it in his wedding pictures

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Image credits: Kampus Production (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: Kampus Production (not the actual photo)

Image credits: MART PRODUCTION (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: AnActualMudpup

Image credits: Monstera Production (not the actual photo)

It’s likely that most of us have been on the receiving end of a mean comment or two regarding our appearance. Maybe we’ve even made one ourselves. So it might come as no surprise that quite a few people are dealing with negative body image and the problems it entails.

“Research suggests that body image and self-esteem are positively correlated, meaning that the better you feel about your physical appearance, the better you feel about yourself in general,” Harvard-trained board-certified clinical psychologist and adjunct professor of psychiatry Dr. Cortney S. Warren told Bored Panda in a recent interview. “Given this association, research suggests that hearing negative comments about one’s appearance can negatively affect their mental health and self-esteem.”

Unfortunately, quite often, such a negative view towards one’s own body starts at an early age. The National Organization for Women pointed out that more than half (53%) of American girls are already “unhappy with their bodies” by the time they’re 13; the number grows to 78% by the age of 17. Other statistics aren’t much more positive, as 50% of teens report being “self-conscious” about their bodies, with nearly as many of them considering cosmetic surgery to change their appearance.

The organization also revealed that girls in elementary school—roughly 40-60% of them—are already concerned about their weight or becoming too fat, clearly proving that body image-related concerns start quite early in life. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) suggested that children as young as three have internalized stereotypes about body size, and by the time they’re five they might show concern regarding their weight or shape.

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Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

According to NEDA, people dealing with negative body image (also referred to as body dissatisfaction) believe that they are flawed compared to others, which often results in feelings of depression, isolation, and self-esteem; in some cases it can even develop into an eating disorder. Such negative views of one’s body are often linked to society’s unrealistic and unattainable ideals, which—to make matters worse—nowadays tend to be amplified by social media.

“Culture has a large influence on what we learn is valuable, ideal, and desirable,” Dr. Warren pointed out. “Often, we internalize or accept what we see from our socio-cultural climate as if it is true—as if we need to attain or be what society tells us is acceptable to be loved and valued.

“Historically, messages about physical appearance and beauty in the United States are highly focused on being young, thin, fit, and beautifully symmetrical. Yet, the ideals are unattainable, especially over the course of a lifetime.”

The expert added that the degree to which one can challenge themselves to develop a healthy attitude towards their body and embrace what they look like—as well as what their body can do and how it was built—is directly linked to how easy they might find appreciating themselves and their appearance just as they are.

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Image credits: Mati Mango (not the actual photo)

In the OP’s story, it was seemingly his mother rather than the redditor’s husband himself who found it more difficult to appreciate his appearance. The OP revealed that his mother continuously criticized him and his brother, and made complaints about his appearance time and again. It’s no surprise that negative comments from someone as close as a mom can significantly alter the way a person feels about themselves.

Dr. Cortney S. Warren pointed out that the source of appearance-related teasing or negative commentary can have a strong effect on how much it affects a person’s self-esteem and mental health. Remarks coming from a friend, parent, sibling, peer, or unknown person can have different effects on the person on the receiving end.

“When appearance-related teasing comes from someone you know—like a family member or a partner—the effects can be particularly harmful,” the clinical psychologist suggested. She added that, according to research on the effects of parental teasing on middle school-aged girls, teasing from a father was associated with body dissatisfaction, bulimic behaviors, reduced self-esteem, and depression in these girls; being teased by a mother also resulted in symptoms of depression.

That might be one of the reasons why people’s views on body image reportedly differ depending on who they’re with. Research on relational body image found that people felt more positively about their appearance when they were with individuals whom they perceived to be more accepting of their own body and less body preoccupied.

Luckily for the OP’s husband, his wife seems to be a supportive presence, arguably counter-weighing at least some of her MIL’s negativity. Fellow redditors were seemingly supportive as well, some of whom shared their thoughts with the OP in the comments under her post.

The OP provided more details answering some of the redditors’ comments

Netizens shared their opinions and suggestions with the OP

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Miglė Miliūtė

Miglė Miliūtė

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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A writer here at Bored Panda, I am a lover of good music, good food, and good company, which makes food-related topics and feel-good stories my favorite ones to cover. Passionate about traveling and concerts, I constantly seek occasions to visit places yet personally unexplored. I also enjoy spending free time outdoors, trying out different sports—even if I don’t look too graceful at it—or socializing over a cup of coffee.

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Miglė Miliūtė

Miglė Miliūtė

Writer, BoredPanda staff

A writer here at Bored Panda, I am a lover of good music, good food, and good company, which makes food-related topics and feel-good stories my favorite ones to cover. Passionate about traveling and concerts, I constantly seek occasions to visit places yet personally unexplored. I also enjoy spending free time outdoors, trying out different sports—even if I don’t look too graceful at it—or socializing over a cup of coffee.

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

I'm a visual editor here at Bored Panda and I enjoy a good laugh. My work ranges from serious topics related to toxic work environments and relationship difficulties to humorous articles about online shopping fails and introvert memes. When I'm not at my work desk, checking if every single pixel is in the right place, I usually spend my free time playing board games, taking pictures, and watching documentaries

Read less »

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Viktorija Ošikaitė

Author, BoredPanda staff

I'm a visual editor here at Bored Panda and I enjoy a good laugh. My work ranges from serious topics related to toxic work environments and relationship difficulties to humorous articles about online shopping fails and introvert memes. When I'm not at my work desk, checking if every single pixel is in the right place, I usually spend my free time playing board games, taking pictures, and watching documentaries

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deadmanwalkin avatar
Raumpfleger
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Guessing from personal experience: MILs behaviour has always been that way, but FIL was an important mediating factor in the family. When FIL passed, nobody was stopping her while everyone let her grieve and put her behaviour on her mourning. That's what allowed her to extend the grace period to 8 years because that behaviour meanwhile somehow unconsciously became symbolic for her loosing her husband which nobody would be allowed to take from her. And if all that is guessed right by me, I'd bet her sons won't confront her because they already learned as little boys, it's best to fly under the passive-aggression-radar at home to not get into trouble and keep the peace.

glennschroeder avatar
Papa
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was thinking pretty much the same thing, especially the part about her husband keeping a tight rein on her behavior until he passed away.

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zoe_x_ avatar
Zoe Vokes
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’ve never had a problem with my nose but my mother has repeatedly complained about not liking her nose (even though I asked her to stop). We have the same nose. Saying that you think your nose is unattractive is the same as saying mine is. It’s unnecessary and hurtful.

lyone_fein avatar
moxiegraphix avatar
Jeanette Thompson
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even if she doesn't, what kind of mother TELLS their child they aren't beautiful? Just don't say anything about people's looks. But it sounds like it's not just his looks she criticizes.

Load More Replies...
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deadmanwalkin avatar
Raumpfleger
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Guessing from personal experience: MILs behaviour has always been that way, but FIL was an important mediating factor in the family. When FIL passed, nobody was stopping her while everyone let her grieve and put her behaviour on her mourning. That's what allowed her to extend the grace period to 8 years because that behaviour meanwhile somehow unconsciously became symbolic for her loosing her husband which nobody would be allowed to take from her. And if all that is guessed right by me, I'd bet her sons won't confront her because they already learned as little boys, it's best to fly under the passive-aggression-radar at home to not get into trouble and keep the peace.

glennschroeder avatar
Papa
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was thinking pretty much the same thing, especially the part about her husband keeping a tight rein on her behavior until he passed away.

Load More Replies...
zoe_x_ avatar
Zoe Vokes
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’ve never had a problem with my nose but my mother has repeatedly complained about not liking her nose (even though I asked her to stop). We have the same nose. Saying that you think your nose is unattractive is the same as saying mine is. It’s unnecessary and hurtful.

lyone_fein avatar
moxiegraphix avatar
Jeanette Thompson
Community Member
9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even if she doesn't, what kind of mother TELLS their child they aren't beautiful? Just don't say anything about people's looks. But it sounds like it's not just his looks she criticizes.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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