Belle, me?

Belle, me? Surely not!

I am told that I am beautiful and yet I do not think I deserve the same attention. I do not find myself beautiful and I find it hard to accept that I am complimented. I would like to understand my way of thinking. Muriel, age 33

Gérard Apfeldorfer

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist


This gap between the reality of your physique and your perception of yourself does not surprise me. The feeling one has of one's appearance and beauty depends much more on one's esteem than on an objective reality. We thus see objectively beautiful and admired people, models, actresses, who do not believe in their beauty, who think that others are mistaken, that they are only illusion, that from one moment to another, the others will see the special effects. Or, they admit that their beauty is real, but does not reflect their real person.

Where does this doubt come from? Sometimes it's just that before being beautiful, we'll have been unsightly, and we'll have heard a lot. This is the ugly duckling syndrome, which is still a duck when he became a swan.

Or, this doubt about his appearance has nothing to do with his physique. Perhaps you feel that you have not been loved, appreciated, valued, in your past history. That's what we need to deepen.


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