Teenage experiments with appearance

Parents and teachers know that adolescence (13-20 years old) is full of painful experiences. Own appearance and https://argoprep.com/blog/culturally-responsive-teaching-what-you-should-know/ is one of the main problems that concern a teenager of any gender.

The psychological meaning of experiments with appearance is the desire to change oneself, the search for one’s image, the message to the world of the same teenagers about who he wants to be. Due to their increased vulnerability and susceptibility to other people’s statements, a teenager often evaluates his appearance negatively.

Tattoos, piercings, horns on the forehead, tunnels in the ears, bright makeup, acid hair color, pumped up lips, silicone under the skin, strange hairstyles, defiant clothes – a desperate attempt to attract attention by imitating musical idols, YouTube bloggers, characters from computer games and anime.

Psychologists believe that impulses to radically change their appearance speak of the instability of the child’s psyche. That is why it is important for parents to perceive the desire of a teenager to do something with his body, not just as a stupid whim, but as a signal about something that is happening in his inner world, a reason to talk heart to heart, and think about whether intimacy has been lost in relations with him.

As a rule, after some time, experiments on appearance and dissatisfaction with oneself remain in the past such as https://argoprep.com/blog/educators/fake-news-examples-for-students-and-how-to-find-the-facts/. However, sometimes it happens that a critical attitude towards one’s appearance becomes painful (dysmorphophobia) and drags on for many years.

Main symptoms:

mirror symptom – constant, obsessive looking at yourself in the mirror;

symptom of photography – avoidance or categorical refusal to photograph, destruction of one’s own photographs;

preoccupation with imaginary physical defects;

depressive states;

communication problems.

Most often, dissatisfaction is caused by skin condition, height, weight, certain facial features (nose) or body shape.

The danger is that a “minor” disorder can develop into a serious illness. Against the background of strong depressive experiences, there are even suicide attempts. A teenager with low self-esteem and complexes of appearance needs the help of a psychologist.

What should parents do?


First of all, provide your growing child with support and understanding. Be a positive, calm and benevolent parent. Then, even if there are problems in communicating with peers, the teenager will associate himself with his prosperous family.

Be loyal.

Some of the experiments can be resolved. After all, adolescence is the perfect time to explore your own limits.

Hair will grow back over time, bright paint will wash off, ear piercings can be decorated with original earrings, and instead of a permanent tattoo, a temporary drawing can be offered that will not deform over time, will not go out of fashion in 10 years and does not carry the risk of contracting dangerous diseases.

Contact a psychologist.

It is not uncommon for teenagers to experiment while in conflict with their parents. The solution to this situation is also in the hands of adults. They need to honestly understand where and what they missed, and how the conflict can be resolved. And if, say, the tattoo is already stuffed, try without jokes and criticism to find out why the child needed to change his appearance. If attempts to negotiate on your own do not lead to anything, it is important to visit a psychologist, not letting the situation take its course.

Open up new possibilities.

Try to find out what exactly the teenager lacks, what complexes he experiences. Perhaps he feels embarrassed in communicating with peers or considers his life boring. This can be fixed with the help of new hobbies and acquaintances. This goal will be perfectly served by attending courses and trainings for personal growth outside of school.