I feel so unattractive in Cambridge. My friends and fam say that I’m pretty, but no-one is interested in me. It’s taking a toll on my mental health and self-esteem. What can I do to feel better about myself?

I can safely say that I do not know a single soul who hasn’t ever felt like this at some time or other. You are not alone. In a world where we’re constantly sold the latest beauty products and fashion items and diet plans, it’s no surprise that we all worry about how we look. And while this is true, there are of course things you can do to detach yourself from this worrying.

Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of the short-term fix for low self-esteem, by seeking out attention on dating apps, for example. While this can make you feel pretty and attractive in the moment, it’s important to remember this: if you’re looking for someone who’s only interested in you because of how you look, you’re looking for the wrong person.

“Attraction is a confidence thing.”

I don’t want to bore you with the whole inner beauty thing, but I’m going to bore you with the whole inner beauty thing. Prettiness is so much more than skin-deep (I know it’s hard to imagine given all the Timothee Chalamets and Zendayas of the world). It may sound a little cliché (and maybe it is), but humour and intelligence and kindness and all those other wonderful qualities are the things that fire up attraction. Starting to look past the surface and focusing on your *inner beauty* (sorry, there it is again), will make life much, much better.

One trick that has massively helped me with my self-esteem and body image is asking myself if I would ever speak to my friends or family the way I might speak about my body. Would you tell your friends that you hated the way they looked, or thought they were really unattractive? I’m going to hope the answer is no. Telling yourself you are beautiful may seem far away from actually believing it, but it can make all the difference.


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Attraction is a confidence thing. Fixing that self-esteem and realising you are everything your friends and family see you as is the first step. Finding ways of expressing yourself can really help, so try out some new looks, go find some cool, sustainable garms and funky style-inspiration until you find the look that feels the most you. Cambridge has a tonne of lovely charity shops (check out Regent Street or Mill Road) which can be a great place to find some unique items of clothing. It’s tempting to just copy the cool kids and wear what’s on the mannequins, but they’re made of plastic and you’re made of so much more!

Tell yourself you’re beautiful (and mean it!!), find different ways of expressing that beauty and talk to your friends about how you feel: chances are they feel the same way, and a problem shared is a problem halved.