Fear of rejection makes people conscious of their looks: study
The more you are afraid of being rejected by peers, the more you crave for looking attractive, a new study has proved.
Researchers in the University at Buffalo and the University of Kent have found that those who feel pressure to look attractive remain in fear of being rejected by the people of their surroundings because of appearance.
The sensitiveness towards appearance persists mostly among the college goers, said prof Lora Park of the University at Buffalo.
Of the respondents, women showed greater sensitivity towards appearance rejection than their male counterpart, said the experts whose report was published in the recent edition of Psychology of Women Quarterly, a publication of the American Psychological Association.
The study also rejected the common belief that the consciousness towards looks comes from parental influences.
The finding, however, suggested that men and women who had internalised media ideals of attractiveness had higher levels of appearance-based rejection sensitivity than their peers.
No relationship was found between parents' perceptions of attractiveness and participants' increased fear of being rejected. Thus, peer and media influences, rather than parental influence, play a key role in appearance-based rejection sensitivity, the report said.
"When people feel pressure to look attractive, whether from their friends or the media, they may be putting themselves at risk for experiencing negative outcomes that may limit their development and enjoyment of life in many ways," Park said.
Park's earlier study on similar topic had found that appearance-based rejection sensitivity is related to negative mental and physical health outcomes, such as feeling unattractive, feeling lonely and rejected and showing increased risk for eating disorders.
The study was conducted among a group of 220 people, including 106 women, aged between 18 and 33 years.