Why Self-Deprecating Jokes Aren't Funny Anymore

We all love to make fun of ourselves. When we make a mistake, we make jokes and laugh to cover up the fact that we’re upset. We result in making jokes about ourselves because, for some reason, we’ve gotten into the habit of using our flaws as the butt of our jokes. Don’t get me wrong, I do this from time to time… it helps me, in a kind of twisted way, cope with bad feelings about myself. Yes, we all love a good joke here or there about how bad our acne is or whatever your insecurity of the day may be, but ultimately, those jokes about our flaws or mistakes are doing nothing but subconsciously tearing you down on the inside.


Photo courtesy of Lesly Juarez 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up in the morning and just haven’t felt like putting makeup on, or even putting that much effort into my appearance, for that matter. We're all human, and some days, it just doesn't happen. As soon as I see one of my friends I automatically feel the need to say something about my appearance: "Don't judge me, I'm tired". "I know, I have a huge pimple, but we're not gonna talk about it". In some weird way, it makes me feel better like I just let a weight off of my shoulders or something. However, by making jokes about my flaws like this, I'm practically inviting people to pay attention to my insecurities. We want to deflect and take attention away from our flaws, but instead, we're really just making them more prominent by joking about them. The more times you make little remarks about your insecurities, the more insecure you’ll become.

Sometimes, especially in budding friendships, we want people to think that we’re "funny" and "relatable". However, by making these jokes, you are giving off the illusion that you’re really not confident in yourself. Is that really the illusion we want to give off to our peers and friends? These jokes that we make at our own expense can seem like good ways to break the ice in awkward social situations, but in most circumstances, it really doesn't give other people a good sense of who we truly are, and it just makes things more awkward. Making these disapproving comments about ourselves opens up discussion for other people to make jokes about their insecurities, and then it turns into one huge pity-party. 

Photo courtesy of Sam Burris 

We are in the age now where confidence and positivity are trendy. There are so many campaigns in the beauty/ fashion world today that promote body positivity and self-care (examples: Aerie’s “#aeriereal” campaign, Glossier’s “Body Hero” campaign.) Self-love is ALL the rage. So, if we love to be so trendy, why don’t we start following the trend of self-love? Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone could stop making jokes about their insecurities? The more we promote self-love, individuality, and confidence in our own lives, the bigger difference we’ll make in the world as a whole. If we spread that attitude of loving who we are, flaws and all, other people will catch on. They’ll want to emulate the confident air that you exude. They’ll want to be happy, just like you.  Sure, not everyone is perfect, and we all have those days where we just feel plain sh*tty about ourselves. Instead of being insecure about the way you look naturally, embrace it. We are so lucky to live in a world where individuality and self-love are being praised more and more every day. We don’t have to fit standards anymore, and individuality is celebrated. Yes, there are always going to be hateful, judgmental people in the world; but where does all of that hate and judgment get them? The answer is nowhere. So, stop making jokes about how bad your hair looks, and look in the mirror and force yourself to think that you look beautiful. Yes, it's hard sometimes, but the more you tell yourself that you are beautiful and loved, the more you'll actually start to believe it. Another way to feel good about yourself is by genuinely complimenting other people. Not only will it make them feel good, but it’ll make you feel good because you'll have just made someone's day a little bit brighter. Stop the self-deprecation, and start embracing all of the wonderful qualities that you have. You are beautiful and wonderful the way you are; so try to stop making jokes, and get into the habit of promoting self-love instead.