Appearance teasing (AT) is such a widespread phenomenon that to discount its meaning, impact, and severity on the lives of those who are teased would be a mistake. This study aims to explore the lived experiences of Indian youths who have been appearance-teased by their close friends and family, how they perceive it has impacted their senses of self and identity and to understand their coping strategies that help them manage the negative effects of AT. Data was collected via semi structured interviews with six young adults and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Analysis of the transcripts reveals five master themes encompassing forms of exhibition of AT, causes, impact, protective factors, and coping strategies that represented the experiences for this population. Each individual voice captured in this study offers valuable insights into how teasing someone based on their appearance can have tremendous impacts on their psyche and behavior. Findings also point to the unique role played by Indian culture in these experiences of Indian youths. Based on the results, we conclude that there is a substantial need for awareness about AT in India and the impact of its normalization on Indian youth.


appearance teasing, identity, self, coping, interpretative phenomenological analysis, qualitative

Author Bio(s)

Sneha Yadav, a psychology enthusiast with a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Delhi, India, is a blend of intellect, creativity, and curiosity. Her passion lies in understanding the complexities of human behavior, spanning social, humanistic, industrial, and forensic psychology. When she's not exploring minds, she's immersing herself in the world of languages and epic tales of history. In moments of leisure, you'll find her painting and sketching. Currently in a transitional phase of her career, she's using this time to discover new things about herself and the world.

Shagun, a graduate in Applied Psychology from Delhi University's Ramanujan College, ardently delves into the labyrinth of the human mind, with a particular fascination for organizational psychology. Her passion extends to the world of AI and various facets of computer science, seeking to bridge the gap between human behavior and technology. A skilled debater, she effectively communicates her multifaceted insights. Beyond her academic pursuits, Shagun channels her artistic talents into dance and visual arts, capturing life's intricate emotions. Her journey intricately weaves together the realms of psychology, technology, and art, all in pursuit of deciphering the captivating enigma of the human psyche.

Koko Veerning Moyon is a graduate in applied psychology from Ramanujan College, Delhi University. Prior to his graduation, he completed his schooling from the Mount Carmel School in Anand Niketan. Currently, Koko is navigating diverse opportunities for his future undertakings. Apart from his academic pursuits, Koko is an avid football fanatic and actively plays and enjoys the sport. In his leisure time, he also likes to explore the culinary arts by engaging in cooking. Furthermore, Koko believes in giving back to the community and aspires to contribute in the best way possible in his future endeavors.

Dr. Divya Bhanot, Ph.D. (corresponding author) is an assistant professor at the Department of Applied Psychology, Ramanujan College, University of Delhi, India. Dr. Bhanot holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Delhi. She has constructed the famous Multidimensional Scale of Socio-Political Empowerment. Dr. Bhanot has recently received a grant of $100 from the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology and an awardee by the Asian Association of Social Psychology for “AASP 2021 Summer School: Best Research Proposal” (2021). She has over ten publications in the internationally renowned journals indexed in Scopus and Web of Science including The Qualitative Report, Current Psychology, and Frontiers in Public Health to name a few. Her core research interests lie in the areas of applied social psychology. She is presently the member of Asian Association of Social Psychology and National Academy of Psychology. Correspondence regarding this article to be addressed to: divyabhanot137@gmail.com.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.









To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.