What To Say When Someone Calls You Ugly: 20 Suggestions

In a world where physical appearance often seems to hold undue importance, being called “ugly” can be a deeply hurtful experience. It’s a term that cuts to the core of our self-esteem and challenges our sense of self-worth.

However, the way we respond to such comments can significantly impact both our personal dignity and the dynamics of the situation.

This article aims to provide a range of responses to help you navigate these difficult moments with grace, wit, and confidence.

what to say when someone calls you ugly

20 Things To Say When Someone Calls You Ugly

Each suggested response is tailored to different scenarios, considering the context, the relationship between the parties involved, and the emotional undertones of the situation.

Whether you choose to respond with humor, assertiveness, or contemplation, the key is to maintain your self-respect and possibly educate the other person in the process.

1. The Dignified Response

“I believe beauty is more about who you are than how you look. Your words say more about you than my appearance.”

This response is grounded in dignity and self-respect. It’s appropriate when you want to respond with maturity and poise, especially in a professional or formal setting. It subtly shifts the focus from physical appearance to character, highlighting the inappropriateness of the comment.

2. The Confident Rebuttal

“I’m comfortable with who I am and how I look. Your opinion on my appearance is not something that defines me.”

Use this response when you want to assert your self-confidence without being confrontational. It’s effective in scenarios where you want to firmly establish that your self-worth is not dependent on someone else’s opinion.

3. The Humorous Comeback

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize we were judging a beauty pageant today. Did I miss the memo?”

This lighthearted retort is suitable for a casual or friendly environment where humor can defuse the tension. It’s a way of brushing off the comment without giving it too much weight, showing that you’re not easily offended.

4. The Thoughtful Reflection

“Calling someone ugly is quite a shallow thing to do. I wonder why some find it necessary to judge others based on looks alone.”

This response is for a more serious or contemplative setting. It invites the other person to reflect on their behavior and the superficial nature of their judgment.

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5. The Direct Approach

“Comments about someone’s appearance can be hurtful. I’d appreciate it if we could keep our conversation respectful.”

Use this straightforward response when you want to directly address the inappropriateness of the comment. It’s suitable in both personal and professional settings where you need to establish boundaries clearly and respectfully.

6. The Sarcastic Quip

“Oh, are we giving out unsolicited appearance reviews now? I must have missed my turn to critique.”

Sarcasm can be a powerful tool when used appropriately. This response is edgier and best used in a casual setting where the other person is likely to understand and appreciate the humor.

7. The Assertive Statement

“I don’t accept or acknowledge demeaning comments about my appearance. Let’s keep our conversation constructive.”

This assertive reply is ideal when you want to firmly but politely reject the negative comment. It’s effective in settings where you need to assert your boundaries without escalating the situation.

8. The Playful Banter

“Ugly, you say? I was actually going for ‘unique’. But I guess it’s a fine line!”

This playful response is best used among friends or in a light-hearted context. It shows that you’re not taking the comment too seriously and are comfortable enough to joke about it.

9. The Polite Correction

“I believe everyone has their own beauty. Negative comments about appearance aren’t really helpful or kind.”

This response is diplomatic and educative. It’s ideal when you’re comfortable with the person but want to subtly convey that such comments are inappropriate and unkind.

10. The Comical Deflection

“Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and today, it seems like you’re wearing some pretty strong glasses!”

Using humor to deflect the comment, this response is suitable for a friendly environment where the comment is not intended to be deeply hurtful. It lightens the mood while subtly pointing out the subjectivity of beauty.

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11. The Inquisitive Response

“I’m curious – what do you gain by calling someone ugly? Does it make you feel better in some way?”

This response turns the tables by questioning the intent behind the comment. It’s a good way to prompt reflection in the other person and is suitable when you want to address the deeper issue at play.

12. The Light-hearted Agreement

“Maybe I’m not a classic beauty, but I like to think I have a style all my own. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay!”

This self-accepting response is perfect for situations where you feel comfortable with your appearance and want to convey that you’re unaffected by the comment.

13. The Firm Rebuttal

“I find comments about physical appearance unproductive and unnecessary. Let’s focus on more meaningful topics.”

Use this firm yet polite response to steer the conversation away from personal appearance and towards more substantial subjects. It’s effective in a professional or serious personal interaction.

14. The Witty Retort

“‘Ugly’? I prefer ‘aesthetically unconventional’. It has a more sophisticated ring to it, don’t you think?”

This witty and light-hearted response shows that you can handle the comment with a sense of humor and a bit of creativity. It’s a good option in a casual, friendly setting.

15. The Gentle Correction

“I value kindness and respect in conversations. Let’s try to keep our dialogue positive and uplifting, shall we?”

This gentle response sets a tone of positivity and respect. It’s a good choice when you don’t want to offend the other person but still want to express your discomfort with the comment.

16. The Philosophical Musing

“Calling someone ugly is a reflection of internal perceptions. It’s interesting how our inner world shapes how we see others.”

This philosophical take can redirect the conversation towards a more introspective discussion. It’s best used in a setting where deep conversations are welcomed.

17. The Cheerful Acceptance

“Ugly or not, I’m happy with who I am. It’s all about being comfortable in your own skin, right?”

This cheerful and positive response shows that you are secure and content with yourself, regardless of others’ opinions. It’s ideal in a friendly or casual context.

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18. The Honest Expression

“Honestly, your comment is quite hurtful. I believe everyone deserves respect, regardless of how they look.”

This honest and straightforward response is suitable in any setting where you feel the need to express your feelings openly and foster a respectful environment.

19. The Enthusiastic Embrace

“Ugly, unique, whatever it is – I embrace it! It’s always great to stand out in a crowd, isn’t it?”

This response shows enthusiasm and a positive attitude towards your own uniqueness. It’s perfect for situations where you want to show that you’re unaffected by conventional standards of beauty.

20. The Reflective Answer

“It’s comments like that which remind us of the unrealistic beauty standards in our society. I choose not to subscribe to them.”

This thoughtful response is a way to address the broader issue of societal beauty standards. It’s appropriate in a serious conversation where you want to highlight the impact of such standards on individual self-esteem.


Responding to being called “ugly” is not just about countering a negative comment; it’s an opportunity to assert your self-worth, challenge superficial judgments, and perhaps even encourage others to think more deeply about the impact of their words.

The key is to choose a response that aligns with your values, the context of the situation, and the nature of your relationship with the person making the comment. By doing so, you not only maintain your dignity but also contribute to fostering a more respectful and considerate dialogue.