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I came across the sentence "You don't have to care about your appearance." This sounds wrong to me ("You don't have to think/worry about your appearance" sounds much more natural), but since "You care about your appearance" sounds perfectly normal, I'm wondering if I'm wrong about the first sentence. Can anyone help me suss out what's going on here?

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  • worry is probably more common, but care is a synonym.
    – Barmar
    Feb 25, 2020 at 1:12
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    Nothing wrong with it.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 26, 2020 at 2:42

2 Answers 2

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Worry is fear-based. It is a projection of negative energy.

Care, on the other hand, is a projection of positive energy.

In the word context "You don't have to care about your appearance.", the word "don't" is more likely to be a negative statement. Therefore, worry is more suitable.

However, "You care about your appearance" is much consider to be a positive statement. Thus, we use care instead.

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Either "worry" or "care" can be used, but context is important. "To care" usually means to take an interest in or have affection for something. For example, if I said, "I care about my children," it would be understood that I love my children. It doesn't necessarily mean I'm worried about them unless there's a threat of danger. However, "worry" means to have a dread of a negative outcome. If I said, "I worry about my children," it would be understood that I dread something bad happening to them.

If the sentence is meant to imply that the person does not need to have any interest at all in his or her appearance, then "care" is the best word. If the sentence is meant to imply that the person is beautiful as he or she is and does not need to be concerned about how others view him or her, then "worry" would be the best word.

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