Body Confidence and Self-Worth
I want to talk about self esteem and body confidence, or lack thereof. Even though low self-esteem often has its roots planted firmly somewhere in our past, it can be growing out of control in our present. It can cause an individual to view themselves as inadequate, unlovable or incapable. These thoughts may transform into beliefs and then become very limiting and potentially debilitating in a person’s life. These negative self-views can become more and more frequent, slithering their way into every thought, radically altering our self-confidence, and dramatically influencing the way we view our worth and value.
Low self-esteem is the foundation of self-doubt, self-judgement and self-criticism. It causes individuals to conceive faulty assumptions and beliefs about themselves and their abilities, and promotes unhealthy actions such as self-defeating behaviours, self-isolation and avoidance.
Having low self-esteem is more than just not feeling good about yourself. It is a deep belief instilled within, constantly convincing an individual that they are “not enough”.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
Would it be surprising if I pointed out numbers like:
7 out of 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, whether it be their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends*
While it may not be completely surprising, it is absolutely shocking to think so many girls these days have such low self-esteem and self-worth.
In 2015-2016 a study was commissioned by Dove to find how women around the world felt about themselves. They surveyed 10,500 women and girls between the ages of 10-64 years, across 13 countries. They found only 50% of women in the USA reported feeling confident in their own beauty.
This figure was pretty indicative of the self-views held by many women and girls in the so-called “modernist” cultures with high democratic standards regarding equality and freedom. Indian women were the most confident in their individual beauty with 96% reporting good self-esteem and self-worth. It really might be worth exploring how Indian traditions, religious and social conventions have interacted to help protect and nurture self-esteem among women and girls? Because it sounds like low self-confidence is fast becoming a HUGE problem for far too many women around the world.
So, what can we do about it? How can we help?
And this is my cue to start ranting about this topic I am very passionate about!
We need to STOP body shaming. It is up to us as women, to begin positively transforming and reshaping the way we are taught to see, think, speak of and to ourselves and each other.
We need to STOP body shaming. STOP comparing our bodies to others. STOP determining our value by our dress size and our worth by the distance separating our thighs. We need to STOP the “fat” talk. STOP teaching girls that there is a norm or social expectation, and start celebrating each and every single woman and their body for exactly what it is. We need to be body positive, body accepting and non-critical of both ourselves and others. We need to be kind and complimentary to each other. We need to teach young girls that they are beautiful and that a size, weight or measurement does not define who they are or what they are capable of becoming.
We need to start acknowledging that body confidence is a state of mind, NOT a physical state!
Love and light,
*Facts obtained from Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem (June 2008)
* Results from BAM may vary. Strict adherence to the program is required for best results.