Self Esteem Crisis

 "The experience of being capable of meeting life's challenges and being worthy of happiness. People who have healthy or authentic self-esteem trust their own being to be life-affirming, constructive, responsible, and trustworthy." – Definition of "Self Esteem"

Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, commissioned by the Dove® Self-Esteem Fund, reveals that there is a self-esteem crisis in this country that pervades every aspect of a girl’s life including her looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members

(MV) This doesn't change as we move into adulthood- it gets worse. Check out the poll on the right of this blog…self-hate is prevalent. Once we are stuck – we are in deep.


7 out of 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.

(MV) Hmmm…this sounds oddly familiar since the vast majority of this community voices the same feelings. But wait- the majority of us are not teenagers anymore….

71% of girls with low self-esteem feel their appearance does not measure up, including not feeling pretty enough, thin enough or stylish or trendy enough (compared to 29% of girls with high self-esteem)

(MV) Shocking! Could this be because fashion magazines jam in our faces impossibly thin women with pore-less skin, and digitally enhanced body parts? Naaa. 

FUN FACT: It takes just little minutes reading a fashion magazine for you to start feeling like shit about yourself, according to Dr. Susie Orbach.

25% of teen girls with low self-esteem practice disordered eating, such as starving themselves, refusing to eat, or over-eating and throwing up when feeling badly about themselves

(MV) or most commonly cause an obsession with taking images of their bony backs in the bathroom mirror to share with their pro ana friends on the web.

Girls with low self-esteem are less likely to receive praise from either parent and more likely to receive criticism than girls with high self-esteem

(MV) Translation: We give birth to these miraculous beings, and then tell them they suck. Hey, it's discipline.

57% of all girls have a mother who criticizes her own looks.

(MV) So moms, when you are at the Thanksgiving Feast telling Aunt Betty that you ate too much pumpkin pie and you feel like a fat ass…your daughter is pinching her belly fat under the table.

So here's the question guys and gals – is this a "self esteem crisis"…or just the way it has always been?


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10 Responses to Self Esteem Crisis

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m 29 so I am not sure if it’s always been this way or not, but I’d venture to say that even since my college days, I’ve noticed an increase of women with low self-esteem, with or without body issues (though who is immune, really?!)
    More of my friends talk about their bodies, their weight, their food choices … it’s such an integral part of conversation now. Pretty sad if you ask me; sometimes I try to be the one who isn’t talking about it just to avoid getting caught up in the chatter … but it doesn’t always work that way.

  2. Nikita says:

    I thought i was alone for a long time, but as i grow up (i’m 25 now), I see that every woman battles with body image, even when they’re almost “perfect” by the media standards.
    When did it start? I don’t know, but one thing for sure, every one wants to have a life like in the movies, wants to be young and sexy, because it seems that if you don’t have this, you have nothing else that is worth… Life now seems to be all about sex, appearance, money and fame.
    I don’t agree and I try as much as I can to not fall in this, but it’s hard when you’re facing this everyday everywhere. Either you accept to be different and feel good about yourself, either you try to fit in and you end up always disappointed by yourself.
    What is the most shocking, it’s that teenage years are all about being accepted and trying to find yourself… So of course you want to fit in, and you start reading all those stupid magazines and feeling bad about your body and yourself. It doesn’t take much after this to fall into ED or drugs or whatever makes you “feel” better.

  3. Sarah says:

    I think it’s important to realize that anorexia, bulimia & ednos are DISEASES. Just as alcoholics, all they need is a triggering environment. Its the way someone’s brain is wired. (which most always comes along with suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD, etc). Sadly our culture makes these EDs seem ‘normal’ or ‘okay’. Or a ‘choice’. Its not. I friggin did NOT want my ED. Those who try to get an ED, well then your article might pertain to them. Sorry if I sound so rude, its my opinion.

  4. bee says:

    you really have no idea do you?

  5. mamaV says:

    Bee: I have no idea what you are asking….so how about elaborating so we can have a discussion?

  6. Lia says:

    I’m inclined to think this is the way it has always been- people being downtrodden over their lot in life. Our lifestyle has just made the whole thing more glaringly obvious. During Renaissance times, women who were not plump enough were belittled and, in turn, belittled themselves, nowadays it’s the opposite. I think that if animals could use human speech, one would hear the females of the species lament their fate that has made them less attractive to the males than their next-rock neighbor.
    (sorry, I’m in a little slump tonight, trying to get myself to eat dinner)
    I think what has happened recently is that a closed-door discussion has been made public, that awareness has been raised and that, hopefully, the increasing trend of offloading self-hatred onto others will come to a halt. I remember my grandmother telling my how she and her girl friends compared breast sizes and waist sizes in their phys ed classes- or even during breaks at an all-girls school. They weren’t always nice to each other, on the contrary, they had quite the sharp tongues, but at that time it was considered impolite and bad manners to publicly mob one another because of their appearance (I was told- I’m sure there were exceptions!). I hope that maybe we’ll get back to that- if only so that pre-teens might garner a little thicker skin before entering their teenage years.

  7. Araea says:

    I would have to agree with Lia. This is the way it has always been. The difference is that it was an issue people use to push under the rug and not discuss. Even now, when the topic comes up you can feel the tension in the room. The good thing is people are more proactive today and are discussing the issue. Even if we don’t have an answer for it. Just the other day my Psych Professor brought ED’s up and it appeared that every girl in the room shrunk to 2 foot tall. The only people in class that would participate were the males. At one point my professor asked for female input, and not one of us would respond. Females today struggle with body image as an internal process, but the external factors are a huge contribution to why females feel so inadequate. Magazines say “Love Your Body” and then page 62 shows “How to Get Flat Abs.” Eating disorders are a disease, but the overload of media images just manifest the disorder.

  8. Elle says:

    I find it fascinating the stats you bring to the table here. I wish they would have done these surveys throughout time, back in the 20’s, 50’s, 80’s, etc. The times when things were good and the times when things were bad. Who really was the first person to say tall and skinny was beauty? Where did the image of a little big=wealthy go to? Why do we strive to be smaller and smaller, yet want our names to be bigger and bigger? HAS it always been this way or were we just ‘lucky’ enough to grow up in this generation?
    I just wish that it wasn’t this way. But, for some reason, I know it will always be like this. People will always move to the next fad. They will never find anything that truly satisfies them. God satisfies me, but not many people have that in their life. What on this earth is satisfying? Whatever you do, how ever you look, whoever you talk to, SOMEONE will ALWAYS look down on you. No matter what!
    We need to teach our children to surround themselves with GOOD friends, GOOD role models, and GOOD environments. As well as keep their eyes open to the real world. You can’t live in solitude, but you can live knowing that who ever you run into will be on your side. If they aren’t, you can grow up to know the meaning behind ‘brushing those moments off your shoulders’.
    I feel that someday everyone will find their place. For some it just takes longer. Most are impatient.
    We’ll all figure it out someday.
    You’ll see. (:

  9. Self esteem causes many problems which results with some mental problems also. Share your thoughts and answers with needy teens and parents, and also get experienced suggestions from specialized professionals. Participating in discussions helps to gather more information on the issue.

  10. Wow! Nice Post I like this MV Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year 2011 Please Visit My Music song site.

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