Ways to Improve Self Esteem and Self-Image in Girls
Acknowledging yourself as if you are special is one of the ways to improve self esteem. Self esteem is all about how much we value, love and accept ourselves of who we are. If you have healthy self esteem, you are much able to feel good about yourself and appreciate your own worth. On the other hand, if you have low self esteem you are likely to feel as if no one will like and accept you as what you are, which can negatively affect your relationships and health.
There are many ways to improve self esteem that is just right for your problem. The most common issue that women are facing today with their self esteem is about wanting to have a body or appearance like the models in magazines, TV screens etc., which is really far from reality! Improving women’s self esteem starts with realistic thinking.
From television commercials, to billboards, to ads in magazines, each day girls and women are bombarded with hundreds, perhaps thousands of messages telling them what they should and should not look like.
Consider then that most all of those images of beauty have been altered to not only remove every blemish, freckle and wrinkle, but also to edit the physical composition of the models’ bodies — elongating necks, “shaving” the width of arms and legs, editing the shape of their faces, etc.
It’s no wonder girls and women are faced with self-esteem and potential body images issues.
To combat the negative consequences of these impossible standards of beauty, the YWCA Tri-County Area hosted a free workshop Saturday for girls and women as part of its Girl Talk Series.
Designed to bring women of many generations together to learn from one another, the Girl Talk Series will continue through November, and will touch on a variety of topics.
At Saturday’s event, several guest speakers hit on multiple points, including the importance of recognizing the difference between reality and altered reality, feeling good about your appearance, and taking care of your body with good nutrition and mindful eating.
“Do you believe everything you see? Do you believe everything you hear? Do you believe everything you read?” Linda Jacobs, the senior art director at Epps Advertising in Trappe asked the audience of about 42 women and girls. “So much of it is not real.”
Jacobs presented several videos which show how print ads are edited to unrealistic and impossible proportions. One shows an average looking woman being made-up in a time lapse video. When the video is complete, the woman looks completely different.
“And that’s not all,” Jacobs said, pointing out how after all the hair and make-up was done, and the woman’s photograph was taken, someone using computer software then altered the photograph even more.
Jacobs said print advertising is not the end of this smoke and mirrors. It happen in the music industry with the way music is altered and enhanced in the studio, and on television.
“Even reality TV has become not reality anymore,” Jacobs pointed out. “But you’re watching them thinking they’re real.”
Terumi Echols, the chief marketing officer of Christianity Today, a global media ministry, is also a model. She started modeling in her 20s and continues to model today. She explained how the industry can be a positive experience for women and girls to earn a living or earn money to save for college. But, she advised, it can also change people.
“It’s a very challenging career for young women,” she said.
Echols said the career was difficult for her because, as an African American woman, even though she was thin, she wasn’t as petite as many other models, she said. She explained that she had the measurements that the people hiring the models wanted, but she weighed about 20 pounds more than they wanted her to.
“Four hours a day I worked out in order to be a size 4 to 6,” she said.
Echols explained that she had the exact opposite reaction from agencies when she started doing plus size modeling in recent years.
“I wasn’t fat enough then, either,” she said with laughter, explaining how she had to buy “butt pads, hip pads, all the pads” in order to fit in the plus-sized clothing the way the people hiring her wanted her to look.
Through all of her experience, Echols said she has learned “the person you have to be happy with is you.
“God created you just the way you are,” she added, looking out at the mothers, daughters and grandmothers in the room.
Andrea Primas, the executive director at YWCA Tri-County Area, acknowledged all the of the information that was presented during the workshop and its relevance for all women.
“We have to take care of ourselves whether we are 6 or 76,” she said. “Our bodies are our shrine.”
The problem that I find in women’s self esteem is that they often are looking outside of themselves of how they look to others. The good thing is that there are many ways to improve self esteem. Stop comparing yourself to other people and start building your self esteem by thinking what is reality, because your value as a person has nothing to do with anybody else. This can just lead you to have plastic surgery and more which is not good for your health.
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