According to Dove’s research, “72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful. Overcoming low self-esteem is a bit challenging in a world where views are based mainly on physical appearances. Much like Gabby Douglas, as a child I was teased about my hair. I was also laughed at because my mother could not afford to buy clothes that matched trending styles. It’s hard feeling beautiful when you are laughed at, talked about or treated differently because your image does not match up to the latest trends, styles or fashion. There was a tremendous amount of pressure on dealing with my self-esteem, so I tried my best to make myself look beautiful each morning before I walked out of the house for school. By the time I reached my teenage years, I struggled horribly with low self-esteem. There was no one in this world that could convince me that I was beautiful because through real life experiences I learned that beauty was not about who you are as a person, but more about image in a world where people cannot always afford to adapt.
Because of low-self-esteem I made decisions that were not always the best decision such as hanging out with the wrong crowd, trying things like drinking and smoking cigarettes or dating the wrongs guys because at the time they made me feel special. That only backfired because none of those things were the remedy to cure what I was going through. In fact, it only made the situation worst. Literally I began to become that not so beautiful person that people convinced me I was. After hanging out with all the wrong people, trying all the wrong things, and dating all the wrong guys, my self-esteem was lower than what it was before and after puberty. I really felt ugly because my insides carried scars that showed on the outside. As I got older and begin to search for the wisdom of God, I learned how to accept me for who I am. I begin to realize that I was a beautiful, attractive, ambitious, loving girl. I also realized that real beauty starts with your inner being. Regardless if the world is accepting of who you are as a person that does not change the fact that you are still beautiful.
Self-Esteem plays a very important role in an individual’s life. It affects the decisions they make. A person can have the world in the palm of their hands and still not be happy because they are unhappy with themselves. Beauty is not built from the outside in but from the inside out. If you are struggling with low-self-esteem, the first step to overcoming that obstacle is recognizing who you are as a person, accepting who you are as a person, and loving that person from the inside out. Many young girls face some of the same issues today. These issues affect their learning experience in school and the decisions they make in their individual lives. I often speak to young girls who hate going to school because they are picked on daily. If students are not making fun of their clothes then they are making fun of their hair. This is a very important issue that needs to be addressed as much as bullying. In some cases they are just different. They like to look different and they like to dress different. It saddens my heart because of the things that I experienced in the past. One of the very things that I lacked in my childhood was someone who understood what I was going through. I understand that it is totally difficult going to a place where you are teased daily. I know what is like to feel ugly. It took years of healing inside in order for me to be able to accept who I am. I am very fortunate enough to help others recognize their true beauty. Below is a brief list of steps to take in order build up your self-esteem.
BUILD UP YOUR SELF ESTEEM
Love Yourself. You have to love who you are as person. When you love yourself, what others care about you will no longer matter. This brings me to my next step.
Understand your purpose. Grasp a clear understanding of who you are and what you were called to do in life. Give yourself a reason to live. There are so many young women and men who walk through life failing because people have convinced them that they will never be the person that they desire to be. Others have convinced them that their dreams are unrealistic. What works for others may not always work for you. Their dreams are not your dreams. Find yourself and embrace the person that God called you to be.
Keep your head up. When you have low self-esteem it’s often normal to walk with your head down. You have to walk with your head held high. Despite of what you look like, how well you dress, or how many friends you have, walk with your head up high. If you keep looking up, things will gradually begin to change for you in your life. When you keep your head low, people tend to see that as a weakness and will continue to make you feel low. When you love yourself, stop caring about what others think and understand your purpose, you will have the power to accomplish this task.
Last, but definitely not least. Consider your source. Sometimes people tend to make you feel low because they feel low about themselves. Since we are looking from the inside out, it’s vital to understand what’s inside the person that’s laughing. They could be the most beautiful person in the world from the outside, but just the mere fact that they try to make you feel low about who you are, tells you everything that you need to know about that person. Someone who is beautiful inside does not tend to walk around making others feel bad. Also consider this; the world is full of opinionated people. Opinions and truth have two totally different meanings. An Opinion is based solely on personal judgment. Truth is factual. So when all else fails, please consider your source. Then the power that people have over you will cease to exist.
“Dove® research shows that it is still important for us to address girls’ anxiety about looks, as there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older. Key findings from our latest research include:
• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic
SOURCE: Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited”