Low self-esteem is a trap


Credit: Kiran Foster via Flickr / Creative Commons

Every day we are bombarded with images of the “perfect body.” Having this “ideal body” is impossible. Little do people know everything is photoshopped, therefore, no body can be perfect. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the inexistence of the “perfect body,” because they don’t believe they look like the magazine cover model. Thus, the beginning of our world known issue, self-esteem. Having a positive self-esteem and confidence is important because feeling good about yourself and your body can affect your mental health as well as how you behave. Unfortunately, the lack of self-esteem and confidence in teenagers can cause depression. According to Healthline, a health site in the USA that discusses health related topics, depression rates increase 20% a year in the United States, which invariably causes a decrease in happiness, or overall wellbeing. Depression rates are closely linked to body image, self-esteem, and confidence. If you’re unhappy with the way you look, you may be upset and solely look at your imperfections.

People with high self-esteem tend to know their strengths and weaknesses, giving them a broader idea of who they are as a person. Being realistic and being in control of your own life by knowing your strengths and weaknesses and most importantly, accepting everything about you, is what really matters. In high school, most students are going through their post-puberty phase, which is the most crucial time when we develop self-esteem. This is also when teenagers are most susceptible to the media. Puberty is when your body and hormones begin to change rapidly and uncontrollably, due to that, many kids struggle with the idea that their bodies are changing and there’s nothing they can do about it. During this time, we’re exposed to ideal body types, the “cool” kids at school, and celebrity role models. It’s very tempting to want to compare yourself with others, the problem with that is not everyone grows and develops at the same time. Causing some children to feel self-conscious.

These comparisons come from other school colleagues and especially from the media, which has a huge influence on our generation. Seeing your favorite celebrity flaunting their perfect body on the cover of a magazine or advertisement diminishes your self-esteem by means of comparison. While it is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise, parents, coaches, and the media emphasize it so much that it becomes ingrained in your mind, and you consequently look down on your physical appearance. Stanley J. Gross, Ed.D, a licensed psychologist and professor at Indiana State University said “Low self-esteem is a negative evaluation of oneself.” This type of evaluation usually occurs when some circumstance we encounter in our life touches on our sensitivities.” Therefore, being self-conscious of not going to the gym might be an indication of low self-esteem.

At the end of the day, what matters is that you feel good about yourself, that you feel happy and confident in your own skin. There’s no point in wasting your time wanting to be someone else. All you need is a little dose of positivity and everything will fall into place. If you keep telling yourself that you’re not good enough or that you’re unworthy, you are hurting your self-esteem and thus your wellbeing. Take a step back, and ask yourself: Am I happy with myself?  If you find that the answer to this question is negative, it is time to make a change.

Sources: kidshealth.org, healthline.com, psychcentral.com, pbs.org