As a girl you may remember that you were praised for being “pretty” or “cute” or how your outfits looked. Boys were told they were “big” or “strong” or praised for accomplishments. I’m not here on my soapbox for change (maybe a little). I’m just pointing out that female self-esteem and self-image develops differently.
I shudder when I hear my daughters, who are eight, read calories on labels of what they are eating. They are thin yet one girl teased my daughter that she had fat thighs. It’s hard not to get angry as they tell my daughter in gymnastics class that when she finishes her routine and pulls her hands behind her head in the dismount, we should be able to see her ribs.
Naturally women have more of a struggle to accept their looks and their weight. Start to take a step back from messages society is sending or who is to blame. Be determined to start sending yourself messages to overcome any inner critics in your head that are making you feel bad about your image. Treasure the relationships that are true and honest as those reflect who you are.
2 thoughts on “I believe self-esteem develops differently in girls and women”
Thanks, Steph, for putting into words how so many moms of girls feel about the unrealistic expectations that have trickled down from the media into our schools, playgrounds, playgroups, etc. As a mom to a son (age 12) & daughter (age 10), I continue to experience the push and pull of the “traditional” gender roles we experienced as kids and continue to face as we raise our daughters. These two issues along with the powerful force of social media create the “trifecta of doom” for our daughters. Collectively, we can be the quiet (and increasingly LOUD) voice of sanity in the chaos…something’s got to give!
I wish my family would have told me more that I was strong and beautiful instead of just that my hair was messy, that I should want to wear a dress instead of jeans etc. We need to let future generations know that we think they are amazing regardless of not looking like the people on tv.