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What do you think causes low self-esteem in women? How do we stop it?

I keep seeing so many women in this world who are unsure of who they are; they are insecure and not confident. They either can't or don't want to stand on their own two feet. They refuse to stand behind their opinions, and they seem to lack conviction, passion, and persistence. What causes this? And how can we solve this ever-expanding problem?

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Asked by SlightlyPerfect at 8:39 AM on Aug. 7, 2009 in Health

Level 10 (473 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Maybe if they put their faith in God they would feel better about themselves

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:42 AM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • Who are you to say many women have low self-esteem, maybe the are happy the way they are.

    Answer by staceynoel at 8:44 AM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • I think it has to do with how much emphasis we place on other's opinions. If someone says "Man she looks fat" then I might wonder if I am, why am I not thin enough, these people don't even know me and they think I'm fat. I have days where I am so concerned with what others think.

    Then other days I just dont give a rat's ass what anyone thinks. Those are the days I love. Where I am free to be me and damn anyone else who thinks different.

    When we can choose, and it is a choice, to love US just as we are and not who someone else thinks we should be, then we as women will be far better off. If I am not a size 2, I will be alright. If I have stretch marks because I had babies then I know every little moment that put them there. If I have bags under my eyes from lack of sleep because one of my kids was sick through the night and wanted lullabies then I am lucky to be able to give them that.

    It's up to us to change it.

    Answer by lilbit022009 at 8:44 AM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • It is the obsession with celebrities and fashion

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:19 AM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • Lil, good point. I often wonder how I can raise my daughter to know how to differentiate bullshit opinions from constructive criticism. What's a good rubric, a set of criteria, she can use to determine whether what someone says to her is worthy of her time? And I think that starts with self-esteem. First she has to know her time is valuable, that SHE is valuable, and WORTHY just by being who she is. Second, I need to learn how to instill that in her (since she's only 8 months old, I have time), and I've realized the urgency now that I've really noticed what it does to the women who don't have it.

    Answer by SlightlyPerfect at 9:24 AM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • I think it's society's expectations. We're expected to be perfectly beautiful with a perfect figure all the while raising 2.5 kids, having a career, cooking healthy meals, keeping a perfect house, etc. Meanwhile we're exhausted and strung so tight from all the stress that the instant we hear a negative word we believe we're failures. Society's drive to excel, to BE all those things, even at a fairly young age, is just too much. In my own 9 year old daughter I'm already dealing with "so-and-so doesn't like this color so I don't want to wear it" and "I'm fat" (which she isn't) and "I hate my hair color" (the most beautiful auburn color, but it's not blond).....already we can see the desire to conform to peer expectations.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 10:20 AM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • Michigan: But where does that come from, that "desire to conform to peer expectations"?

    Answer by SlightlyPerfect at 1:57 PM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • I think it comes from an innate desire to please.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 2:54 PM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • Patriarchy, the beauty myth, and a collective lack of expectation for the potential of women.

    It starts with how we raise our daughters. The first word I taught my daughter to say was "No". She will grow up valuing character over beauty, health over vanity, and ambition and self-assurance over how others define her.

    Answer by Sassinaglass at 3:41 PM on Aug. 7, 2009

  • It's the never-ending obsession in the media with body type and size, plastic surgery, boob size, noses, hair, etc. I firmly beleive this ! I for one get sick and tired of always feeling I am lacking, and YES "it's MY choice how I feel", but is it really? I mean: Feelings are just that: FEELINGS. Feelings you can't control. What you DO , you can control. How you act.
    I hope to God my two daughters end up with more selfesteem than I have; I am doing everyting I can to help them along in this journey. To "love themselves" and not care very much (if at all) what "others think." Screw others! They are probably just as worried about what people are thinking about THEM!

    Answer by pinksafyre at 6:36 PM on Aug. 7, 2009

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