Women and self Esteem

Lack of a positive self esteem is like a plague infecting women in the U.S. today. Now more than ever women are getting plastic surgery in order to change what they perceive as flaws. Women spend ungodly amounts of money cutting and coloring their hair, removing their body hair and grooming their nails. Women seem to always be searching for the next big diet and kill themselves at the gym in order to look a certain way. And women seem more likely to stay in a relationship where they are abused mentally and physically. And all the while men are eating nachos and hamburgers and guzzling beers. They strut around pouching out their beer bellies with a sense of pride. So why are men enjoying life while women are agonizing about how they look? Why do women in this country seem to have absolutely no self esteem?

We have to start at the beginning to answer this question. Long, long ago, before Christianity people lived by Goddess religions. During those times women were highly revered and were respected as the givers of life. But thanks in part to Constantine I Christianity grew, was forced on people and quickly became the religion of choice for many. Christianity is obviously much different than the early Goddess religions in that it revolves around the male figure. It states that God is a man, who brought forth a son to the Earth to spread his “word”. In Christianity women are relegated to the second class. In Christianity women are not respected or given equality. This plays a huge role in why women’s self esteem is lacking. The primary religion in the U.S. tells millions of church going women how they don’t quite measure up. And so Christianity started the destruction of women’s self esteem and continues to chip away at it day by day.

Now not all women in the U.S are Christians, which is great, but why are they still suffering from a low self esteem? The answer is in the media. Sit in front of the TV for only even fifteen minutes and surely a weight loss commercial will appear. Women are being told constantly how they are not slim enough and that they need to lose weight to be happy. Pick up any magazine geared toward women and you will see models looking like toothpicks, TV and movie stars who resemble skeletons and articles about why you NEED to lose weight and how to do it. Our media just bombards us with information that says that women’s looks are all that matter and that if women don’t look how the people in the media look then they are bad. And now an unrealistic and atrocious image of women with zero body fat and basketball sized breasts has become the norm.

And lastly women’s self esteems are suffering because anytime a woman gets any sort of power or speaks her mind like Hilary Clinton, Oprah, Jane Fonda etc she is labeled a “Bitch”. And so women see these women who could and should be positive role models, speaking their minds and getting punished for it. Women end up just being quiet and become what they are told to be by the media and men because they feel that it’s important to be liked and loved by our family and peers. Women even go as far as to bash feminists, who only want equality for women not special rights, in order to not be ostracized from their family and peers. And so because we don’t respect and give accolades to strong, independent women, other women feel that mimicking that behavior is wrong, which ultimately leads to a lower self esteem.

It is easy to point out the roots of women’s self esteem issues but what we really need to do find ways to raise the overall level of women’s self esteem. True it is up to each individual to work on themselves but if society as a whole worked towards change then it would happen much faster. There are so many things that could be done to help women get a better self image such as using models who look like real women and having classes in school that promote women in a positive light. We could also start the negative speech about strong women being “bitches” and start praising them for speaking up. Society also needs to stress the importance of parents paying special attention to their daughters’ self esteem as it is more likely to be attacked. These are just a few small things that could be done to change the situation but nevertheless they would help. Ultimately women need to stop focusing on changing what they or others don’t like about themselves and simply loving themselves for who they are.