Self-Esteem for Women: Understanding and Overcoming Challenges

May 23, 2024

The Influence of Media on Self-Esteem

Unrealistic Beauty Standards

One of the primary culprits behind low self-esteem in women is the media’s portrayal of beauty. Women are constantly bombarded with images of actresses, singers, and models who epitomize an often unattainable standard of beauty. These media figures have access to resources, including to trainers, nutritionists, and stylists, that the average woman does not. Moreover, their images are frequently enhanced through lighting, makeup, and digital editing techniques like Photoshop.

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty

A striking example of the media’s influence is highlighted in Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. The campaign includes a video that reveals the extensive process involved in creating a model’s final look for a print advertisement. This video underscores the fact that the images women compare themselves to are often far from reality

The Impact of Social Media

Social media platforms exacerbate the issue by providing a constant stream of curated and edited images. A study by the Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram is the most detrimental social networking app for young people’s mental health, contributing to anxiety, depression, and poor body image (RSPH).

The Psychological Toll of Comparison

The act of comparing oneself to these unrealistic standards can be damaging. Women may feel inadequate when they don’t measure up to the images they see in the media. This comparison can lead to a negative self-image and, in severe cases, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.