The Connection between Beauty and Self Esteem
As a society we value beauty? Whether it be a flower, a sunset, a car or a person.
As a society we also value intelligence, kindness, strength, speed, humor, compassion, and creativity. What we choose to see or not, is influenced by family, peers, social media, marketing messaging and life experiences.(1)
The value of beauty can turn into a quest to become beautiful. Sometimes we can start to understand that to be beautiful is to be valued.
A dictionary defines self esteem as a sense of self worth or how much we value ourselves
You can’t touch it, but it affects how you feel…
You can’t see it, but it’s there when you look at yourself in the mirror…
You can’t hear it, but it’s there as a voice inside you…
This is your self esteem! (1)
Self esteem is related to confidence, respect, appreciation, approval, as well as worth and value. (1) Low self esteem has an impact in our life. It can affect the choices we make, and the actions we take.
So, if you value beauty and are considered beautiful by your peers does that mean that you have high self esteem? You may get attention for your looks and are considered attractive but according to Lauren Dimaria study it does not mean that you will have higher self esteem than your peers. (2) You may start to associate your value to how attractive you are. There is so much more to you than how attractive you are. People can make assumptions about you because of how you look.
As a teenage girl the pressure to be attractive is high. Both my male and female friends feel the pressure to be perceived as good looking. We can lose touch with who we are or what we value in a pursuit to get the attention associated with being attractive or considered beautiful. I have seen how people attack beautiful girls in attempt to feel better about about themselves. The impact of believing that you are not attractive or beautiful or attractive enough has a negative impact on yourself esteem as well. Your self worth may become limited to or overshadowed by your physical appearance.
I find it interesting that that the connection between the perception of beauty and self esteem is a world wide experience. The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report (2017) claims. after interviewing 10.500 women, 5,165 of them girls aged 10-17 years of age found that falling female body confidence has become a “critical issue” around the world. It identifies the media – social media in particular.– as a major source of blame (Truong 2017; Moss 2016) (3). It is not surprising the impact of social media, given how and how often people use social media. The number of photos, photoshop apps, and opportunity to comment on others photos can define what is beautiful and ugly in a cruel and limited way. Out of the 13 countries in the study, Japan ranked lowest, with only 8% body confidence among respondents, followed by the UK and Canada at 20%, the US at 24%, and South Africa topping the list at a modest 64% of women who feel confident in their bodies (ibid).(3) It is not hard to see that the more one uses social media , the more one sees the world and themselves through the distortion of the screen and experience the judgements of people who may not even know you. the more likely to have less body confidence.
What you think of yourself can become what you experience as reality. If you think you are ugly you will see yourself as ugly. If you appreciate and believe what is beautiful about you, you will feel beautiful. In this case beauty is a state of mind. (4) The idea is that when we feel good about ourselves we are more positive, more confident towards others, smile more, and in a way shine more and therefor looking and feeling more beautiful(4) You become more approachable and welcoming reinforcing your feeling. You can accept that people are different and there is no set beauty requirements. You are free to be you and appreciated for it. This comes from a place of high self esteem.
Thank you all for suggesting different types of research. At this time I would like to focus on how we can build self esteem in relation to how we experience beauty.