A recent study says that the number of young women and girls who feel unhappy about their looks and who become prone to easy loss of their self-esteem has been growing. Especially, those young girls who are in their late teens are not as much positive as they used to be when they were still younger.
The findings of the study say that apart from sexual harassment, these young girls face pressure from the stereotyped versions that have come to define beauty. The report continues that there are a sizable number of girls who get influenced by what they see in advertisements and therefore spend huge sums on buying beauty products. This study conducted by the so-called advocates of Girlguiding warn that women are losing whatever freedom they have gained.
Research during the 1990’s
Another study conducted during the 1990’s says that millions of women browse the Net for knowing ways to boost their self-esteem and confidence. This study has concluded that women are fragile, conflicted and feel ill at ease at work. Even within the family, they think that they are not of much worth.
The study also says that women are not able to decide whether they should respond with a masculine behavior or with a feminine behavior to various situations. On certain occasions, they act feminine with gentleness and on a few other occasions, they are assertive and self-promoting that are generally considered as masculine behaviors. Such weak identities of women begin during their adolescence, the report says.
Research in the beginning of 21st century
Even during the beginning of the 21st century, certain books have categorically claimed that before they reach adolescent age, girls have strong opinions and are interested in many things. These books continue that when women near their dating age, they lose all their interests and their focus shifts to the ways they should adopt for being attractive to men. So, they do not give preference to their interests, do not bother about their opinions and personalities and become subservient. In short, they find out what boys expect and tow that particular line.
But, there are other researchers who opine that these findings are not true anymore because in the current century, almost all the women including girls have good self-esteem. That the self confidence of girls is not affected at adolescence has been established by a new study conducted by these researchers who claim that they have used larger samples as well as better ways. Though it is true that girls have more concerns about their looks than boys, self-esteem levels among both boys and girls are almost the same, say these researchers. In fact, the self confidence among girls is higher than that of boys in matters of ethics and behaviors, they assert.
This study has brushed aside the findings of earlier researches stating that those studies had been conducted on girls who were seeking psychotherapy for treating their mental health issues. So, the conclusion of this study is that researchers had generalized the findings in the earlier studies.
The findings of the current study may be music to the ears of girls because the findings say that as girls grow in age, they are more expressive and assertive than boys. The study also says that there is no evidence to prove that women struggle due to low self-esteem.
Tips To Parents Of Daughters With Low Self-Esteem
If you are a parent and if you think that your daughter has low self-esteem, you may find the following tips useful:
a) You should be careful while commenting about her or about yourself.
b) You should involve your partner also in the process of boosting the self-esteem of your daughter.
c) You can involve your daughter in household chores. Even small achievements may go a long way in boosting their self-esteem.
d) Do not discourage your daughter when she tries to ventilate her feelings or thoughts.
e) Make her realize that failing is common and everyone fails at some point or the other. So, you should encourage her to experiment not only with cooking recipes but in her studies and subjects like maths, chemistry, etc. as well.
f) Impress upon your daughter that sports and physical activities can be of immense help to her. Tell her that she need not excel in sports and other physical activities but active involvement in them is more important than winning.
g) If your daughter appears to get carried away by advertisements on the television and other media, you should explain to her how girls’ images are portrayed on such advertisements.
You should teach her that inner beauty is more important than external looks. If you adopt these steps and make her realize this fact, you can certainly boost her self-esteem.