Writers Name: Rosey Denise White
Title: The Rewards of Loving Self
Self-esteem is not only vital to our health, it is the key to every door we open and enter throughout life. Loving self if less about the words you speak and more about the actions you take. The importance of true self love must be embedded at any early age, accompanied by strong morals, standards and ethical responsibilities. The seeds of self-esteem are planted at birth and nurtured by our influences and beliefs throughout our lives.
Image is everything! It is often challenging getting teenagers to understand the importance of creating a positive self-image. Many teens are consumed with the falsehoods of self-esteem, believing material gains are what establish self-worth. The boys seek to imitate various popular music artists such as Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and others. They want to dress like them, talk like them, wear the same clothes as them and of course make lots of money like them. A lot of attention is placed on these celebrities by our youth. Many spend more time learning about this artist and that artist, than they do about themselves.
The young ladies are also heavily influenced by the social elite, mimicking Beyoncé and others in an attempt to enhance self-image. Desiring to look like these women, dance like these women, or dress provocatively as some do, all in an effort to boost how they feel about themselves. While there is nothing wrong with having affection for others, it is dangerous behavior having a higher regard of others than you do for self. The jewels of self-confidence cannot be duplicated. They are indeed buried treasures found deep within.
There are many pressures that trouble our youth today. The desire to fit in and be liked by others profoundly affects the self-image of all young people, in particular the female teenager. Females experience different challenges than their male counterparts physically and emotionally. Menstruation is one example of a physical change that may negatively alter a girl’s self-esteem. She may be uncomfortable with this new cycle of life and ill-equipped to handle these changes. Perhaps she is unaware of how to care for her body during these times. She may also be unsure of the physical and emotional adjustments that must be made. A menstrual accident on her clothes at school may cause her to feel embarrassed or ashamed, especially in the presence of males. These mistakes are bound to occur for many women, but for a teenage girl new to these experiences, the effects are more compelling. Getting a grasp of these emotions could affect her self-esteem.
Sexuality is another life experience that could destroy a females self-worth. The images portrayed on television do not necessarily reflect positive honest examples for our kids. Males are generally attracted to the womanly images portrayed on T.V. and often desire female acquaintances that resemble similar attributes. Although there are things that enhance feminine beauty, there are certain characteristics that cannot be altered. For example, there is a perceived belief that light skinned women are more attractive. Consider the companions of many superstars, the women you seen on magazine covers and/or professional models; most are of light complexion. A darker skinned female girl may feel inadequate about her own looks trying to compete with these standards. This may leave her self-image of beauty diminished if not completely destroyed.
As parents, educators and concerned human beings, we all must do a better job of cultivating the importance of self-worth within our kids. High-self-esteem weighs heavily on our thought processes and decision making skills. When one feels good about themself, they are more likely to make wiser determinations about their life. Teenagers who love themselves are equipped to make positive choices about the influences they consider. They are able to formulate strong beliefs that will reward them by helping to make effective leaders for the future.