Self-esteem is something that has to come from within


By Jessica Jenks

The media is not to be blamed for the self-esteem problems of females. Girls should be taught at a young age to be confident in themselves and have a high self-esteem.

“My family and friends definitely helped to shape my self-esteem, especially my grandmother.” said senior marketing major Kristie Komperda. “She was such a strong woman, and I learned from her that the things you do are way more important than what you look like.”

As far as body image is concerned, continuously comparing your body to one that is not yours is pointless. Your body is yours. It is unique and will never look exactly like someone else’s. People are paid very good money to Photoshop celebrities’ bodies to look more fit and toned than they actually are.

As far as models are concerned, they are supposed to be thin. Models are human hangers for the designers’ clothes. That’s why they are models.

People who are really short cannot be models, but people never complain about that. Women who are short do not attempt to stretch themselves to be taller. It is just accepted that, in general, people under 5’7″ are most likely never going to be models.

If a designer fires a model for not fitting into his or her clothes, that is the designer’s prerogative. It does not necessarily mean the model is too fat. The model just does not have the body type the designer needs.

Sometimes designers design clothes for adult women who have the bodies of prepubescent girls. Do I think this is ridiculous? Yes, but the fashion industry is a pretty ridiculous business. People should not be models if they cannot handle the rejection and constant criticism of their body.

The important thing is not how skinny you look, but how healthy you are.

Eating healthy and exercising is a concept that is so simple, yet so foreign to a surprising number of people. Promoting a healthy lifestyle and setting good examples for young girls is an important part of creating a positive body image in girls.

Concentrating on sports and being active will help them stay focused and positive. It will teach them how to set goals and achieve them. Their minds won’t be focused on themselves and their bodies, but instead on the game they are playing or helping their team win. If they win, they will feel good about themselves and if they lose, they will learn how to be gracious in defeat.

One of the toughest things to learn is how to feel good about yourself even when you are down and out. It is important to know that slumps come and go, but they do ultimately go.

Sure, the media could do a better job of showing actresses who are representative of the average female. I often hear and read a lot about how they do not show “real” women on TV, but plenty of “real” women are thin and attractive. Real women are all different shapes and sizes, not just plus-sized.

The media could show average women, but this would not solve any body image issues. Body image issues stem from a far deeper problem than seeing women on TV who are extremely thin. Both women and men need to teach young girls to be confident in themselves and happy with their body.

Healthiness needs to be promoted, not the idea of being skinny. If anything needs to be corrected, it is the misconception that skinniness equals healthiness.