Just over a week ago, the down-right amazeballs Bangs and a Bun angrily tweeted about an article involving sports women pretty much dissing their bodies. The article was trying to relate to all the ‘average’ women out there (pleeease note my sarcastic air quotes), despite having some really amazing women in their grasp, who have worked REALLY hard and primed their bodies to peak condition.
This started an impromptu #Selfesteem chat, led by Miss Bangs herself, all over Twitter. The whole thing really got me pondering about female self esteem, and it has been festering in my head for a while now… so here is my outpouring….
Putting ourselves on the same level.
Right ladies…rolling up imaginary sleeves… Enough is truly enough. Why are we dragging ourselves down all the time to relate to each other?
“Your hair looks great.”
“Not as great as yours, I hate that mine does this flicky thing.”
Ummmm.. can anybody tell me why can’t we accept a compliment? Are we worried people will think us vain or conceited? Why can’t we say “Thanks! I love how straight you get yours!” Why is that so hard? Is this a British thing? We need to snap out of it!
I have beautiful friends, and although I (in a weak moment) envy hair, legs, skin and ears (weird right?), I know I can hold my own on the fabulous scale, and they are right up there next to me, straddling the same amazing-o-meter in 4 inch glitter heels.
Of course we are all different. That is totally a given, and sort of the point. All I am asking everyone to do is to look at the positives, physically and otherwise.
So when it comes to being on the same level, pull people up, don’t pull yourself down. You have every right to be complimented. You have every right to accept that compliment. And don’t ever be frightened to give a compliment. They make your day as well as theirs.
Influencing our children.
Our low self esteem epidemic is infecting our children. Children at quite a frighteningly young age will pick the slim girl over the curvy girl as the prettier. I stumbled upon an episode of Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance (Supernanny extraordinaire) that looked at this particular subject which really got me thinking about how I portray myself to the young people I work with.
I work with young people ranging from aged 9 to 15, who are so obsessed with looking like ‘everyone else’ and fitting into a certain sizing of clothes (size 8) they will skip meals. Yet they are surprised to learn my clothes size as they think I am the ‘perfect shape’ (It’s a UK 12 for those who are as nosy as me!). I know many will think that this is normal teenage behaviour…but does it have to be? Can we not put out a healthier self-esteem package for our young people?
I never put these young people down, (I would be awful at my job if I did!) and I also NEVER put myself down. When I’m given a compliment about something I’m wearing or how I have my hair, I always thank them and reflect it back, even if it is just by giving them a squeeze and saying, ‘Thanks, you’ve made my morning!’
Some of these young people have been through horrendous things in their short lives and don’t know how to be positive about themselves. I had an instance of this today, so I grabbed an A4 sheet of paper today and with the young person in question beside me, asked staff and her peers to list her good qualities. I ran out of paper. Back and front. She was shocked that people had so many nice things to say about her, and that she could agree with them.
It’s a old message that is well-worn….. they learn from us. Can we just love ourselves enough to teach them to do the same?
It’s not big headedness. It’s self-esteem.
Hell, I’ll come out and say it.
I. AM. FABULOUS.
And so are you…… you…..you over there…….even you at the back shaking your head. Face it. We are amazing. There is no arguing with it. FACT.
There is a line in the song ‘The Farmer and the Cowman’ from the musical ‘Okalahoma’, which I used to watch religiously with my Grandmother (a seriously amazing woman) when my Grandfather went away on business.
“I don’t say I’m better than anybody else, but I’ll be damned if I ain’t just as good!”
I live by this saying, and Aunt Eller is a prime example of healthy self-esteem.
I’m not saying I skip around everyday brimming with happiness and sunbeams about my body, my life, my hair, my relationship, that meal I made yesterday that went badly and stunk out the entire flat….. What I’m saying is, give yourself a boost, accept compliments, think positive and focus on ‘the good bits’, because we are our own worst enemies sometimes.
Ps: THEY ARE ALL GOOD BITS. xxx