Monday, July 7, 2014

Women, when do we learn self-esteem?

How are you supposed to feel?  

This question is the key.  Recently seeing a group of drawings about women, how society expects them to be and how they should be, made me start to wonder.  The drawings went viral.  But who made the drawings go viral?  Are young girls and women reading them, or older women?  What difference does it make?: you might ask.  It makes a big difference.  Young women reading them, and taking them to heart is one thing because they are working on developing self-esteem.  Older women reading and sharing them is different because many women find self-esteem due to maturity.  Believe me, marketers are well aware of this, so young women who will believe buying and using certain products will make them more appealing to the world and not taking the viral drawings to heart, is a sure indication that young women may suffer from low self-esteem in our society.

Different ages for women coming into their own:

Teens in high school life means:
A) Do I have a boyfriend?  
B) Can my appearance turn heads?
C) I need designer clothes and accessories.
D) How do I look?
E) How do I look?
F) How do I look compared to an airbrushed model in a magazine ad?

All of the above are the wrong worries, yet there they are.

In our twenties life means:
A) Pretty much the same as the above.  Seriously.

In our forties life means:
A)  We like to think we've moved beyond the influence of fashion and beauty ads.  Have we?
B) We still read the wrong ads, but now instead of women in our age group advertising clothes and beauty products, we see 12 year olds in those ads making us think we need to stay looking like kids.  We read 'anti-aging' products are where it's at.  In reality, we should be moving on, in both aging and maturity levels, yet not always so.

In our forties we should be liking who we are at this point in time.  The reality?  Well the reality is:  We still try to attract the opposite sex, men who may or may not, be still thinking they need to date younger, skinnier, prettier women to boost their own egos and self-esteem.  Too often, forty-something women still concede to men in too many ways.  At forty-something one would think we can recognize abusive males (be it physical, mental or emotional abuse) but, unfortunately, not so much as you may think.  I've seen women at 40, 42 and beyond, taking crap from a man they should never be tolerating at any age.  So much for live and learn.

In our fifties life means:
A) Exhausted from seeing the 'latest trends'
B) Finally coming to grips with we like who we have become and who we are.
C) Often, liking ourselves stems from the exhaustion of trying to keep up with what the world tells us we should be.

In our sixties life is:
A) I am now fed up with marketer's ideas of who I ought to be.
B) Aging is not an affliction.
C) I will now live life my way, enjoy my life and enjoy and celebrate who I am.
D) I will stop allowing ads to dictate what I wear or how I look.

Now isn't all of that, in our maturity, just how we should have been doing it all along?  Yes, but is isn't.  

When and how did you develop self-esteem?  When did you finally become comfortable in your skin?