Should we blame fashion magazines for our low self esteem?

3 minute read

While studying the female body image I realized one thing very clearly. Female mentality is way too often focused on finding imperfections.

fashion magazines

This is not always a bad thing; it is great that we try to achieve the best possible results in everything we do. We want to be the best mothers, the sexiest girlfriends, the most loving spouses… But you know what? It is impossible and the sooner we learn it, the better we will feel in our skin.

Let’s take for example the fashion magazines. Do they set high standards for female and male attractiveness? Of course they do. Does Photoshop remove all the imperfections on the skin or the body structure, yes, but is it really the problem here?

Beauty standards are just standards, fantasies, models of the artist’s imagination created to illustrate some idea of perfection. These standards change over the years and some lucky girls will be naturally closer to them and others will not. But the luckiest girls are those who realize that in real life perfection doesn’t exist and they manage to feel good with who they are and how they look.

According to my professional opinion, girls who have trouble accepting their imperfections usually have some deeper issues with accepting their personality in general. The problems related to the low self esteem begin long before the fashion magazines are introduced in their lives. The images of exceptionally good looking models can make it worse of course but the personality crisis is usually on so much deeper level.

Ironically very often the most beautiful girls suffer more than everyone else. The simple answer would be that this happens because they rely too much on their looks in order to succeed in life. Sometimes it is true, but it is very simplistic way of understanding the problem. I would rather say that maybe their unconscious pain and possible lack of self esteem rushes them into taking too much care of their looks. Models in fashion industry, for instance, are subjected to the pressure to be as close to the ideal as humanly possible, and beyond.

Believe it or not, many skinny girls are also self aware of their looks and they often feel totally unsexy. So this problem is not curvy girls’ trademark.

And a curious fact is that even though looks is often very important for men’s sexual drive, there are so many possible tastes that it is really not important if you perceive yourself as too skinny or too chubby there will always be someone madly attracted to you. What a real deal breaker is when a woman (or a man) hates herself. If you find it difficult to look at the mirror, my suggestion is to dig deep into your insecurities and figure out why.

But how can you figure out if you have unconscious issues related to your low self esteem and negative body image? I can suggest you to answer honestly if any of these sentences true for you yes or no:

  1. I am almost always unhappy with my weight.
  2. I can’t easily go out without make up and not pay attention at all that I am not wearing it.
  3. I can’t get ready for a date in less than 20 minutes if I have to.
  4. I need to be dressed in expensive and stylish clothes in order to feel happy with my looks.
  5. I look awful in the gym.
  6. All of my friends are better looking than me.
  7. It is impossible for me to open a magazine, look at the models and honestly say that I am better looking than some of them (at least one).
  8. I believe that my boyfriend would rather be with someone sexier than me.
  9. I enjoy sex only if I feel pretty in that particular moment.
  10. My mother criticizes my looks and weight.
  11. The men in my family think that I am not pretty enough.
  12. I think that if I am not well dressed people stare at me.

Answer honestly! Do you feel that some of theses sentences are true for you? If the answer is  yes to at least 3 of them dig deeper! Ask yourself why you feel this way, in which circumstances it happened to you; if you have trouble remembering it start writing a diary dedicated to your positive/negative body image. Consult it with a therapist if you need to, but most importantly – be honest with yourself. Once you figure out what are the roots of you not loving your body and your personality, put all your efforts to fight it and start loving yourself again. It will be hard, I know, it will hurt and negative thoughts will resist. But remember that once you overcome your issues you will no longer have trouble accepting yourself.

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