Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Self-Esteem and a New Culture of Women

By Carmen Jubinville on Mar 21 2011 • Filed under Health

I recently coached a beautiful young woman whose parents were concerned about some of her behaviors. After speaking with this young woman in depth, it was clear she was fully aware of what she was doing and why she was doing it.

She spoke bravely of her insecurities and like every woman I encounter, she simply wants to feel good about herself.

So instead of encouraging this young woman to hit the gym, transform her wardrobe or spoil herself silly with the latest surgical techniques, I suggested she hang out with herself.

I left her with an important affirmation and some really great questions that would guide her in becoming more self-aware. We agreed that our focus was to ‘work-out’ and strengthen her self-esteem muscle. It’s not a quick fix, but it’s real and it works.

Our society has a very skewed perspective on how women should approach their insecurities. There is a wide range of solutions but none of them all too impressive if you ask me. If you don’t like your face: cut it up. If you don’t like the shape of your body: hit the gym and the trusty deprivation diet. If your skin is pale: bake yourself in a human sized oven.

Let me be very clear, I am not judging women who do these things, this would make me a hypocrite, I am merely talking about how society offers these as a solution to a problem. Let me explain.

A woman feels bad about herself in one way or another. Society’s solution encourages the women to do more, be more and get more in order to boost her self-confidence. But what if instead we encouraged her to explore her inner world: her thoughts and feelings, her desires and passions, her spirit and life’s purposes.

Body Love was originally created because I had my own freakish obsessive pattern with diet and exercise and binge eating. I spent 15 years of my life chasing a skinny body in hopes that it would fill a void. I had this crapshoot theory that if I looked a certain way my life would be so much happier.

If a woman doesn’t like her body in one way or another, there is a high likelihood an insecurity of some sort is lingering. If she does not address the insecurity she can change herself as much as she wants but she will still feel the need to be better. As long as there is insecurity, she will never be enough for herself.

It is my expert opinion that women in general are experiencing a major deficit in self-esteem. It’s an epidemic and one that is so widespread it is barely recognizable. Our abnormal solutions to the self-esteem deficit are so common that they are no longer considered abnormal.

The good news is we can change it. But first, we must awaken to the truth that we will not find our self-esteem in a man, in a gym, in a healthy diet, in a wardrobe, in a high-paying job, in a tanning bed, in plastic surgery and we certainly won’t find it in a skinny body.

Here’s the thing, once we have established a strong foundation of self-esteem it won’t matter if we want to lose weight or invest our money in a surgical procedure. We will no longer be motivated by insecurity. We will know without a shadow of doubt that it is not the change in our bodies that has brought us joy and peace in our lives. We will know our self-love, self-esteem, self-worth and self-acceptance is responsible for our blissful life.

When a woman’s life is motivated by a strong self-esteem she is a powerful force to be reckoned with. And that is the legacy we want to leave the next generation of women.


10 Comments

  1. I’ve been skinny all my life & was made to feel bad about it by my plus sized family. I used to eat & not work out to no avail. I yearned to be thicker but when I spent more time with myself & embraced my “faults”, I became a happier person. This article has a lot of truth to it. There really is no quick fix. Love who you are, just as you are and thats the beginning of your own life long romance.

  2. I love your Magazine!!!

    I cannot express to you how much I enjoy your articles in your magazine. I am a student at North Carolina University and I am part of a group called the movement. This is a group of peers on the move for ending sexual violence and relationship violence and we also work through activism. We write activisms to change media that may promote degradation , objectification of sexism towards any sex or gender, however our activisms are not always negative. We also write to magazines that we think promote the well being of women or any sex or gender. I really appreciate the positive message that your magazine displays.

    The title itself, Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine, is empowering by itself. I liked the fact that the magazine articles encourage women to be happy with themselves in their body, be healthy and I love the articles that entailed stories of how women did not settle for being employees but they rose to the top by becoming their own boss. We definitely need more empowering magazines like this for women.

    Again I loved the article and I am definitely going to refer people to subscribe to your magazine.

  3. It’s one thing to talk about the power of self-esteem and quite another to experience it. Great article, Carmen, I still struggle with the illusion that a skinny body will make me feel better about myself. It just seems like it would be so much easier to hit the gym! Thanks for the always-needed reminder!

    • Hey Sona! Thanks for your comment! I think seeing past the illusions of Body Image is something we have to implement as a daily practice. At least it is for me… it’s so easy to get caught up these days! Hugs to you! Carmen

  4. GREAT article. I made a sign for my desk today with the quote “BECOME who you ARE”. Saw the phrase at a Hobby Lobby last week and fell in love with it.

  5. The best, keep up the good work Carmen.

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