This is for the ladies. In my 19 years, I have seen and learned many things – especially about our ladies. Though this may not apply to every young Tamil woman in the world, there may be a few who can relate. This is by no means a piece about why you are wrong, but an article to show you that you are special and you should embrace it.
A major topic in today’s society is women’s self-worth. We’ve grown up in a society in which women store criticism while compliments evaporate instantly. Is it any wonder why many women have such low self-esteem?
One day, my friends and I played a game of “Truth”. The premise of the game was to be totally honest about any question that is asked of you.
One of the questions I asked my friend was “Describe yourself in 3 words”. I still remember her answer to this day. Her reply was simply:
Semi-smart, Unattractive, Ordinary
I never understood why she said such hurtful things about herself. I tried to explain to her why I think she is nothing but extraordinary. Her response was simply “the bad stuff is easier to believe”.
This was the moment when I realized the inevitable. No matter what great qualities they may have, they do not want to fail at something they are supposedly good at so they spend more times figuring out negative things about themselves. Basically, thinking that they cannot achieve greatness allows them to not feel the pain that they would if they believed they could do it but failed in the end.
Self doubt arises from the fear of failing
This fear of failing is an important factor in many young women’s lives. I understand why as I have been through it during my harder times. When anything went wrong, I would think it was because I was not good enough to solve it.
Coming into university, my self-doubt was tested several times. I started to second guess my decision to go to university when I was not getting high grades. I started to believe the reason for my poor GPA was because I was not “smart” enough for university.
Even if I did well in a course, I would tell myself that it was a fluke or that there must have been a major bell curve. This downgrading of my intelligence allowed me to feel safe because it was easier to believe that I was a failure rather than believing I could be successful in case of failure and the pain that was associated with it. Many students have all been through this, which is a major reasons why self-doubt is extremely low in many individuals.
A second time I was tested was within myself. Those who know me know that I went through an eating problem. I would go shopping and try on outfits, but in my mind the words shouting at me were:
“Take it off, your legs look chubby”
“Buy a size big, this shows your fat”
“I look horrible in this”
I let my negative words win because I did not want to believe I was beautiful in case I was actually “ugly” to the outside world. In society, we have an ideal image of what beauty is. Those who do not conform to that image are usually looked as not beautiful.
Though we are coming around to change the view of what beauty is, let’s take a moment to look at certain companies. Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Kelvin, Hollister, Abercrombie and other companies have models that are “fit, sexy, handsome and beautiful” which fits the ideal image society has brought up. This pressure from society to be defined as “beautiful” causes many females like myself to think of ourselves as ugly, fat and unattractive as we are afraid that we are not considered beautiful in the eyes of society.
It is better to think negatively about our outer appearance because we won’t feel ashamed or embarrassed when someone else calls us such negative things. Fear overpowers many of our lives such that it causes us to degrade ourselves.
We are our own worst enemies
The endless amounts of negative thoughts and negative emotions are the biggest culprit for negative self-worth in many women. If every day you wake up and tell yourself you cannot do something, that just automatically makes you not want to try.
Do you feel like you are in a perpetual cycle? Don’t worry, I have been there and done that. I am here to tell you that this desire to have low self–worth can be dealt with. In my next article, I will share some tips on how I overcame my low self-esteem and self-doubt.