Teenagers’ Self-Esteem


Rosemarie Baillargeon

Only 11% of  teenagers in the world would call themselves beautiful. Obviously, something needs to be done.

First of all, how to define self esteem?

According to psychiatrists, self-esteem is: “a psychological concept which projects a positive or negative judgement.” In other words, it is our own perceptions of ourselves, the way we measure us. Some scientists included self-esteem in a hierarchy of the human need. Self-esteem begins to form in early childhood.

The difference between a teen with a high or a low self-esteem won’t be physically obvious because the difference is mainly in thoughts and feelings.

A high self-esteem would provide a healthy level of confidence because you feel good about yourself and think you deserve the respect of others. But, it could also bring narcissism or egoism and a really more analytical perception of others. Some people gain confidence just by being complimented and cherished. People should be self-content when they accomplish real things. They would have a better perception of themselves bescause the real accomplishments they have done.

On the other hand, a low self-esteem individual tends to be more critical with himself, but less with others. This case is probably the one we deal with the most in the new generation. Many reasons, such as the weight, the appearance, the pressure of the peer and bullying may provide a low self-content for a teenagers, and even a young kid.

How to recognize a low self-esteem?
-Being very critical with yourself.
-Stepping back during a disagreement to appease the other person.
-Being unable to leave your house without makeup.
-Being afraid to include your opinion in conversations.
-Comparing yourself with others.
-Not accepting any compliments. And many others.

How to fight back?
-Avoid pessimism and negative self-talk.
-Take a 2 minutes appreciation break everyday.
-Listen when people compliment you.
-Know that mistakes and failures are necessary.
-Surround yourself with positive and supportive persons.
-Try to laugh more.

Some popular companies have been interested by this problem. The self-esteem project of Dove is probably one of the most popular. Their mission is to help the next generation of girls to develop a positive “relationship” with the way they look and help them to raise their confidence and realize their full potential. In 11 years, they have helped 17 millions of people in 112 countries. More than 650 000 teachers have delivered a Dove self-esteem workshop and 1.5 million of parents had engaged with them online.

Advertising Association also did a project, Pretty as a picture, with 24 girls between 10-18 years old and their moms. They found out that 37% of the young girls wanted to look like these airbrushed/photoshoped models. They also showed 4 pictures to the girls; the same model, but one without any changes or photoshop, one with light cosmetic changes, one with an altered body shape, and one with an ultra thin body. 40% of the girls chose the first one and 78% of them said that she was natural, but only 17% said that she was perfect like that.

Is having a good self esteem important?

 It is, because it can influences all your choices and your decisions, and also your goals, your happiness and your thinking. It builds your self-confidence, helps you handle the critics and  never feel the need to compare yourself with others.

Finally, a good self esteem is important because it helps you to be in control of your own life and be able to do what you want.





Dove project
Adassoc project, Pretty as a picture
The self-esteem Institute
Community counseling society
MD junction

With Genevieve, Audrey and Daniella