Almost across the nation 50% of young girls are engaged in negative activities such as injuring and cutting themselves or engaging in unhealthy eating habits and disorders due to self-esteem and self-image issues.
Girl Self-Esteem & Image Issues
Dove’s Campaign on True Beauty came with a bang last year with their poignant videos that went viral all over the web:
Have you visited their site? It has quite a good number of statistical data in regards to Girls and Self-Image. They have information as well as workshops in helping a girl with their self-esteem. They also have a map with top cities and the individual studies they did in each area. I’ve summarized their statistics and findings below.
Here is the executive summary:
Self-esteem has become a crisis in this country. The majority of girls feel they do not measure up in some way including their looks, performance in school and relationships. Most disturbing is that girls with low self-esteem are three times more likely than girls with high self-esteem to engage in harmful and destructive behavior that can leave a lasting imprint on their lives.
Highlights: Real Girls, Real Pressure National Study
Girls and Insecurities
- 7 in 10 Girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way including their looks, performance i school and relationship with friends and family members.
- 62% Girls are insecure about themselves
Low Self Esteem and Bad Behavior
- 75% of girls with low self-esteem report engaging in negative activities such as eating disorders, cutting, smoking, drinking when feeling bad about themselves.
- 25% of teen girls with low self-esteem purposefully injure or cut themselves
- 25% of teen girls with low self-esteem have eating disorders (starving, refusing to eat, overeating, throwing up, bulimia)
Parental Influence Good and Bad
- Girls with low self-esteem less likely to receive praise from parents but more criticism
- 34% of girls with low-self esteem feel they are not good enough of a daughter.
- 57% of girls have mothers who criticizes her looks
- 57% of girls don’t tell mothers things about them because of they don’t want them to think bad of them
One of their primary focuses is the fact that parents have great influence in the way their daughters view beauty, their body, and their self-esteem. There is a push to make parents aware that their comments about eating habits, about clothes and looks, about body images all molds a child’s thinking. Moms are role models, and when moms are constantly talking about how some dress makes them look (“This dress makes me look so pretty” “this dress makes me look fat”) or how they feel about their body (“I am getting fat!”) or how their daughter needs to eat a certain way not to get fat (“Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat”), these off hand comments that most people make molds the way the child views themselves, the way they view what is beauty and their own self-esteem.
Below I’ve noted some high level information from some of the bigger cities in the US. Statistics always hit closer to home when you know it’s your local area. You can find the rest of the cities on their map page. Highest among the list is bolded.
Believe they are not good enough daughters
Austin – 19%
Chicago – 18%
Los Angeles – 23% (top 10)
New York – 19%
San Francisco – 25% (top 5)
Believe they do not measure up in some way (looks, performance, relationships)
Austin – 71%
Chicago – 70%
Los Angeles – 70%
New York – 59%
San Francisco – 71%
Seattle – 67%
Washington D.C – 66%
Engaged in Negative Activities due to Self-Esteem Issues
Austin – 43% (9% injure or cut themselves, 24% eating disorders)
Chicago – 49% (5% injure or cut themselves, 15% eating disorders)
Los Angeles – 50% (7% injure or cut themselves, 22% eating disorders)
New York – 46% (7% injure or cut themselves, 17% eating disorder)
San Francisco – 51% (7% injure or cut themselves, 8% eating disorders)
Seattle – 62% (13% injure or cut themselves, 19% eating disorders)
Washington D.C – 53% (15% injure or cut themselves, 24% eating disorders)
Top wish of Girls in regards to their parents
Parents to Communicate Better – more open conversations about their lives
50% of Young Girls are Engaging in Harmful Activities
The statistics are alarming. Almost across the nation 50% of young girls are engaged in negative activities such as injuring and cutting themselves or engaging in unhealthy eating habits and disorders due to self-esteem and self-image issues. Since childhood they are influenced by media, the beautiful celebrities, the models, the magazines that tells them the best ways to look prettier, lose more weight, while displaying skinny perfect skinned women. As adults alike are engaged in this culture, when they look at parents or older models they see the same type of image focused values. It is no wonder girls in our modern culture have self-image issues.
There are a lot of good articles out there discussing how parents can positively influence and affect their child’s view of themselves and properly anchor their self-image and self-esteem on the right things. A child’s dependence on how they look stems often from the language and life of their own parents and so with a little more awareness and effort parents can together have a positive influence on their children.
- What is your reaction to these statistics?
- Do any of the self esteem statistics surprise you?
- What great ideas have you tried with your children to help their self-esteem?