“You don’t want to depend on one person to reflect back to you your sense of self worth because it is way too vulnerable. But, you also don’t have a way of saying ‘I will address my own sense of self worth by myself’! Because self worth is a relational experience. It’s not just a thing with yourself.” -Esther Perel
Contrary to the popular messages we are bombarded with on social media, the psychology behind self esteem shows that our love of self doesn’t just come from within, but in conjunction with how we see it being reflected back to us. Just look at anyone who is falling in love. They get that glow about them like I spoke of in this past blog post. I can always tell when a woman is loved well by an adoring partner, especially at their boudoir sessions. And, it’s the loveliest thing ever to see!
It’s easy to lose sight of one’s own beauty as a woman. And, yet the importance of our beauty is a rather large burden placed on us. Unfortunately, society often tells us that looking beautiful is the most important thing about us. Appearance is one of the main things a woman is judged on.
These quotes from the book Survival of the Prettiest are quite telling on the importance women and our society place on their appearance:
“In the United States, more money is spent on beauty than on education and social services.”
“Nearly half the world’s cosmetic surgeons are in America”
“The absence of response to physical beauty is one sign of profound depression – so prevalent that the standard screening measures for depression include a question about changes in the perception of one’s own physical attractiveness.”
~Nancy Etcoff, Survival of the Prettiest
While you can’t always rely on others to make you feel beautiful, there are ways to make you feel better about yourself. This is what I love most about boudoir sessions actually. They offer an opportunity for my clients to see their beauty being reflected back to them by me and by their own renewed vision of themselves afterwards. And, I watch self confidence just blossom for my clients from this. It’s empowering them but also empowering ME!
Get into these habits to help build/reclaim your self esteem when you need it most:
- Do things you excel at
- Learn something new
- Connect with others
- Pamper yourself and take care of your appearance with love
- Practice self compassion
- Stay active
- Give back to others
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Strive for balance with all of your human needs.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has a handy chart that helps see what areas you might need to work on.
- Build a community of supporters
Spend time with people who you know adore you and can help build you up when you’re feeling bad about yourself
- Keep a running list of compliments people have given you and refer back when you need a quick boost
- Daily mantras
- Confidence boosting body language
- Try not to compare yourself to others.
Stop those thoughts in their tracks each time you notice them creeping up.
Book: Survival of the Prettiest
Survival of the Prettiest by Nancy Etcoff
“A provocative and thoroughly researched inquiry into what we find beautiful and why, skewering the myth that the pursuit of beauty is a learned behavior.”
Podcast: The Love Drive
The Over-Sexualization of Women with Lili Boisvert. Episode link here.
“From clothing to flirting, from our fascination with youth and innocence to the orgasm gap, every aspect of women’s lives is dictated by their status as sex objects, and it’s a problem.”
Podcast: Dear Sugars
The Ugly Truth. Episode link here.
“Most of us have days when we don’t feel attractive. But in this episode, the Sugars read letters from people whose faces are at odds with conventional ideas of beauty.”