Body Disastisfaction and Self-Esteem


Emina Hergic, Writer

Being in 2021, body/self image continues to be a very relevant topic among young men and women.

While we all struggle with our own insecurities and self image, I feel we find comfort in the fact that we’ve all experienced this lack of self esteem at some point in our lives. In a generation where we are endlessly scrolling through Tik Tok or Instagram, and comparing ourselves, or measuring our beauty by these unrealistic standards that continue to heighten, self image has essentially become an imperative predicament emotionally affecting the self-respect and confidence, or image adolescents have of themselves.

To the point where we can’t even recognize the person looking back at us in the mirror. We lose this sense of self value and worth, that we only seem to recognize when we feel validated. How we feel about how we look impacts this sense of self value. A compliment, a comment, a like, is an immediate confidence booster. The pieces in our reflection that seem broken are suddenly whole again. The effects of this media exposure is altering the connection we have with ourselves.

We are too dependent on this endorsement. What good is a little validation from someone else if you can’t even look at yourself and feel truly content with how you look? Instead of competing with ourselves, we compete with other people. We compare ourselves to other people. Whose lives and self-image seem, “perfect”.

But that’s just an illusion of what we see over a screen, or in a post. We use makeup and filters through these platforms to conceal our insecurities. And post the best highlights of our lives. At least seemingly, “best”. Best through another person’s eyes or perception, or in a photo. Best when the insecurities that seem to define us are hidden beneath the surface. Everyone has a different version of how they view you, but ultimately, the only version that matters, is your own.

You have the opportunity to become the best possible one, but that starts with a positive self image. An image where you don’t depict every one of your features, an image where you don’t self criticize, an image where you can accept that everyone has their flaws, along with their strengths. Our flaws and our strengths are what make us individually unique. It’s what separates us from everyone else.

Having a negative view of your body or complexion influences the behaviors you engage in, and how you feel emotionally. The only way to develop this positive self image is by learning how to cope with a low self esteem, and gradually building your self-confidence. Living with a poor self image can be harmful towards one’s mental health, which is why I feel this is an important topic that needs to be discussed. Low self esteem has been associated with intense levels of depression, and increased anxiety which can dramatically interfere with someone’s way of life. It can also lead to suicidal consideration.

The journey to self love isn’t easy, and the progression isn’t linear, but the investment in time is so worth it. Because it is life sustaining, and necessary for our own personal growth and evolution.