A couple of the students in the school are passing out a survey that deals with self-image. The focus is mainly on weight, beauty, and a little bit on healthy choices. I was told, when I filled it out, that I asked too many questions and that I was being too analytical about the whole thing. It made me think. When I was younger I would have answered these survey questions very, very differently than I did today. At what point in my life did my thoughts, feelings, and ideas on these issues change? I can honestly say that my self-esteem is not determined by others, but when did the change happen? As a teenager, I believed what my friends told me and I often determined my own self worth based on what my friends told me.
The question is, was that just a surface thing that I did on a subconscious level because that is what teens are supposed to do? Did I really have a strong core belief in myself deep down? Or, was I really affected by what others thought and said? If the latter is true, it would be interesting to map my life and see if I could pinpoint the period in my life when this changed.
I watch my students everyday, and I can see which ones have self-esteem issues, and which ones don't. I can't tell you which ones have good home lives, or come from strong families, or which ones have familial, or platonic support. I know that our backgrounds, our home lives, and our social lives are all intertwined and work together to either build us up, tears us down, or act against each other and result in some kind of homeostasis.
Do I have things about me that I would like to change? Sure. However, The changes I want to make are tied more into health than acceptance, but I think that this probably goes without saying for most adults, but I am generalizing and I am sure there are adults that do suffer from low self- esteem because of their bodies and what they think others see when they look at them.
I'm happy to say that I don't care what others think about me, but then again... if all my friends were more interested in body image, could I say the same thing?