Is our self-esteem related to how we think we look Online? – The Impact of Selfies on Self Esteem
Poor body image can lead to low self-esteem.
We live in a world that is visually oriented. Sadly, this world can also be visually judgmental at times. It seems that many of our evaluations of others are based on our initial – or first – impressions. These often rely on physical appearance or visual impressions as much as other aspects of a person’s personality or character traits. That’s because we predominantly register information first with our eyes, followed by our other senses.
And first impressions – or more accurately, our first visual assessments – tend to stick with us, as many of us are well aware of.
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Beauty: an Individual Perception (yet influenced by innate processes as well as cultural factors)
There are, however, shared cultural and biological brain-based similarities in our perceptions of beauty.
Interestingly, social perceptions of beauty have been significant factors in our social interactions and values since the beginning of time.
What constitutes attractiveness, loveliness or beauty does change constantly. Yet in many ways, it remains the same. Perceptions of beauty often have similarities across cultures and, for faces, often over time. A great smile, large eyes and facial balance and symmetry seem to be consistent traits that leave a person being perceived as attractive. There’s even a ‘golden-ratio’ of facial dimensions (akin to an inverted triangle) that unfortunately reverse as we age.
Beauty and Self Perception Might Change More Frequently for BODY Shape Preferences than for FACIAL Shapes
Preferred Body Shapes/Proportions, Eyebrows and Eye Makeup fashions also vary over time
It does appear that what is considered attractive in terms of facial features is steadier than what is perceived attractive in terms of body shape. Genetically, however, some aspects of body or facial proportions – such as symmetry or asymmetry – register in our brains at subconscious levels. In other words, we aren’t even fully conscious of and cannot fully control it.
Just think of the current buttocks lift or buttocks augmentation surgery trends. This trend seems to have happened overnight but actually took decades to fully evolve. The larger-buttocks and curvy hips now being seen as beautiful were largely influenced first by actress Jennifer Lopez, then by the Kardashians. There were quite a few years between Jennifer Lopez appearing on the Hollywood film scene and the Kardashian family gaining screen cred. Meanwhile, men’s self-image ideals were being influenced by the likes of Hugh Jackman or Brad Pitt sporting washboard abs and on again, off again facial hair.
Very few people actually sport these features or looks, so if you started to compare yourself to these famous celebrities or other models, it’s highly likely you rated yourself as falling short. Which is why you ideally shouldn’t compare yourself to others – not even to close friends or family members, yet alone celebrities.
Yet it’s in our nature to do so, positive or not. It’s part of our emotional makeup to assess where and how we fit in terms of social perceptions of ‘ideals’ – in appearance, careers and other aspects of our lives. If you’re struggling with low self-esteem, be sure you get the psychological assistance (counselling) and social support (building friendships and hobbies) that can help.
Social Media increased our propensity to compare ourselves with others – or compete with others (Photo Competitions)
We need to avoid comparisons with others to feel truly happy with ourselves, as there will always be someone who seems better off than we are, and someone who seems worse off than we are.
Social Media Does have Influence and Posting Selfies are Still the Rage (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest)
Even more than the actors and actresses themselves, for example, the social prestige of a certain body shape was largely promoted by social media sharing of images. Again, we’re a highly visual species and although we shouldn’t let other’s influence what WE perceive is beautiful, it is highly unlikely any of us are immune to what we see promoted as being a valuable asset.
Another example of body changes and social perceptions is that, a few centuries ago, the artist Rubens painted pictures of large, pale-skinned women with opulent thighs and well-rounded stomachs as the epitome of beauty.
Then, quite a few decades ago, there was a ‘Twiggy’ era, where being too thin, somewhat androgynous and flat-chested was considered desirable for women and men.
Between those two extremes was the Marilyn Monroe era, where shapely, curvy attributes and a defined waistline were considered the media ideal.
Nowadays, the appearance of curvaceous buttocks, well-proportioned breasts and shapely hips on a female – with tan or dark skin rather than pale – or of a strong, masculine chest, visible abs and noticeable facial hair for males – seem to have taken centre stage.
Unfortunately, no matter what the current media standards of beauty are, we must all be watchful of the ideals constantly promoted by the fashion houses and publicists who still haven’t cottoned on to the fact that most of us have curves, although not always where we want them.
For positive self-esteem, we must work with what we NATURALLY have. We need to accept it or enhancing it. Instead of trying to fit another person’s version of the ideal.
The only ideal we should aim for is our own vision of what we might like to look like. This should be a REALISTIC vision of what we can actually achieve. It does not matter how we get there, including surgical and non-surgical options – but not some celebrity-driven ideal.
Be Your Own Evaluator of What’s Considered Beautiful and Learn To Love Your Unique Qualities
If you are considering changing a facial feature or body proportion through surgery, consider Balance and Symmetry
It’s important that if you aim for your own optimal inner and outer beauty. AVOID comparing yourself to others – or worse yet – compare yourself to touched-up photographs of perfectly-skinned models. These images might seem inspirational, but only a few people out of the entire population tend to fit what might be considered exceptionally beautiful by the media at any point in time.
This means that nearly everyone else will see themselves as falling short on at least one trait if they regularly compare themselves to every passing beauty trend or celebrity body meme.
Some people can even develop low self-esteem because they start to believe they don’t meet the social standards that others seem to embrace or naturally come by. In reality, many celebrities don’t actually come by their looks naturally. Just look at pre-surgery and pre filler photos of the Kardashians.
Others may develop low self-esteem because they feel uncomfortable or overly self-conscious. Whether it’s about a particular feature or unusually shaped area of their body. Perhaps an area seems disproportionate to the rest of their facial features or overall physique.
If YOU find you’re dwelling on something about your appearance, you can either learn to accept it as part of who you are – and embrace it in a healthy way – or aim to change it through surgery, whilst maintaining realistic expectations.
It’s really up to you which avenue you choose. The crucial factor is to remain realistic about what any change efforts can or can’t accomplish. It helps a lot to learn to love yourself for who you are as an entire person, not simply for your appearance traits, and not based on any week or year that hasn’t seemed kind to you.
Keeping perspective is good. But remember we FEEL our best when we think we LOOK our best and vice versa. Whether you get there by your parent’s genes or with the help of plastic or cosmetic surgery
These days, you do have choices about appearance changes.
If something isn’t to your satisfaction, you may be able to change it with a surgical or non-surgical procedure. But be sure that whatever changes you might be considering, you’re wanting these changes for YOU alone. Don’t do it to please or attract anyone else.
Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery can help you get a better-looking nose, more even, uplifted breasts or curvier-cleavage – or help you recover from the body changes that pregnancy and childbirth imparted on your tummy skin, breasts or thighs.
Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery is not a cure-all. It may or may not help your self-esteem.
In fact, if you have unrealistic expectations and believe that having surgery will entirely transform your life, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. If you’re considering surgery, be sure you fully assess your expectations and make sure they’re realistic. Be sure you also ask about potential results and the surgical risks you need to be aware of.
Being realistic means taking into account what body shape or facial features you are starting with, before surgery, and discussing with your Surgeon how these may impact your results AFTER surgery.
Surgery and skincare treatments might help a lot to improve your looks and boost your appearance confidence. However, if you have highly unrealistic expectations, you’ll only be disappointed. Self-Esteem Tips and Beauty Perceptions
The best self-esteem or appearance confidence tip we can give you is:
- Do what you can to improve your looks if this is important to you; but accept that which you can’t change or can’t change drastically.
- If you’re considering cosmetic procedures, assess to what degree of surgery or injections can actually change or improve your face, nose, breast or body – and how close these options can get you to where you want to be in terms of size, shape, symmetry, volume or proportions.
- Then ask yourself, honestly, whether you’re willing to undertake the cosmetic procedure route. If the answer is YES, just be sure to stay grounded about your expectations in terms of potential results.
It is also important to NEVER compare yourself to others, and to know that anyone who has surgery or injections or skin refinement procedures (such as lasers) will have unique results.
No two people are the same. Each surgery, anti-ageing injecting strategy or skin rejuvenating treatment is customised to suit the individual. Sometimes, you’ll need a few treatments to get the results you’re wanting. You will often need to follow healthy lifestyle choices to facilitate your healing and maintain your results.
When does good body image or bad body image begin?
Awareness of our looks can start at a very young age. Children on the school ground can be harsh, and any physical feature that is unusual will often invite teasing or even cruel bullying. Children call each other names such as ‘big ears’, or ‘bug’s bunny’ if their teeth protrude. Overweight children are often reminded of this through emotionally-injuring jibes.
As a result, body shaming can start really early. Some adults trace their poor self-esteem back to their childhoods, even if they’ve since lost weight or cured their acne.
In many countries, there are also beauty pageants for young girls. From toddler stages, these women are taught that being judged for their looks is normal. Their parents often don’t help during these pageants, encouraging their offspring to compete purely on looks alone. With hair extensions and heavy make-up a normal parts of many of these pageants, it’s little wonder that many females grow up believing that looking anything less than picture-perfect is somehow shameful. But it’s NOT shameful, and it’s natural. You just need to keep your perspective.
There is also a massive rise in cyber-bullying, much of which might seem related to a person’s appearance. The whole situation of comparison with others is what contributes to, and exacerbates, these types of situations.
That doesn’t mean that you should NEVER care about how you look. Because again, feeling you look your best can give you not only increased confidence but a more positive outlook on life. This can potentially open you up to more opportunities and choices in the future.
Find a healthy balance
So in our visually oriented world, it usually isn’t practical or advisable to completely discard any concern for how you look. The key is to strike a healthy balance. Having a healthy balance of self-regard often involves;
- healthy self-care
- good nutrition
This can help you gain appearance confidence. For yourself, not for others.
Typically, having healthy self-esteem means a balance of positive assessments about your;
- sense of humour
As well as your appearance and how you think you look. It does NOT involve comparing yourself to others, especially not to airbrushed models or celebrities.
There is also a lot you CAN do to make the most of your inherited appearance traits and skin. Non-surgical and non-invasive approaches are available to help you look your best. So if having acne is driving you to distraction, or if you hate the appearance of sagging facial skin, shallow cheekbones, or of a flat chest – there are many options you can take to get a natural-looking enhancement.
How influential is the media?
The powerful media machines and social media channels are incredibly popular. They do influence nearly all of us. It’s hard to escape from the constant images of airbrushed perfection – and youth – that surround us at every turn. So choose your daily image intake carefully.
Do attractive people have better lives?
If the world didn’t reward those who meet the exacting standards of beauty, perhaps people wouldn’t be as influenced by beauty perceptions. But data does support that attractive individuals have some advantages in their lives. Studies show that physically attractive people often receive preferential treatments. Or, are perceived by others as being more sociable, more dominant, more healthy, and potentially even more intelligent than less attractive people. This is, as we all know, not necessarily the case; but perceptions and initial impressions can stick even if they’re erroneous.
Those who don’t have the advantage of feeling beautiful can sometimes feel resentful. Leaving them feeling they have to make more effort to achieve certain rewards. Fortunately, there are a lot more options now to gain the looks you want.
Are more people resorting to plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is constantly growing. Surveys show that a majority of us would change something about the way we look if we could.
But there are many different types of people, and everyone has innate beauty. Try to learn to love yourself for your entire being, and don’t overly focus on your appearance. But if there is something specific about your appearance that you can change, whether that’s reducing aged spots or wrinkles, having surgical treatment such as a breast lift or breast implants to remedy sagging breasts – or getting lip or cheek injections to balance out your facial features and restore lost facial – we’re available to help.
The key thing is that you should ONLY do a cosmetic enhancement procedure for yourself, and keep your expectations realistic. There’s a lot that can be done, but you’ll still want to aim for harmony, balance, and a natural-looking result. And that’s just the type of result our Surgeons and Dermal Clinicians and Injecting Team are known for providing to their patients.
Want more Positive Self-Esteem? Top 10 Ways to Shift your Thinking and your Self Image
Are you hoping to have more positive self-esteem this year?
Positive, confident people usually feel good about themselves and their lives from numerous angles. They radiate confidence and that itself brings others into their sphere. Sure, sometimes they radiate confidence because they feel they look good (looking one’s best can mean different things to different people, however; whereas confidence and positive self-esteem come from an inner perception about one’s self or value).
- Sadly, sometimes we can start to think we’re far from being an ideal version of ourselves, or what we could be – even if we’re fairly close.
- The key thing to remember about having positive self-esteem, or a self-view that is inherently confident, is that there is NO such thing as perfection.
- And comparing oneself to another is the worst thing we can do to ourselves.
There will always be someone who ranks higher or lower than you, in just about any aspect you would want to compare.
And when it comes to being happy, confident and content with who you are, where does self-improvement fit into the equation?
- Self-improvement and reinventing yourself can have positive outcomes in terms of your confidence and social expansion.
- However, aiming for perfection in anything you do, especially in relation to your physique or facial features – is an unrealistic or confidence-defying pursuit.
- Give your passions your best shot, of course, but don’t expect perfection in terms of outcomes as there’s no such attainable thing for much of life.
The Tricks of Self-Confidence
Being realistic, being appreciative of what you have (expressing daily gratitude) and being open to new learning – as well as being willing to expand our minds and our social networking circles – can all have a positive effect on our self-esteem and self-image.
Understanding that whilst some cosmetic procedures can help you look your best or feel your best, no procedure and no body part or facial feature will ever be perfect. So keep your expectations in check when you’re thinking about a beauty treatment, cosmetic injection, or plastic surgery procedure, and know that confidence can be enhanced a million different ways, some from external improvements that leave you feeling great inside, and some from internal attitude adjustments that leave you LOOKING great because you FEEL better on the inside.
So how do you go from being insecure to confident? And do looks really matter in terms of gaining more positive self-esteem?
The keys to confidence or positive self-esteem seem to be the following for many women and men:
- appreciate who you are and what you have
- change what you want to change (and can change)
- accept what you can’t change
- choose your goals very carefully
- never strive for perfection, and appreciate your differences even if you accentuate them for effect
The keys to happiness and health often include:
- living as healthy as you can – eating good nutrition and exercising regularly are excellent for your mind, body, emotions and moods
- taking time to chill or meditate
- trying new things from time to time to keep your mind and body stimulated
- having a hobby you love or an enjoyable past time you’re passionate about
- having a good social circle of friends and/or family members who appreciate you and support you in various aspects of your life and vice versa
- having a loving pet
- feeling like you belong in your community by being actively engaged with those around you
Others phrase it as “have something you do that you love, have someone to love to hang out with, and have something new to look forward to in the future.”
It’s also a great idea to seek counselling or help – even free community help – if you’re feeling overly shaky or feeling very down, or ‘flat’ for a long period of time. If so, please speak to your GP or phone Lifeline or investigate good counsellors by asking around, as there are many people who can assist you.
Setting Goals and Self-Esteem – Where Confidence and Goals Align
If you’re not striving for something new, you can easily feel stale or stagnant.
It’s a great time of the year to set some new goals, but be sure they’re not impossible to attain. Then outline the steps to reach them, and instigate a plan with a timeline. Plans with timelines or time lined goalposts often work the best. Then get started! Getting started is often the hardest part of any change. The next most challenging part is sticking with the changes for 3 to 8 weeks until they firmly become a habit that you’d miss if it wasn’t there.
The best goals for increasing your confidence are those that are aligned with your core values, not some external viewpoint. And often, those external viewpoints are either wrongly interpreted, or not even paying attention to what you’ve potentially been obsessing about for some time.
Does Appearance Matter in terms of positive self-esteem?
In terms of looks (appearance) and if they matter in our confidence levels, research indicates they have an impact on how we see ourselves.
Interestingly, even with fully functioning bodies, very few of us are fully happy and content with what nature has given us. Some things can be changed through injections or surgery, and the niggling self-consciousness about a crooked nose or overly large breasts, for example, can be remedied through getting a cosmetic procedure. Some things can be changed through non-surgical means or even makeup or fashion choices.
But some of us may seem unnecessarily preoccupied with what we think others are thinking about our bodies, face, hair, eyes or nose.
Is your self-view accurate in terms of what other’s are thinking? Chances are it’s quite far off.
How we see ourselves is also not typically overly accurate. We are often harsher with ourselves than others would ever come close to, and we may miss what comprises our beauty because we’re focused on minor imperfections that others typically fail to notice.
We all like to look our best, and there are a lot that can be done today to help nature along – surgical and non-surgical options. But what if you really DO look good to others yet you find yourself preoccupied with:
- a slightly wobbly bum
- a larger than you’d like nose
- wrinkles on your forehead or crow’s feet around your eyes
- Bingo wings on your upper arms
- Saggy boobs
- very large, heavy breasts that make you feel overly plump or physically limited in sports, exercise or fashion wear
There are things you can do to improve your looks, but there’s also a lot you can do to improve your attitude about yourself and yourself as an ‘entire person.’
To improve both your inner confidence and your appearance confidence is typically a double WIN, as these interact with each other.
Think well-rounded. Let the little things go. And if something has BEEN bothering you for some time, and you CAN change it in a positive way, then do so. But what you can’t change, you should aim to accept. And be grateful for what you DO have in your life.
No matter what you change or don’t change, appreciate what you have and are – all of it, just as you are today. There’s great freedom and confidence in doing so.
Here are 10 ways to shift your negative self-thinking towards better self-image and self-esteem.
- Make that critical inner voice quieten down
Don’t let that inner critic convince yourself that you are not as good as your co-worker or not as slim as your friends. As soon as that mean voice inside you bubbles up, tell it to be quiet and focus on something positive that you do well and will do to celebrate yourself.
- Positive motivation
Write down on a note you can read daily what you love doing. This will make you smile and keep you focused on goodness!
- Create a self-appreciation mantra
Do you help people every day? Can you always bring a smile to people’s faces? Are you thoughtful and caring? Create a self-appreciation mantra and remind yourself that you bring joy to people. This will bring you joy and help you feel positive about yourself.
- Each night say thank you – Practice Gratitude
Say thank you every night for 3 things that you are grateful for that happened during the day. Such a simple but very powerful way to get a great boost of life-appreciation and self-esteem!
- Paying it forward
The old adage says that you get what you give, so how about making an effort to give our positivity by doing acts of kindness for others. A smile leads to a smile and giving good energy out into the world magnifies it in our environment too. A great reason to feel cheerful!
- See the perfection in imperfection
In the world of aesthetics, some people say of certain attributes, “that’s not a flaw – it’s a feature!” Perhaps it is time to look a little less closely at your imperfections as flaws and see them as those unique characteristics that make you, you? Or if you ARE going to enhance something, make sure you do so in a way that flatters the REST of you (our Cosmetic Injectors and Surgeons are notorious for getting natural-looking results).
- Mistakes and failures make us grow
Each time we get knocked down by life, we get up again and we learn a little more. Life is a rollercoaster at times, and each error or accident helps us to grow and find the silver lining, as well as a lesson for next time.
- Try something new
An old dog *can*learn new tricks – and what better way to surprise yourself by trying something new to help you appreciate your sense of fun, wonder or hidden talent you never knew you had?
- End comparisons to others
Comparing ourselves to others is one of the biggest traps to feeling down on ourselves. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, compare yourself to where you used to be to see how far you have come. The result might surprise you!
- Pick your friends carefully
Surround yourself with people who celebrate you and help you become the best version of yourself! Friends are important influences on our self-esteem – and remember this works both ways. So give support as well as allowing yourself to get it.
If you are interested in cosmetic plastic surgery to help boost your self-esteem, please complete a confidential enquiry form. Or, alternatively, you can speak to one of our Coordinators by calling (03) 8849 1400.