|Issues That Affect Self-Esteem
- Physical Development - Going through puberty earlier or later than most girls can be embarrassing and make girls feel like they don't fit in.
- Appearance - Rapid weight increase at adolescence- in preparation for bearing a child later in life (girls may not understand that it is natural to gain weight and may feel uncomfortable with their bodies).
- Popularity - Pressure to be liked by others and/or to have a boyfriend (it is better if friends don't pressure you).
- Grades - Girls often think that they got a low grade on a test or in school because they are "dumb," whereas boys blame it on outside forces ("the test was too hard").
- Relationships with Parents - Conflicts that arise because a parent is protective, the daughter wants independence, or because of disagreement over expected roles.
- Racism - Girls of every race experience prejudice and racism in our society. Keep your head held high and be proud of your culture/ethnicity/race. Don't let derogatory or racist comments affect your self-esteem, but don't shoot a rude comment back at the person who is putting you down; be the better person and be strong and ignore it. It might help to talk to people who experience racism, too.
- Sexism - Every girl experiences sexism at some point in her life. You may be so used to it that you actually don't even realize that you are being discriminated against or treated differently just because you are a female. Don't let derogatory comments hurt your self-esteem, stay strong and stick up for yourself - be proud!
- Homophobia - For teens who are gay or bisexual, homophobia can be a huge issue. Don't let any name calling or rude jokes and comments make you feel as if you are worthless or inferior. Be proud of who you are, and don't let anything that anyone says lower your self-esteem.