The Ugly Truth: Why Do Women Have A Negative Self-Image?


The pressures of living up to society’s expectations of beauty is real and a widespread epidemic. It doesn’t matter if they are stay-at-home moms in their 40's or 20-something runway models—it’s irrefutably apparent that every single woman, at some point, struggles with accepting her physical appearance, overcoming self-doubt and dealing with her perceived flaws.

There are a variety of causes when it comes to the development of a negative self-image in girls and women. The most significant causes are a lack of direction and guidance from primary caretakers such as parents and teachers and the lack of good role models. It’s also caused by the negative mental conditioning from TV shows, movies, advertisements, magazines, social media and cultural beliefs.

The symptoms of a negative self-image may include a distinct lack of confidence in both the personal and professional realm, a tendency to attract and stay in abusive relationship, addictions, spending too much time and money on beauty treatments and surgeries, people-pleasing behavior and a lack of good social and relationship skills.


In my book, Beauty Redefined, I recommend a holistic approach towards overcoming these blocks which involves all aspects of your being – your mind, heart, body and spirit. A few of the key points include adopting a positive mindset and belief system, healing any past emotional trauma or pain with a trained professional, loving your body by giving it the nourishment and care it needs to stay healthy and living your life with a sense of purpose and passion.

We’ve reach an ideal time in human history, to shift from the old paradigm of beauty where a woman’s worth was based solely on her physical appearances to a more progressive outlook where we consider all aspects of her being – her goals, talents, aspirations, values, morals and compassion for others. By adopting these new standards, we can empower girls and women to feel comfortable in their own skin (no matter what they look like) and fulfill their highest potential.  

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SELINE SHENOY, author of Beauty Redefined, is a podcast host and life coach who focuses on personal empowerment, self-esteem, productivity, and wellness. As the founder of The Dream Catcher, a blog community that encourages people to live their ideal life, Shenoy’s inspirational message has been attracting thousands of people worldwide since 2014. She is a regular contributor to a variety of publications including Forbes, MindBodyGreen, Elite Daily, Project Happiness, and Global Love Project.