Self-esteem increases confidence and is vital to teens’ life


Physical appearance can affect teens' self-esteem and confidence.

Self-esteem is how a person values oneself. It is how a teen perceives her value to the world and how valuable she thinks of herself in relation to others. Self-esteem affects trust in others, relationships and school – nearly every part of  life. Positive self-esteem gives the strength and flexibility to take charge of a life and allows growth from mistakes without the fear of rejection.

Freshman Kayla Manz said, “Self-esteem is important because it makes teens feel confident about themselves. Without self-esteem, it triggers a teen’s lack of self-assurance. I feel confident about myself because I think everyone is different.”

Some teens struggle with self-esteem and body image when they begin puberty because it’s a time when the body goes through many changes. These changes, combined with wanting to feel accepted by others, can be tempting to compare themselves to others. The trouble with that is not everyone grows or develops at the same time or in the same way.

Sometimes the way teens think other people are judging their appearances affects body image. Poor body image comes from negative thoughts and feelings about appearance and a healthy body image is made up of thoughts and feelings that are positive. Body image is a major factor in self-esteem.

“With low self-esteem, a teen may feel not assertive in herself. She may not be happy with her appearance and be unsatisfied with her being. High self-esteem is important because people need to be able to feel confident to be successful at what they do,” said freshman Justine Sison.

“Due to the media, many people, including myself, feel that they are being judged. I think it’s important for everyone to feel confident in their own skin,” said freshman Lauryn Ohai.

Family can also sometimes influence body image. Some parents may be too focused on their children looking a certain way. Family members may also struggle with their own body image and criticize their kids’ looks. This can all influence a person’s self-esteem, especially if one is sensitive to other people’s comments.

Counselor Cleo Eubanks, said, “Body image and self-esteem can be improved by talking to an adult for tips, having an open-mind, exercising, eating healthy and taking time to do things that you enjoy. It is also important to change negative thoughts about oneself to positive ones.”

Social studies teacher, Wendy Bowers, said, “One can build confidence and self-esteem by reducing negative thoughts about herself.”

Self-esteem often comes from achievement.  One’s actions may dictate the outcome. If one is willing to set goals to achieve something, then it is also possible to improve one’s self-esteem. Trying to accomplish something will help teens understand their own character and allow them to build on learning from failures. Building confidence is the foundation to achieving what one truly wants out of life.

Bowers said, “I believe that being yourself and embracing individuality is important. We should all embrace diversity.”