What’s the Link between Your Self-Esteem and the Media?

Dr. Susan Edelman
5 min readSep 30, 2023

There are many ways that the media can cause you to doubt yourself and lead to lower self-esteem. If you’re a woman looking for love, media influences can lead to second-guessing in two major areas that are critical for your success: your appearance and your decisions about intimacy.

How the Media Influences Your Feelings about Your Appearance

Did you know that filters and photo-editing tools have become popular on social media platforms like Instagram? You can use these tools to make your photos more flattering. Why not look like you have smoother skin or change some of your coloring? You can even change your facial features if you’d like.

What could possibly be wrong with a little harmless photo alteration? It’s a good thing to want to look your best, right? On the other hand, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Although it may stroke your ego to see an idealized and perfected image of yourself, the more women in the media look perfect, the more we doubt our natural appearance and may feel pressured to use filters to conform to unrealistic beauty standards. Unfortunately, perfect images on social media promote comparisons to others, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy. People often think, “why don’t I look that good?” Body shaming makes this problem worse.

As you know, women are most affected by these pressures. And the younger we are, the more harmful these media influences on women can be. It’s easy to be swayed by cultural trends when you’re young and impressionable, but older women don’t escape, As we age, we can feel invisible and worry about what it means to lose our looks.

Although we know the image of an “airbrushed, Botoxed, back-lit bombshell sex goddess” isn’t the best role model for women, we often can’t resist the temptation to want to look perfect. After all, we’re constantly bombarded with perfect-looking, Photoshopped models and celebrities everywhere we turn. These media pressures can leave us with negative opinions about ourselves, hammering in the harmful idea that there’s something wrong with our bodies. “My thighs are too big. My breasts are too small. Do I need plastic surgery to achieve that flawless look?” The beauty ideals and body image standards crafted by these outside forces become normalized…

--

--

Dr. Susan Edelman

Want to be one of the women over 40 who gets the kind of relationship she wants from a man? Find out your 7 Secret Advantages https://bit.ly/3DTTCD2