There is no question that the internet holds countless answers to limitless questions. How many ounces in a pound? How do you boil an egg? How many miles to my destination? These are examples of simple questions with quick and helpful answers. In our society, we ask Google just about everything, and most of the time we benefit from convenient answers.
In many instances, it is appropriate and harmless, but imagine measuring your self-worth on the words that appeared on your screen.
Imagine being so lost that you reach into cyber space to find acceptance, validation, and self-worth. What if you were so desperate to find love and support that you grasp at the shallow opinions of strangers to tell you what you need to hear the most.
What if you Googled:
Am I Ugly?
According to Self-esteem expert Meaghan Ramsey in her recent TED Talk, 10,000 people Google this question every month, many of whom are teenage girls.
By putting themselves out there, they are making themselves vulnerable to some incredibly harsh and terrible comments that are unspeakably damaging and sickeningly cruel.
There were many things that stood out to me in this talk, but this statistic really made me think.
- Why do we put so much emphasis on outward beauty?
- Why is what other people think about how we look so important?
- What creates this gaping hole in our self-worth?
- What can we do to fill that gap and establish a self-confidence that trumps the need for this type of validation.
There are many pieces to the self-confidence puzzle, but there are a few things that we can do right away to turn the tide away from this dangerous trend and start bringing up girls who hold their heads up high with the confidence that they are valuable, worthy, and loved, no matter what they look like on the outside.
- Take a hard look at the values that you put emphasis on in your own life to set a good example for the next generation. (Put more value on hearts, minds, and talents than on beauty).
- Be realistic with expectations and show the girls in your life the difference between what is real and what is all for show.
- Don’t compare yourself with others, and model the importance of uncovering your own unique worth.
- Model and encourage positive self-talk. Never let the girls in your life hear you put yourself down and don’t put others down either.
- Establish a firm identity by discovering who you are, who you belong to, where you belong, and what makes you special. Then, guide others to uncover this gift for themselves.
With prayer, intention, and love, we can strike the word ugly from the vocabularies of girls worldwide. We can show them that Google can’t help them find their worth, but that we can.
Together, we can lead them to a place of such comfort and security that they will no longer judge themselves by the number of likes they get or comments they receive on social media.
Am I Ugly” soon becomes I Am Loved!
For more on this topic see “Is It Okay to Love Myself – Self-Esteem from a Christian Perspective“.