Women are known to have a vast number of traits: we are strong, independent, stylish, fierce and emotional, among others. Sadly, a trait that many women also have is that we are very self-conscious and insecure.
Have you ever wondered why women are insecure? What is it about us and society that makes so many women self-conscious? Why do we gain insecurities by the second? The answer depends on a variety of things and it changes from person to person.
Society is sick and twisted
Society is cruel and has created the ultimate trap for women that simply cannot be avoided – you have to be perfect. This encourages women to strive for more, which is typically a great trait, but not when it comes to feeding into insecurities. Women naturally feel the importance of being attractive, but it seems like it's never enough – there are always flaws to be fixed and issues to be improved.
Some would say that this isn't society's fault, but it's rather due to many other factors. This is technically true. However, in the world of women, our reality is being judged and critiqued, feeling pressured and being shown what we should look like. Society emphasizes that women need to stay skinny, beautiful and youthful no matter the cost. The reality of this environment is that it makes even the prettiest, sexiest and the most beautiful feel insecure and self-conscious at times. Women tend to be more critical of themselves and are more likely to feel this insecure than men.
Beauty is a mass media competition
Whatever is considered beautiful, sexy, pretty, desirable, attractive or hot is developed and molded from the media. Women constantly compete to be skinnier, more toned and to look better overall. But there's no security – plenty of women have been put on a pedestal only to be knocked off just as quickly. When this happens, women become even more self-conscious for the mere reason that there is always someone who is better.
Beauty is cruel, but so are people
Ever since we were little, we looked at people around us and wanted to look, dress and be like them. It would seem as though women are raised to be self-conscious even though that’s not the intention of parents—it’s just what happens.
As little girls, we play dress up and idolize Disney princesses and Barbie, which is the start of insecurities as it what we aspire to resemble from a young age. As we get older, we try to dress like the popular kids or wear all the trending clothes, but this still causes insecurities because women and people are cruel.
Many women have heard some of these comments throughout their lives: that’s too tight; you’re fat; you’re gaining weight, and you might want to do something about that; you shouldn't eat that; you’re too skinny; you need makeup; you’re ugly; your hair's a mess and so on. If you are a woman and haven’t heard at least one of those comments—or something along those lines—then you’re a part of a lucky minority. We all judge one another, and we know that the same is being done to use.
We do it to ourselves
We tell ourselves that there is always room for improvement when it comes to our looks; we need to look like the person on the cover of our favorite magazines, and if we do what they do, we will be perfect.
However, when we see another woman, even in the mall, we start the comparison: we compare our weight, outfits, walk, skin, makeup, hair, nails and everything else. Being insecure comes from external sources like social media, people, and society as a whole, but it also comes from internalizing those influences.
Many people believe that beauty is the only quality that matters, that looks get you further in life, and that appearances are the most important part of a successful first impression.
Beauty is the most scrutinized trait because there is so much importance placed on how we look, and so much pressure from the media or society that we as women do not realize that those are the sources of our self-consciousness and insecurities. Instead, we continue to fall into the trap of beating ourselves up emotionally about how we don’t look good enough.
The four root causes of our insecurities can be stopped, but we need to realize that we are beautiful and we need to love ourselves. As a woman who is self-conscious myself, I am aware that this is harder than it sounds, but women need to end the cycle of feeling self-conscious and insecure, and accept themselves as perfect the way they are.
Feel free to share your thoughts below!