They are the staples of every teenage drama. You know them: the clique of girls who always look down on our heroine and who basically terrorize her with insults, harsh criticism, and hateful glares. I think of them as “the mean girls.”
A new study says that this tendency is something lots of women share — not necessarily looking down on others, but on ourselves. The study, done by researchers from Weight Watchers UK, found that we women criticize ourselves at least eight times a day. From telling ourselves that we’re overweight or look weird or are dumb to criticizing how we look in certain clothes or in photographs, we’re always ready to point out our flaws. And we get an early start about it, too. Forty percent of the study participants said they criticized themselves before 9:30 a.m. each day.
Why do we feel so negative about ourselves? The article I read said one cause is believed to be social media — all these Tweets and posts pushing images of ideal lives, bodies, and activities at us on a constant basis. Numerous studies have been conducted over the years on the effect that media has on women’s self-image, and many of them say we are extremely vulnerable to the idea of measuring ourselves against some unrealistic ideal.
But what if we didn’t give in to that kind of thinking? Would you really be that hateful to another person? Is that who you want to be? I’m guessing since you’re here in the Pink Typewriter World that it is not, that you would rather focus on happiness and positivity. Well, why do we think it’s okay to treat ourselves that way?
Dana did an exercise last year in which every time she had a negative thought, she made herself say something positive. I think that’s a great idea — and that it would be a really good approach to combatting self-criticism. Let’s try it.
Over the next week, when I think something negative about myself, I will say something positive to counteract it. I invite you to join me.
Proverbs 23:7 says that “as a (wo)man thinks in (her) heart, so (s)he is.” If we want to be positive and happy, we need to not allow negativity to control us — even when we look in the mirror. We are beautiful, intelligent individuals who are created in the image of God. That’s a pretty awesome thing. Let’s try telling ourselves that.