In my latest post, I talked of the irony in how the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic failed to appreciate all types of Black girl magic. Today, I’d like to talk about one of the major personal struggles faced by young Black women (all women, really) as a result of not only misrepresentation but also exclusion: low self-esteem.
I recently had a meaningful discussion in one of my classes regarding the importance of self-esteem. Initially, I expected to hear utterances of how self-esteem is tied to self-confidence or how low self-esteem is tied to a lack of self-love (which is commonly heard). Instead, the discussion turned towards another personal struggle and its relationship with self-esteem. In a reading that was provided us, it was stated that self-esteem plays a major role in the development of mental disorders.
I am paraphrasing of course, but the article stated something along the lines of how being unable to see one’s own greatness can leave room for a disorder that ultimately takes you further away from realizing your greatness. As a young Black woman who is dealing with severe depression, this was quite a blow. Although I’ve lacked in self-esteem for much of my life, I never imagined that it could be connected to the depression that I recently realized has plagued me most of my life as well.
Unfortunately, this adds to the list of things that need to be talked about but aren’t within the Black community; especially when it is stereotyped that young Black women and men are overly egotistical despite them not meeting the “proper” standards of beauty.
(Featured image: a collage that I put together for an introduction to computer arts class to represent the obstacles faced when trying to build one’s self-esteem from a young woman’s perspective)