Why You’re Thinking Yourself Out of the Perfect Body: A Brief History of Self-Esteem and Mental Health
The history of self-esteem goes back thousands of years. Ancient Greeks believed that one’s mind was like a mirror reflecting one’s soul. They believed that if they could see their own reflection in the mirror, then they would have better control over their emotions and actions.
In ancient Greece, there were many different types of philosophers and thinkers. Some thought that all human beings are born with equal potential; others believed that some people had greater abilities than others. These two groups of thinkers disagreed about what kind of person each individual was capable of becoming.
One group argued that everyone has the same potential regardless of ability or character, while another group believed that certain traits such as intelligence or moral behavior determined whether someone would become successful or not.
Both these groups of thinkers held that people should strive to achieve success in life. However, the first group believed that success meant having money and power, whereas the second group believed it meant being able to live a good life without suffering from poverty or social stigma.
In modern times, philosophers and scientists have debated about the nature of human consciousness. In particular, they have been debating about whether or not humans possess free will or are merely slaves of fate.
Is it true that some people are just doomed to a life of suffering and failure?
History of Negative Body Image
The same questions concerning human nature have been explored in the field of psychology. Many theories have been created which try to explain the source of human motivation and ambition.
Why do people have such a strong desire to be successful in life, and what strategies can they use to achieve their goals?
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the first theories about self-esteem began to emerge. These theories were based on observations of social and cultural factors which influence a person’s behavior and psychological development. In particular, these theories were concerned with the relationship between how children are brought up and how they grow up to be as an adult.
What is body dysmorphic disorder?
In the past, psychiatrists and psychologists believed that personality traits are fixed and cannot be changed. In other words, they believed that a person is born a certain way and will always be that way. For example, if a child is born aggressive then it is assumed that he or she will grow up to be an aggressive adult.
This idea of personality traits being “fixed” at birth was popular until the 1960s. At this time, a new theory emerged. This theory states that personality traits can be changed and developed, given the right circumstances.
This idea is known as the “nature vs. nurture” debate. The “nature” side of the debate states that people are born with certain personality traits which cannot be changed.
The “nurture” side of the debate states that personality is a product of environment and conditions, and so it can be changed through different life experiences.
The self-esteem movement
The self-esteem movement, which began in the 1960s, was based on the “nurture” side of the nature vs. nurture debate. This movement states that low self-esteem is the basic problem of many psychological issues and it needs to be addressed.
If a person has high self-esteem then he or she will be less prone to mental health problems and more able to succeed in life.
The self-esteem movement has led to the creation of many self-help books and guides.
In recent years, many people have criticized the self-esteem movement and argue that it is misguided and encourages immoral behavior. Many parents have also criticized the movement for bad parenting.
The concept of self-esteem can be traced all the way back to ancient philosophy, with Aristotle claiming “all human actions are done for the sake of self-confidence.”
In the 1990s, a new theory emerged which built upon the self-esteem movement. This new theory was based on observations of social and cultural factors which influence a person’s behavior and psychological development. In particular, this theory was concerned with the relationship between how children are brought up and how they grow up to be as an adult.
This new theory was known as “Parenting Theory”, and it has four main types: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful.
What is “self-esteem” and what are the different types of “parenting theory”?
The authoritative parenting theory is based upon the idea that in order for a child to grow up into a well-adjusted adult, the child must have high self-esteem and self-confidence.
This type of parenting is based upon mutual respect and trust between parent and child. Parents practicing the authoritative parenting theory are warm and nurturing, but they also have strict rules and high expectations for their children.
Research has shown that children brought up using the authoritative parenting method tend to have more social success when they start school and are less likely to develop psychological problems.
The authoritarian parenting theory is based upon the idea that in order for a child to grow up into a well-adjusted adult, the child must have discipline and self-control.
This type of parenting involves high demands and expectations, but a lack of responsiveness and warmth from the parent. In other words, the parent is more interested in rushing a child to grow up rather than taking the time to nurture them.
Research has shown that children brought up using the authoritative parenting method tend to have more social success in school and are less likely to develop psychological problems.
The permissive parenting theory is based upon the idea that in order for a child to grow up into a well-adjusted adult, the child must have independence and self-reliance.
Parents practicing the permissive parenting method are very nurturing and responsive toward their children, but they also have relatively few rules and low expectations for their children.
Research has shown that children brought up using the permissive parenting method tend to have lower social success when they start school and are more likely to develop psychological problems.
The neglectful parenting theory is based upon the idea that in order for a child to grow up into a well-adjusted adult, the child must be given as much freedom as possible.
Parents practicing the neglectful parenting method are not very nurturing and don’t really pay much attention to their children.
Research has shown that children brought up using the neglectful parenting method tend to have lower social success when they start school and are more likely to develop psychological problems.
What are “emotional disorders” and what are various factors involved?
Emotional disorders are psychological problems that involve the inability to feel or express emotions such as sadness, happiness, fear, anger, and joy. While there are a wide range of emotional disorders, this overview will focus on two in particular: depression and anxiety.
Depression is a psychological disorder involving intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss, and loneliness. While many people experience sadness, people with depression experience these feelings on a daily basis and the feelings are so strong that they can interfere with normal life and make it difficult to go about everyday activities.
Sources & references used in this article:
“Who thinks I need a perfect body?” Perceptions and internal dialogue among adolescents about their bodies by MP McCabe, LA Ricciardelli, D Ridge – Sex roles, 2006 – Springer
Health Nazis and the cult of the perfect body: Some polemical observations by C Edgley, D Brissett – Symbolic interaction, 1990 – JSTOR
From “Dieting” to “healthy eating” an exploration of shifting constructions of eating by GE Chapman – Interpreting weight: The social management of …, 1999 – books.google.com
Perfect girls, starving daughters: The frightening new normalcy of hating your body by CE Martin – 2007 – books.google.com
Telling yourself the truth: Find your way out of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and other common problems by applying the principles of misbelief therapy by W Backus, M Chapian – 2000 – books.google.com
It’s Not What You’re Eating, It’s What’s Eating You: A Teenager’s Guide to Preventing Eating Disorders—and Loving Yourself by S Brady – 2018 – books.google.com
Re‐thinking global citizenship in higher education: From cosmopolitanism and international mobility to cosmopolitanisation, resilience and resilient thinking by V Caruana – Higher Education Quarterly, 2014 – Wiley Online Library