"Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Fairest of Them All?" asks the queen to make sure that she is the most beautiful. The fairy tale "Snow White" is a clear example how a woman's mood and self-esteem is dependent on her look, which can go to the extreme and can be the cause of rivalry, hatred of others (usually, more beautiful women) and low self-esteem. Is it something inherent in woman's nature or something imposed to us by the society? And what does it mean to be beautiful?
The concept of beauty has changed throughout the time. A lot of people looking at women painted by Rubens might not find them particularly attractive if compared to contemporary body image penetrating today's idea of beauty. So, maybe the idea of beauty is one of the social constructs, media image imposed to us by a few people who can decide what is beautiful and what is not? Sometimes unnatural thinness is considered extremely beautiful, sometimes having forms speaks about femininity and is suddenly becoming attractive. Isn't it like creating 'Procrustean bed', where everyone has to be the same within a certain time frame?
These days, with the advent of different psychological programs teaching to accept your body the way it is, we also witness a fight between people who are thin and who are quite overweight, every group secretly hating one another and claiming its superiority. As an example, one Russian editor of a fashion magazine has written a statement saying that she doesn't respect people who are overweight (unless it's caused by a medical condition) and that they shouldn't wear certain types of clothes. It caused quite a stir. Overweight people started taking self-portraits wearing short skirts, tight blouses blaming this editor for being unnaturally thin and stating that being overweight doesn't mean that they don't respect themselves or have low self-esteem. Then there is the whole industry of beauty surgery that is supposed to help people create better image of themselves and, thus, better self-esteem. And eating disorder problems are getting more and more serious...
All this proves that self-esteem might not be directly related to our body image and how we look. Self-esteem is something coming from the inside. It is the ability to have respect for yourself and your own body. While chasing artificial norms of the society and fashion we might forget about one simple thing: to feel good about yourself, it is necessary, first of all, to be healthy and fit. And it means taking care of your body, eating healthy food, doing different exercises that will help stay fit and healthy. Even if there is no time to go to the gym or order pre-cooked healthy dishes, you might find a lot of useful information while reading different health blogs that would give suggestions on types of exercises to do to keep your body fit and some helpful nutrition information.
Thus, rather than blindly following fashion, it is important to keep the balance, to listen to your body's needs and to stay healthy. Self-esteem doesn't automatically get higher if you change your body according to somebody's rules; it requires a lot of work and patience.