Us women have a hard time keeping up with self-imposed ‘standards’ we place upon ourselves. Thanks to unattainable images flaunted in magazines, on Facebook and on TV, it’s not uncommon for us to compare ourselves to models, celebs and, well, pretty much anyone we perceive as more ‘successful’ than us in any particular way. But now, new research of 2,000 women has revealed that it’s actually worse than we previously thought. On average, women criticise themselves at least eight times a day in some form or another. Eight times! That’s basically once every two hours of our waking day. We need to stop this madness!
Why are we women so hard on ourselves?
The study, from Weight Watchers, has shown that women’s most popular self-criticisms focus on five particular areas. Unsurprisingly, weight and appearance top the list, but coming up close behind is career, finances and relationships.
Here’s the full list of the 20 most popular self-criticisms women have:
- You’re too fat/overweight
- Your hair is a mess
- Your belly looks big
- You don’t do enough exercise
- Feeling scruffy next to other women
- Not earning enough money
- You say you are having a ‘fat day’
- Not wearing certain items of clothing because you think you can’t pull it off
- You wish you were as photogenic as other women on social media
- You deflect compliments by saying something negative about yourself
- You worry people are talking about you behind your back
- Feeling underdressed
- You’re not stylish enough
- You don’t have sex with your partner enough
- You aren’t as creative as other women
- Your bum looks big
- You aren’t as organised as other women
- You don’t spend as much time with your friends as you should
- You’re not wearing enough make-up
- You aren’t attractive to your partner
What’s even more worrying is the fact that almost half of the people surveyed (46%) admitted to criticising themselves at least once before 9:30am. That’s hardly even enough time to get ourselves a cup of tea – which, as we all know, solves pretty much every crisis.
But just why are women so hard on themselves? It seems that we are more than happy to compliment each other, but we can’t accept compliments. 89% of women compliment others in ways they would never compliment themselves. Which, in itself, is a pretty depressing thought.
It seems that much of our image-based criticisms arise from social media platforms such as Instagram. Because who can’t resist looking up luscious pictures of models, fashion icons, travel bloggers and successful women? But it can just plant seeds of discontent in our mids: why are we not that thin? That beautiful? That stylish? That happy with our jobs?
Of course, having ambitions to keep us focused is all well and good. But when we start keeping up with the joneses and putting unrealistic goals on ourselves, that’s when we need to take a step back. Maybe 2016 is the year that we should take a real look in the mirror and accept ourselves for the powerful, wonderful women we all are?
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