5 Ways to Overcome Gender Stereotypes and Boost Self-Esteem

From the moment that you set foot in high school, society begins to place unfair expectations on you based simply on your gender. But although society might make it difficult at times, there are plenty of ways to overcome gender stereotypes and boost your own self-esteem.

Change the way you think about words like “beauty” and “feminine”

Women are often told to be pretty, “ladylike”, complaisant while men are considered clever, confident, superior. They close off a lot of opportunities for women and incite negative self-image issues in men. Instead of letting these words make you feel bad about yourself, try to flip them around so they make you feel good. Instead of focusing on the ways you don’t fit the stereotype, use these words as motivation to defy them.

Focus on your own interests and passions

Instead of focusing on appearance, try to focus on your interests and passions. If you’re trying to overcome gender stereotypes, this is particularly important. Find the things you love and use them as a way to build your self-esteem.

Think about which activities make you feel good

The idea that women are naturally more caring and compassionate is one that’s been applied to women for years.Instead of thinking about which careers or fields are naturally “feminine” and which are “masculine,” focus instead on which activities make you feel good.

Talk to other women who have succeeded in the fields you’re interested in

The idea that women are naturally less capable than men has been disproven again and again, yet the stereotypes remain.Talk to people who have succeeded in the fields that you’re interested in. Read biographies of women who have succeeded in the fields you’re interested in. Find out what they had to overcome and use it as motivation to overcome whatever stereotypes you’re facing. 

Recognize that self-esteem isn’t just a binary thing

Gender stereotypes are powerful things, but they don’t have to define you. By learning to recognize the ways you’re being limited and putting in the work to overcome those stereotypes, you can build a healthier and more positive self-esteem. You’re stronger than any stereotype. You deserve to be proud of who you are and what you’re capable of. 

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