Building self-esteem is like going through a gauntlet: it can and will take a battering with the many trials life can bring. Young women in particular are bombarded with messages of how they’re supposed to look, dress and even smell. Every faux pas and every rejection can be a heavy blow to a growing yet fragile self-esteem. The good news is, the latest research from Queendom shows that by age 40, most women have learned to accept and love themselves just as they are.
(Note: This was not a longitudinal study. We analyzed age differences, but still extrapolated some interesting differences). According to our statistics, self-esteem was lowest for women below the age of 18. It peaked between the ages of 18-24, dropped in the mid to late twenties, and then continued to increase. Our theory is that during the often awkward pre-teen and teenage years (I do NOT want to be a teenager again…fitting in was not easy), and during the time when we’re building a career and more meaningful personal relationships, there’s a very delicate dance that goes on between acceptance and rejection. It’s not uncommon to experience some highs and lows in the development of our self-esteem.
Queendom’s research also reveals that as woman age, they also tend to become less self-critical. For example:
- 54% of women below 18 and 70% of women over 40 said that they are comfortable admitting their mistakes.
- 43% of women below 18 felt that they must prove themselves worthy in a romantic relationship, or they may never find love (compared to 23% of women over 40).
- 21% of women below 18 believe that being themselves isn’t good enough…people still won’t like them (compared to 11% of women over 40).
- 41% of women below 18 are afraid of being rejected by their friends, compared to 27% of women over 40.
- 28% of women below 18 said that they feel “worthless and useless,” compared to 16% of women over 40. I was particularly dismayed by this statistic. No woman should be made to feel worthless, either by others or themselves.
- 21% of women below 18 believe that they will never amount to anyone significant or do anything significant, compared to 15% of women over 40.
- 20% of women below 18 believe that they are a failure, compared to 15% of women over 40.
- 33% of women below 18 believe that they will only be respected if they are attractive and successful, compared to 23% of women over 40.
- 20% of women below 18 feel that other people’s opinion of them is more important than their own opinion of themselves, compared to 16% of women over 40.
- 25% of women below 18 regularly question whether others still love them, compared to 17% of women over 40.
- 41% of women below 18 avoid arguments with others for fear of being disliked, compared to 34% of women over 40.
- 26% of women below 18 try to change their personality, appearance, and opinions in order to be accepted by others, compared to 19% of women over 40.
- 11% of women below 18 feel that they don’t deserve love and respect, compared to 6% of women over 40.