What Causes Low Self-esteem in Women?

  • low self-esteem, loss of confidence, depression

Self-esteem or self-worth is critical to an individual’s emotional and mental well-being. It is the foundation of a person’s confidence and self-assurance, which impacts how they approach life’s challenges and opportunities. However, low self-esteem can affect a person negatively, leading to feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, and self-doubt.

What are some of the factors that cause low self-esteem in women?

Unrealistic Beauty Standards

The media and advertising industry bombard women with unrealistic beauty standards, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. Women are often judged by their physical attractiveness, making them feel like they need to conform to specific beauty standards to be accepted.

Social media, too, plays a significant role in the promotion of unrealistic beauty standards. Carefully curated images of celebrities and influencers who project an image of perfection expose women to unattainable standards. This constant comparison can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

Past Trauma

Past traumas, such as sexual assault, emotional abuse, or neglect, can significantly impact a woman’s self-worth. Trauma can cause a person to feel powerless and out of control, leading to feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem.

It can be incredibly challenging for women to overcome deeply ingrained guilt and shame associated with past traumas. Counselling can help women heal and regain their sense of self-worth.

Societal Expectations

Societal expectations often dictate what roles women should fulfil, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Women are expected to play multiple roles, such as wife, mother, and career. Balancing these roles can be incredibly challenging.

Society also expects women to conform to specific gender roles, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy if they aren’t fulfilled. These expectations can lead to a woman feeling like they have failed, leading to low self-esteem.

Body Shaming

Body shaming is a prevalent problem that can cause women to feel inadequate and unworthy. Women are often judged by their body type, which can cause them to develop an unhealthy relationship with their bodies, leading to low self-esteem.

Body shaming can happen at any age, from childhood to adulthood, making it incredibly challenging for women to escape this harmful behaviour. Women must learn to embrace their bodies’ diversity and beauty, regardless of societal expectations.

Parental Influence

Parental influence is crucial to a child’s self-esteem. When parents provide positive reinforcement, support, and love, children develop a positive self-image, paving the way for healthy self-esteem.

However, parents who use criticism, ridicule, and negative reinforcement significantly impact a child’s self-worth. Children raised in such an environment often carry those feelings into adulthood, leading to low self-esteem.


Low self-esteem is a prevalent problem among women, caused by various factors such as unrealistic beauty standards, past trauma, societal expectations, body shaming, and parental influence. However, women can overcome low self-esteem by seeking counselling, learning to embrace diversity and beauty, and setting realistic expectations for themselves.

As a society, we need to promote positivity and encourage women to love themselves for who they are, regardless of societal expectations, body type, or past traumas. Women need to know that they are worthy, valuable, and deserving of love and respect. Only then can we create a world where every woman’s self-esteem is thriving.

If you’re looking for a safe space to improve your self-esteem, look no further than Startpoint counselling. Our experienced female counsellors understand how important it is to feel confident and worthy, and they can help you build the self-esteem you deserve. We believe that everyone has the potential to feel good about themselves, but sometimes we all need a little help to get there. With our personalised and supportive approach, we’ll work with you to uncover the root of your low self-esteem and develop strategies to boost your confidence. Don’t let negative thoughts hold you back any longer – contact us today on 3458 1725 to take the first step towards a happier, more fulfilling life.

You’ll be amazed how counselling can change your life

You will find that talking with StartPoint Counselling Beenleigh is your starting point for happy relationships and mental wellbeing.

StartPoint Counselling Practice is conveniently located in Beenleigh, close to Logan, Mt Warren Park, Stapylton, Homeview, Waterford, Loganholme and Yatala areas. However, we also offer phone and telehealth consultations for your convenience. See more about Booking Appointments here.

We offer a 15-minute complimentary phone session with one of our experienced counsellors. Find out how we can equip you to live the life that you choose.