Self-worth, confidence most valuable traits for women

The Channels Opinion Pages | EDITOR COLUMN

MARISSA WHISMAN, Associate Editor

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I am 19, 5’8” and weigh about half as much as I should for my height. I have long, brown hair that I viciously straighten, curl, tease and pin up every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Sometimes, I go clothes shopping with my grocery money and eat frozen peas for dinner for a week straight.

I live in a place that puts enormous and frankly ridiculous amounts of importance on appearance and social standing, rather than personality or some idea of self-drive.

I have been in countless failed relationships, or whatever our generation wants to call them, where I have been lied to, cheated on and disrespected. Most girls have experienced this. It’s called “dating” to us.

However, I feel like I am lucky enough to have learned one of the most important lessons in life.

Self-worth and loving yourself is the most important and flattering quality a woman can possess.

This goes for men too, but to speak on my own personal experiences, I am just referring to the mind set and viewpoint of women.

People will constantly try and make you feel special. They will tell you anything and everything just to save or create a desired reputation of themselves. Most of the time, they’re lying.

Guys don’t know what they want or what they value in another person, especially in a place like Isla Vista where values are very shallow and surface-level to begin with. They are 20, 21 and even 23 and 24. Most of them don’t know how to do their own laundry, let alone emotionally and physically support another person.

And when a woman lacks confidence and self-worth, a kind of dependency on how a man treats them and values them can absorb one’s own self-esteem. This is how the lies and deceitfulness hurt women the most and causes the most long-term pain.

A change in heart and mind is necessary.

In order to love someone else, you need to love yourself.

It’s as simple as it sounds. I do not need someone to tell me I’m pretty or I’m sexy or how much they enjoy my company. If a woman is truly confident in herself, she should already know this. And when the guy leaves and their true colors show, a woman isn’t left in the dark wondering what is wrong with them.

It took me years to understand this concept and honestly, I am still learning it. Over the past year and half of being in college, I have called my mom maybe a 100 times crying about how “Mr. Right” ended up having a girlfriend, or simply just stopped calling. And every time, she tells me the same thing, “It’s their loss, not yours.”

Women need to look at themselves and everything they bring to the table in a relationship. Whether she is smart, has the sense of humor of a stand-up comedian, or already has the next 10 years of her career planned out, she needs to believe how amazing she is.

According to a series of studies by Murray, Holmes, MacDonald and Ellsworth in 1998, “no matter how they adjusted variables, self-esteem colors not only a person’s perception of self but impacts expectations of the partner and the tenor of the relationship.”

There are so many incredible opportunities and experiences that are available to women who love themselves, and the idea of “self-worth” is extremely impactful on multiple aspects of life.

As actress Blake Lively has said, “The most beautiful thing a women can wear is confidence.”

So next time Mr. Wrong throws out the typical, “you deserve better and I wish I could give that to you” line, turn around and reply, “Hell yes I do,” and walk away. And it’s probably best to go buy that pair of well deserved, $100 leather booties.

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