Decision: Self-Esteem Essay Example

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Decision: Self-Esteem

Decision: Self-Esteem

I agree with Markus and Kitiyama’s (1991) argument that race, gender, age, weight, and height affect issues surrounding self-esteem. People’s interpretations of self and of others influence their emotions, motivations, and cognition. People also tend to discover themselves and others basing on how the society defines issues. Social identity, therefore, affects issues that surround self-esteem.

People differ in terms of features, such as eye color, hair texture, skin color, and gender, which determine their character and self-esteem, depending on whether the society assigns stigma to a specific identity. Individual’s self-esteem will often respond to how the society identifies their identities. For instance, in an intensely racists society where being of a minority race is treated with disgrace, individuals from the minority race are likely to have low self-esteem when interacting with the people from the dominant race.

Body weight and height also affect issues surrounding self-esteem. For instance, childhood obesity is often linked to greater risks of low self-esteem, particularly in the Western society where social stigma is attached to obesity.

When it comes to gender, body weight and race have traditionally reflected the manner in which patriarchy and capitalism reap monetary benefits from gender oppression. For instance, the fitness, cosmetics, and food industries used the media to convince women that they would gain greater self-esteem through self-improvement. Self-improvement in this case means have ultra-slender body and the attitudes, lifestyles and behaviors of white women as being universal to all women despite of their race.

Hence, Markus and Kitiyama’s (1991) view that race, gender, age, weight, and height affect issues surrounding self-esteem are valid. It shows
that the view that individuals have of self is instrumental in understanding their behaviors and self-esteem, as well as the phenomenon that drives their self-esteem.


Markus, H. & Kitiyama, S. (1991). Culture and the Self: Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation. Psychological Review 98(2,) 224-253