Sunday, 19 April 2015

“Attitude is more Important than Appearance in Teenage Girls”– Professor M.S.Rao

“Inside of you is a smart and powerful dynamic and capable self-confident, alive and alert fabulous diva! Let her come out to play the world is waiting for you.” —Louise Hay

Teenage is a delicate age where mind oscillates between good and bad abruptly. It is highly indecisive, emotional and sensitive. Most teenage girls fail to understand this stage and fall into short-term temptations landing in troubles and crises causing problems for them and their parents. Parents find it tough to understand and persuade their teenage daughters.

Teen Girls and their Challenges

Nowadays, girls spend lots of money for looks and appearance than to prove their substance. They care for what others care about them rather than what they care about themselves. Their expectations are high, and get stressed and depressed easily when they fail to accomplish their expectations. Internally, they are more worried about fear of rejection and criticism. They go to any extent to be accepted by peers and colleagues which often leads to compromising certain aspects including their character.

Presently girls are influenced by peer pressure. They imitate negative aspects more than positive aspects from others. They are more conscious about their appearance than their intelligence. They are more interested in exploring bad than good. They get into wrong zones quickly landing into troubles and regretting in later part of their lives. Self-esteem is very low among girls especially if they are not attractive. They get depressed easily if boys don’t look at them. They crave for male attention. Here are some shocking research findings:
  • In school today the most important currency is “hot monitor”. Girls will exchange anything and everything for validation about their appearance.
  • Sex is a commodity you exchange for popularity and acceptance.
  • Campus is a misogynistic bear pit where only the strong walk away unharmed.
  • There has been a 12% rise in under – 16-year-olds with drink related problems. Six children a day will be admitted to hospital with drink-related issues. Binge drinking is more prevalent among girls and 25% of girls aged 15/16 admit to binge drinking at least once a week.
  • In Africa being born a girl means you are more likely to get raped than learn to read; in China being born a girl increases your chances of being trafficked as boys are prized in a nation where a single child policy is favored; and if you are girl conceived in India you are lucky to even be born as an illegal dowry system makes you unaffordable and dispensable and you are just as likely to end up a discarded foetus at the bottom of a disused well.
  • 25% of all daily search engine requests are for pornography. 96% of the people doing the searching are male. Every 39 minutes a new pornography video is created in the USA to support this demand. The industry is worth over $97 billion worldwide, more than the combined revenue of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Yahoo! eBay, Apple, Netflix and Earthlink.
  • The Lab surveyed 1,000, 15-19 year-old girls in 2005 about their ambitions; 63% said they would rather be a nude or semi-nude glamour model than a nurse, a doctor or a teacher.
  • Girls are now three times more likely than boys to suffer with depression and anxiety attacks.
  • Sex is now seen as a commodity not an intimate act. Both girls and boys are not concerned about the number of sexual partners they clock up, compounded by reality TV programmes like The Magaluf Weekender: Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents; Geordie Shore and so on.
  • Nearly 70% of female university students have experienced verbal and nonverbal harassment in and around their institution.

Researchers[1] have found that reality TV has six key messages for girls. Take a deep breath..
1.         Your looks are the most important thing about you.
2.         Your physical characteristics (shape, weight, skin, hair, teeth, colour, smell) are NEVER, EVER good enough.
3.         Sex is primarily a currency that you exchange for love, attention and power.
4.         It is normal to have sex with people you don’t even know or especially like.
5.         The world is a scary, lonely, dangerous and competitive place. Better get going – you might lose the race.
6.         The answer to all life’s problems is to buy something.

Girls crave for attention, recognition and validation. They weigh their popularity based on how many boyfriends they have. Their self-esteem is very low currently. They want to hit limelight at any cost compromising value system. This trend needs to be checked immediately by parents and society.

Depression in Teen Girls a Disease

Mental illness has become a major disease globally. Research shows that women suffer from depression more than men. They are more stressed than men. Knowing this research helps people guard from this global menace. Although technology connected people and made globe into a small village, it threw lots of other challenges. Presently people don’t interact physically. They appreciate interacting virtually especially through phones and skypes. The technology has changed the world leading to more of mental diseases than physical diseases. It a challenge people must understand and overcome it successfully.


Here are some solutions to enhance self-esteem in teenage girls:  
  • You must love yourself first before being loved by others.
  • Believe in yourself. You are the best, and the gift from God. Be proud that nobody can be like you.
  • Emphasize on attitude, not appearance.
  • Surround with positive friends who provide you constructive feedback and support you wholeheartedly.
  • Be assertive. Don’t succumb to pressures. Don’t accept unreasonable requests.
  • Strive for excellence, not perfection.
  • Look for satisfaction, not recognition and approval. Remember, approval comes at a cost while recognition comes with consistent positive efforts.
  • Parents must take initiative to interact with their children to boost their confidence. Physical intimacy is more important so called virtual intimacy including social networking sites like Facebook.

It is sad to note that teenage girls in future will have depression, emotional problems, breakups, heart burns, suicides, mental stress and trauma. Only solution is to love your family and ensure physical intimacy.

The onus lies with parents and educators to build self-esteem in teenage girls. The pressure to get noticed and the pressure to prove is higher in teenage girls. Hence, parents must guide them at home, and educators must counsel them properly in educational institutions to boost their self-esteem.


The Future Foundation interviewed 500 girls across the UK and concluded girls fail to reach their full potential because they are suffering from low self-esteem about how they look.  Girls must remember that they are valued for their mind, not simply how ‘hot’ they are because when their hotness goes away, it is their character and intelligence stays on.  Girls must shift their minds from ambition to inspiration; parents must shift their minds from competition to collaboration; and society must shift its mind from money to values. An integrated effort from all stakeholders including teenage girls, parents, educators, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations is an imperative to address this social menace globally.

The need for writing this article on teenage girls is that I am a conscious citizen caring for students and teenagers globally. Hence, I took time off from my busy schedules of authoring a book titled ‘21 Success Sutras for CEOs’ to write this article to provide right direction to girls who grope in darkness. Additionally, the satisfaction of seeing the light go on for other people is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

This article is dedicated to all teenagers suffering from self-esteem to build their confidence to dream and achieve big in their lives.

“Teenage years are hard. And, having taught high school for a number of years, I think they're particularly hard on teenage girls. The most self-conscious human beings on the planet are teenage girls.” —Rob Thomas

NUS Hidden Marks Survey 2010
Survey Girls Scouts Research Institute 2011
Diva Wisdom: Find Your Voice, Rock Your World, Pass It On! by Jane Kenyon

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
Vision 2030 Webinar:
Twitter: @professormsrao  
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL:

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