Chicken Legs- My Battles for Self-Esteem

My self-esteem shattered.  My first-grade heartthrob crushed me with words.   My best friend, trying to play matchmaker, asked the gorgeous boy during recess if he “liked” me.  Unsure who I was, he said, “You mean the girl with the pretty face and the chicken legs?”   For the first time, I questioned my looks.  I ignored the front end of the sentence and fixated on the poultry comparison for many years.  Not only did I fixate on one person’s opinion, but I also chose to ignore what my parents taught me about the value God places on each person.

Eventually, skinny became cool, so I grudgingly accepted my slim build.  Meanwhile, hurtful words continued to pile up.   In high school, going to lunch was an ordeal.  Outside my cafeteria, a group of guys rated girls walking by.  “She’s a six!” “Nah, I’d give her a four!”  Ironically, insecurity probably fueled these chucklehead’s desire to critique girls. Again, I chose to listen to people instead of God who says that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” Isaiah 139:14 (NIV).

Put-downs haven’t stopped in my adulthood. They simply changed venues.  A co-worker criticizes my work product.  Children complain about my cooking.  Other drivers rate me with hand gestures. Negative words will always be around me, but I don’t have to choose to accept them.

My self-esteem improved when my focus shifted towards God’s view of me.   First, He designed me as is. Media messages indicate that my uneven body and fine hair are unattractive. I should buy products to compensate for these flaws.  God sees me differently. He has numbered every single one of my fly-away strands because He loves me.  From His perspective, I am a treasure.  Even Jesus wasn’t considered good looking by his cultural standards. “There was nothing attractive about Him, nothing to cause us to take a second look” Isaiah 53:2 (The Message).

If you struggle with low self-esteem for whatever reason, consider these ideas:

  • Understand that people who appear confident probably struggled with this at some point in their lives.
  • Stop determining your value based on cultural standards.  They are fickle.
  • Memorize the verses above and the following additional ones:  Psalm 139:13-14, 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 3:3-4.
  • Check out this story about self-esteem.

Let God’s opinion of you determine your view of yourself!


Real People, Real Stories, Real God®
Share Article

Chicken Legs- My Battles for Self-Esteem