The link between gender and self-acceptance

The Link Between Gender & Self-Acceptance

Gender is a complex and contested concept, with the increasing presence of non-binary, gender non-conforming, and transgender people including to the conversation. A person’s gender can shape their self-esteem and how they go about loving and accepting themselves. Here we explore the link between gender and self-acceptance.

Gender Norms Can Impact Self-Acceptance

Gender expectations, norms and roles can have an impact on an individual’s self-acceptance. Gender-specific roles such as for example being a man means you must be “strong” and “protect” your family can lead to a sense of inadequacy if you don’t physically or emotionally fulfill this role. Perceived “failure” to live up to these expectations may affect a person’s self-image and give rise to a sense of insecurity and low self-esteem.

How Each Gender Can Work Towards Self-Acceptance

  • Feminine Folks – Building self-acceptance for feminine folks may involve accepting and embracing qualities stereotypically associated with femininity, such as nurturing and kindness.
  • Masculine Folks – Masculine-identifying people can work towards self-acceptance by opening up and allowing themselves to feel vulnerable and express emotions.
  • Non-Binary & Transgender Folks – For those identifying as non-binary, gender fluid and transgender, self-acceptance can involve loving and embracing the uniqueness of their gender identity and finding acceptance and support within their communities.

Supportive Strategies

Everyone has a unique gender journey and each person is in control of their own path. Here is a list of tips to help anyone on their journey to self-acceptance:

  • Treat yourself with kindness and compassion – it’s okay not to be okay sometimes.
  • Ditch perfectionism – nobody’s perfect and perfectionism can be damaging. Celebrate the small wins in life.
  • Embrace your gender journey – accept the person you are becoming and allow the process of growth.
  • Connect with supportive others – get around a community of people who accept and support you for who you are.
  • Opt for positive self-talk – remind yourself every day of your worth and the amazing things you have achieved.
  • Set healthy boundaries – be brave and assert yourself when dealing with issues or people that don’t make you feel good.
  • Make time for self-care – take some time each day to look after yourself.
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation – both of which can help you become more aware of yourself and your needs.

Gender and self-acceptance go hand in hand as gender is such a complex and personal concept. However, self-acceptance is for everyone and anyone, no matter their gender identity or stereotypes associated with it. Practicing self-care, mindfulness and ditching the perfectionism are all huge steps to achieving the self-acceptance we deserve.

> Written with ♥ & compassion by [Jenni Brown](

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