Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
L. Susan Williams
Self-esteem can be defined as feelings of self-worth stemming from the individual's positive or negative beliefs about being valuable and capable. One of the most iconic of advertisements is Nike's “If you let me play” campaign, promising greater self-confidence to girls who play sports. The message implies that girls who play sports (and, coincidentally, wear Nike products) garner high self-esteem, which enables them to fight off a plethora of negative life events, ranging from depression to domestic abuse. Events surrounding the 2007 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women's basketball championship playoff seem to support this idea. The Rutgers University team gained the country's respect when team members eloquently responded to, and supposedly overcame, racial and sexual disparagement by a commentator who referred to them as “nappy-headed hos.” But, why girls? Most scholars agree that self-esteem is gendered, but what does that mean? Contemporary gender theory asserts that self-esteem is In ...