by Electa Rome Parks
I still recall the first time I heard those words spoken by the then, up and coming nationally syndicated radio host, Michael Baisden, on Atlanta’s #1 urban radio station, V-103. He has since left the station, but the memory is fresh!
“Many women have a high level of low self-esteem” – Michael Baisden. I clearly recall cringing and being totally outraged. I thought, “How dare he?” attempt to call out my African-American sistahs with such a catchy, yet degrading slogan. “He didn’t know us and if he did, how dare he air our dirty laundry.” I would hear his slogan passionately proclaimed time and time again as he made guest appearances on the show as his popularity grew.
If truth be told, I cringed because I knew women exactly like that. They were my friends, female family members, co-workers, etc. Over and over again, I witnessed it played out with the same end results. If you keep doing the same thing, you keep getting the same results. My sista-friends going above and beyond to please a man, any man, a piece of a man, just to feel love and validated. . . yet they were not receiving these things in return.
Each sad relationship story ended the same. After enduring some form of abuse at the hands of a lover, after she placed him on a pedestal, pleased him sexually, lavished him with gifts and money, accommodated his every need, took him back after he cheated, forgave him after he gave her an STD, believed in him once again as he had a baby outside the marriage---yes, it all ended the same. The lover moved on, found someone “better”, someone who respected herself or maybe repeated the pattern with another victim who was willing to give more and receive less.
When the inevitable question was asked between gut-racking sobs, “What did I do wrong?” The answer was always the same. I wanted to scream it from the midst of a mountaintop. “You have to love yourself first before you can expect anyone else to.”
Michael Baisden’s slogan touched a nerve because I had seen these women up close and personal and it wasn’t cute. My sistahs deserved so much more. Much like Kennedy Logan in True Confessions. Kennedy represents a myriad of women who have a heightened level of low self esteem due to many underlying factors. In True Confessions, simply stated, Kennedy loves the wrong man, Drake. She loves him more than she loves herself and he knows that, even thrives on that. I predict her story will make for lively candor at book club meetings as it speaks to many women who have been in or are still in her situation. Women need to take a step back and really look at themselves and ask the question. . . do I value my worth and all I bring to the table?
They are several factors that are clear indicators of low self-esteem. Do any of these speak to you? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Characteristics of Genuinely Low Self Esteem
1. Depression and/or bouts of sadness
2. Anxiety and emotional turmoil
3. Lack of social skills and self confidence
4. Less social conformity
5. Eating disorders
6. Inability to accept compliments
7. An inability to see yourself 'squarely' - to be fair to yourself
8. Accentuating the negative
9. Exaggerated concern over what you imagine other people think
10. Self neglect
11. Treating yourself badly but NOT other people
12. Worrying whether you have treated others badly
13. Reluctance to take on challenges
14. Reluctance to put yourself first or anywhere
15. Reluctance to trust your own opinion
16. Expecting little out of life for yourself
17. Social withdrawal
About the Author
Electa Rome Parks currently resides outside Atlanta, Georgia. After successfully self-publishing her debut novel, The Ties That Bind, New American Library, a division of Penguin Group, bought the rights. Electa signed a three-book deal with New American Library. All three books were immediately chosen as Black Expressions Book Club main selections and embraced as Books of the Month by book clubs across the country. Dubbed a "book club favorite," avid readers have embraced Electa's true to life characters that tackle prevalent and heavy hitting issues.
Since then Electa has become a bestselling author of several other mainstream (Loose Ends and Almost Doesn't Count) and erotic (These Are My Confessions, Ladies' Night Out, Diary of a Stalker and True Confessions) novels with Penguin Group, HarperCollins and Kensington. The self-proclaimed, Queen of Real, Electa has been a frequent guest on radio shows, has been nominated for many industry awards and has been interviewed by newspapers, AOL's Black Voices, Vibe Vixen, Upscale Magazine, Today's Black Woman, Rolling Out and Booking Matters, to name just a few. With a BA degree in marketing and a minor in sociology, she is following her true passion and working on her next novel and first screenplay.
To find out when and where Electa will be in your area, check out her website at www.electaromeparks.com, or www.facebook.com/electaromeparks. To share your thoughts with Electa regarding her work or to schedule an event, please e-mail her at email@example.com.