In 1996, when Gov. George Deukmejian approved “The State Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem, Personal and Social Responsibility”, every other state in America thought California was having a laugh. Even a specialist of political behaviour at San Jose State University was quoted as saying “I can’t imagine Idaho having a task force on self-esteem”, they all said “It sounds so Californian”.
Guess what though? After the task force, headed by statesman John Vasconcellos presented the result of it’s study 3 years later that “People with a strong self-image are more likely to live productive lives”, everyone suddenly caught the self-esteem bug.
Prominent figures like Oprah declared that ‘self-esteem’ would be the buzz word for the 90s, the get-in-shape wave hit and everyone wanted to look good, the importance of self-confidence was pressed in schools and child rearing activities, one teacher was quoted as saying “They began to tell me, it doesn’t matter if a child could spell, as long as she feels good about herself.”
People were being encouraged to feel great no matter their imperfections and also treat other people with ‘unconditional positive regard’, which means everyone was brimming with self-love and also sharing this emotion with friends, families and especially strangers.
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