Sundari Morgan: Expressing yourself can help build self-esteem

Published 12:00 pm Friday, March 24, 2023

March is Women’s Month, and the topic of “female empowerment” is all the rage, but how do we apply that to our daily lives? Expressing yourself can help build self-esteem.

For me, empowerment looks like the rituals of my morning – that investment in myself. I wake up, make coffee, put on reruns of one of my favorite shows, and I get ready. I take care of my skin, I do my makeup, I put together an outfit. I carve out about an hour and a half for my morning, and I do so gladly. For me, self-care is an expression of self-love, fashion is a creative outlet, and a warm beverage makes my morning rituals feel familiar and cozy.

For other individuals, the rituals are different. Some women prefer makeup and an outfit, while others make themselves a fancy breakfast and coffee. Our routines are filled with podcasts, music, television, or sweet silence. Those who have chosen to be stay-at-home wives and mothers take delight in their homes, while other wives and mothers take delight in their businesses. Regardless of what makes us feel empowered, it’s valid and it’s important for our mental and emotional health.

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For this reason, when you look at the Instagram hashtag #SelfEsteem (which has over 3 million posts), there’s a clear and concise theme – doing the things that keep you healthy. I try to incorporate this same theme into the reels and posts on my own Instagram.

If I’m being honest, that’s why I do what I do. It’s the whole reason I founded Lex on Main, and it’s why the store is how it is. If you come into the store, you’ll notice it feels a little bit like home. It’s welcoming, it’s sensory-friendly and it’s inclusive. The lighting, music and atmosphere is soft and cozy — that’s intentional. When conceiving the idea and aesthetic for the shop, I wanted to create more than a retail store — I wanted to create an environment for women — every woman, regardless of what they looked like — to come in and invest in themselves.

Now, clothing might seem like a superficial way to invest in oneself. However, when you look good, you feel good. Now, for some women, looking good means their favorite jeans and a graphic t-shirt. For others, a floral dress and heels is the vibe. Either way, the personal investment of loving the things in your wardrobe can be highly impactful on your mood.

According to a study conducted by Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire, what a woman chooses to wear is heavily dependent upon her emotional state. And, according to Matt Johnson, Ph.D., a neuroscientist and professor of marketing psychology at Hult International Business School, “what we wear impacts our self-image and what we think of ourselves.” Therefore, we can conclude that there’s a direct correlation between our daily ‘fits and a healthy, happy mindset.

With all of the conversation surrounding mental health and self-esteem, it’s important to remember that loving oneself isn’t “one size fits all.” Just like our individual styles, our needs regarding our self-esteem and mental health are unique to each individual person. Whether self-esteem looks like your favorite lipstick, your favorite sundress or your mild boba addiction, do the things that make you happy and that make you feel good. You deserve it.

SUNDARI MORGAN is the owner of Lex on Main Boutique. She can be reached via