"Yeah I guess she's pretty, but check out her thighs they're kind of massive." "She has nice eyes, but her nose isn't anything to write home about." "She just has nice hair, that's it. Nothing more." "Look at her makeup, she looks trashy, that's probably why he's dating her."
How would you feel if someone said any of the above statements about your mother? Grandmother? Sister? Best friend? Your back would probably stiffen and you'd be ready to come to their defense right? I find it interesting how females judge their own kind. I rarely hear guys break down other guys eyelash by eyelash.
I understand that it can be intimidating when a girl is placed in the presence of a superwoman. The first reaction is to find a way to tear that girl down because if she has flaws, then their own imperfections won't be so obvious.
With the rise of social media, people can now judge others in a virtual space of photos/tweets/blogs/videos. It is easy (and cowardly) to write an anonymous nasty comment about another girl online. It can be "harmless fun" to break down another person by scrutinizing their Facebook photo. An amazing fellow blogger of mine recently told me she feels discouraged from negative, bashing comments written on her blog. I'm no saint. I've said negative comments about other girls before. Who hasn't? Maybe it was the stunning girl dating that guy I'm interested in. Maybe it was the newest it model who everyone was fawning over. Trust me I've been there.
But here's the thing, I never feel good about it after. Saying something negative about someone else is like eating too much candy. At first you feel that rush and then you feel just a little bit sick down in your gut.
It shouldn't be a competition. I know there will always be girls who are: taller, smarter and prettier than me. That's the reality, but it shouldn't make me feel like less of a person. This Mean Girls quote is the perfect reminder:"Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid won't make you any smarter."
I make it a habit to compliment girls/women when I admire something about them. In PR school I am surrounded by many fashionable, talented and pretty women everyday. Instead of thinking, "Wow she looks really pretty today. I look like a total schlep. Why can't I look that good on a Monday?" I tell the person that I love their hair/skirt/nail polish etc. I've also been e-mailing fellow bloggers that I admire and sending my appreciation their way. Why keep those good vibes inside?
My amazing mother is the queen of compliments. She sometimes (much to my dismay) compliments strangers. She'll tell the salesperson or the girl sitting beside us in a restaurant that she loves her dress or shoes. While this used to mortify me when I was younger ("Ugh Mom, stop talking to strangers that's like totally uncool") I take note of the reaction of the person. The person is usually taken off guard by my mom's genuine compliment and I see that little extra pep in their step, or small smile when they turn away. I'm terrible at receiving compliments. Ask anyone who knows me and I usually stammer, blush or reject the compliment. I also think this is problematic. If someone pays you a genuine compliment there is nothing wrong with accepting it with a thank you. It doesn't mean that you're conceited or self-indulgent, instead it takes a secure, mature person to gracefully accept one. I'm getting there, slowly.
Always remember, as the Lululemon manifesto states: Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to. So today, your task is to say/tweet/write a nice message to a fellow strong, beautiful female. Spread the love & be positive! It's the only way to be.
Note: I use the terms "girl" "female" and "woman" universally and interchangeably. Everyone can decide what they feel is most appropriate for themselves. It's kind of like the B. Spears debate, "Not a girl, not yet a woman."jk.