I teamed up with my cousin, Mercedes, to write this post for today. Enjoy!
Honestly, this entire post was prompted by a photo I saw on Facebook a few days ago. It was a photo of Jennifer Aniston with a caption that read: “50 years old and still better looking than Kim [Kardashian]”. My first reaction was to ask why one of them has to be better than the other. They are both arguably two of the most attractive people I’ve ever seen. Then it got me thinking, why, as a society, are we constantly pitting women up against each other? There has always been this inherent need to be prettier than, smarter than, more successful than, etc. Why does there have to be a clear winner in every situation? We should be celebrating each other’s beauty, intelligence, and accomplishments. Why is it that we can’t be happy unless we are in a better place than those around us?
We all understand the struggle that our fellow females endure. We know the insecurities they face when they look in the mirror and the fear that engulfs their minds when they have to walk alone at night. So why are we so wrapped up in comparisons and getting a leg up– especially when we should be supporting others and ensuring their advancement just as much as our own?
I’m constantly hearing girls around me saying things like “oh shes such a prude” or “did you hear that she’s slept with like 20 people?” News flash: none of it matters. No matter what we do with our personal lives, we are going to be criticized by the people around us because that’s the reality of the double standards we live with. So why do we as women feel the need to add to the putting down? If a girl wants to wear a crop top and short shorts, I’m happy that she has the self confidence to show off her body. If she want to put off starting a family to climb the professional ladder, congratulate her on her drive. Lets praise each other, not put each other down.
We as women have been taught from a young age the mold we are supposed to fit in. Although this mold has changed over time, many ideals remain the same. You are to never be “too” anything– too pretty, too smart, too loud. You are to hold your tongue, sit still, and cross your legs. So when ladies don’t fit into this mold, we feel the need to pit ourselves against them. But what we’re doing accomplishes nothing. When you are doing something unconventional the one thing you yearn for is support, instead of opposition, right?
We need to stop using “than”. We are all so incredibly unique as individuals that it is almost impossible to accurately compare each other. Jennifer Aniston is absolutely not comparable to Kim Kardashian and vice versa. Each of them have their unique personas that make them the beautiful, successful women that they are. It is impossible to be “prettier than” someone else because you are both pretty in your own ways. You cannot be “smarter than” someone, because how can your intelligence measured in the first place?
At the same time, it’s easy for us as “average” people to compare ourselves to the airbrushed, personally trained, obscurely dieting celebrities that are featured in the exact tabloids and clickbait that prompted this whole post. But the reality is, that isn’t realistic at all. In fact, the average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs about 140 pounds. The average clothing size for women in the U.S. is between a 12-14. The average income (disregarding gender) in the U.S is $50,756– certainly not enough to afford a daily personal trainer or dietician. While it may seem like these celebrities are what’s “normal”, it’s important to remember that normalcy lies within each and every one of us. We are flawed and unique. We are strong, passionate human beings that deserve more than to be pinned up against each other and consistently compared.
This issue is tricky because we are constantly surrounded by a society, fueled by the consistent presence of media, that perpetuates this unhealthy way of thinking. But I truly believe that we have the power to solve this problem; the solution lies within each and every one of us. We can start by not supporting this kind of rivalry. We can speak out, refuse to buy these tabloids, and refrain from sharing this garbage on social media. We have the power to make the change, it’s just a question of whether or not we are willing to actually do it.