I have been writing this post in my head for a few months now. On Saturday something happened and it made me decide to finally commit these thoughts to text. Why on earth are girls/women so mean to one another? It’s something, that sadly most of us encounter at one stage or another in our lives. Starting from the playground and taking on a life of it’s own during teens. I had hoped our sex, might at some stage, finally grow out of. Sadly at the age of 41 and having been insidiously insulted by an older woman, over my appearance, I fear that women being bitchy to other women, is here to stay. That said, I’m rather hoping that when I hit my 80s, other ladies won’t be bitching about my using Tena Ladies (I’ve had four children, I’m preparing for the inevitable,) or the fact that I have bucked the trend and gone for a pink rinse instead of the usual blue ….
So what happened on Saturday to make me so mad? I had a much longed for night out, dealing with chronic IBS and being on so many strong pain killers, have meant my nights out have dwindled into non existence. In fact it had been six months since I had thrown caution to the wind and let my hair down. So I was ridiculously excited to be going out, a chance to have time away from my children. A chance to let off steam and have a good old girly catch up with one of my closest friends. Plus I got the chance to put on makeup and wear a pretty dress.
We chose our favourite bar in town, one which we have frequented over the last few years, mainly because we like the atmosphere and inclusivity. I love a bar where you can meet a seventy year old man one evening, or spot a guy with an excellent mohican the next. Anyone and everyone is always welcome and that’s what makes it a great bar. No pretentiousness and no need to be under twenty five, always a plus in this old gals book. On the flip side, this makes being judged on my appearance by a random stranger, all the more annoying.
Why do other women feel the need/right to comment on other women’s appearance, in such a negative fashion? Friend and I were having a grand old time, drinking wine and catching up, we were putting the world to rights, at least our small corners of it. Then a random lady decided to talk to us. We politely listened to a lengthy tale about her quitting her job and privately sighed with relief when she let us carry in our own conversation. Sadly though our previous politeness meant that, she felt the need to talk to us again later and this time she brought the insults. She wasn’t down right rude but almost worse it was thinly veiled insults, dressed up as well meaning concern. She criticised the pair of us, about our appearance.
To me, it was you’re a big girl, but it’s alright because you’re well proportioned. You’re a large girl but it’s alright because you dress well. My son wants to dance with you, because you remind him of his fiancee before she lost four stone in weight. Now as a bigger girl, I’ve had a lot of these sorts of comments over the years, sadly almost always from other women. This time they were twice as painful, because 2 and a half years ago I weighed 15.7 stone and have since worked extremely hard to lose over 4 stone and have managed to keep the weight off for 18 months. Now I’m a size 14 and extremely happy about that. Not the worst comments a girl could hear, but for me my weight is my Kryptonite. I’ve long been judged for my appearance and quite frankly I’ve had enough
Don’t get me wrong some mean comments have come from men, but the majority are from women. Shouldn’t we be sticking together as a sex? We know only too well what it’s like to be objectified. We often feel immense pressure from the media and society in general, over the way we look. If I had but a penny, for the amount of times I’ve cried over my weight, I would be a rich woman. So why do it to each other? Most women on a night out have put a lot of thought and time into their appearance. Even when you have simply looked in the mirror and thought, ‘sod it ,that will do.’ You never go out and expect negative criticism on your appearance. Any such criticism invariably hurts, even confident girls can feel it’s cruel bite.
Shouldn’t we be kinder, more supportive to each other? It can be a wonderful thing to receive a compliment, particularly an unexpected one. May be we should remember that it really doesn’t matter how we look and cheesy as it may be, what’s inside really does count. So give it a try, pay a compliment to another woman, fight back against the ridiculous socially constructed idea of beauty! Stick up two fingers to the media and tell a girl you like her dress/hair/makeup/figure. I bet you she will thank you for it.