Without a doubt, I am a creeper. I can sit with my coffee at the mall and watch people. All. Day. Long. It’s not just the mall. I’ve discovered the best place to pursue a degree in anthropology is at our local bluegrass festival (ROMP). Here, there are people with glow in the dark hula hoops, bare feet, no showers or razors, flowers in hair, and, as my son observed, there are “lots of belly buttons.” It’s a people-watching paradise.
In my years of being a stalker, I have observed one thing: women are constantly sizing each other up. If a man were to look at random women the same way that we gawk at one other, we might call him a pig. At the very least we would tell him to “quit it!”
When a woman walks into the room, she is being evaluated from head to toe—by other women.
You know … you see her across the aisle at Target and she is breathtakingly beautiful! Her outfit matches, and by the looks of her hair, she has obviously showered. She just looks like a Pinterest dream, sipping that 750 calorie Mocha Latte. You pause for a moment and think, how does she pull of those skinny jeans? Her children are with her and of course they are like angelic ducks in a row. In disbelief, you hear them say, “Yes ma’am” and “No, thank you.”
Two minutes into watching this perfect lady we lust … we want what she has … we want to be her. Yes, as women we are way more likely to lust after each other than after Magic Mike. I have lusted after women for years!
What we are lusting after is an illusion; a perfect life doesn’t exist! The grass is always greener, right?
I am confident…Until I see someone who looks better, sings better, is funnier … then my insecurity comes out.
Comparison will kill our joy and hurt our relationships!
Comparison will always lead to competition. Our relationships with those around us evolve into a Darwinism/Hunger Games type of mentality. It’s the survival of the fittest. Let’s hope the “odds are ever in your favor!” In order to avoid extinction, we work very hard at surrounding ourselves with people who not only recognize that we are the greater species, but people who have some skills to bring to the table as well! Ok … the girl with the side braid and nunchuck skills will be on my team!
Like a proud peacock we strut around, hoping the other birds at the zoo are taking notes. “See this? Yeah, that’s right! Top that! Look what I can do! Check out my wingspan!” All along, the other birds are thankful they don’t have to balance such ridiculous looking junk in their trunk. Our years are spent manipulating and managing our entourage in a way that makes our crown a little more sparkly.
What benefit can I gain from being friends with them?
Those who reside in positions of power or influence are pursued, and we reject those with excess baggage. Do we give out compliments similar to a candidate running for office, hoping to win their vote?
Are we surrounded by a train of awesome people just like us: same political views, socioeconomic status, color, religious views, etc.?
With this mentality, we relentlessly size people up and categorize them as allies or enemies. Can they help us gain position or praise? If someone appears to be a contender for the crown, we get our feathers all ruffled. Our relationships enter the boxing ring and we have the eye of the tiger and they are going to hear me roar!
Yes, as women we are way more likely to lust after each other than after Magic Mike.
I start to pick up the bricks and mortar to build a tribute to myself. Twisted up in delusions of grandeur, I think the show is all about me. Sometimes I even go so far as to think without me, there is no show.
When my husband and I came to Pleasant Valley Community Church about 10 years ago, there wasn’t anyone to lead the music. So of course, as the pastor’s wife, I was expected to have musical abilities and lead things. I did not have any piano skills, but I did know how to play a little guitar because I used to try and impress the band guys. So, next thing you know, I was leading the music.
A year later, the church wanted to hire a full-time person who could work with the youth and also lead our music. This was awesome because playing the guitar made me really nervous (sweaty palms made it very hard to play the guitar, and besides, I had killer harmonies).
Then I found out he had a wife who could sing! Right. I thought, “She’s probably like an American Idol contestant who thought she could sing because at the last family reunion her Aunt Flossy told her she was amazing.” I knew she would be awful.
Sometimes I even go so far as to think without me, there is no show.
Then I heard her sing: she was awesome! Why? I didn’t want to share … this is my thing! (I thought: she could at least be awful looking!)
I put on my boxing gloves and I was ready to show her who rocked. When I got done singing, I dropped the mic … what now? Beat that!
And now, she is one of my dearest and closest friends (we go to Taylor Swift concerts together). But I had a chance to see the dark shadows of jealousy that existed in my heart … and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
The whole world seems to be fighting for attention. Sometimes we can be apprehensive to champion other women because we somehow think it signifies that our work is not as significant. But another person’s success doesn’t mean your failure.
We can be thankful for other women sharing their talents and beauty because they are a gift to the world. With this in mind, I can encourage other writers’ or singers’ work, and in doing so I’m encouraging women to support one another. Strong women build each other up, after all.
You’ll also like Anatomy of a Strong Woman, Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not, and How to Lose the Scale and Walk Lighter