British writer Samantha Brick became famous when she posted her article about the pain of being beautiful. What?? Being beautiful… a pain? Men flock to her because of her looks, she claims, and women scorn her out of jealousy. Women literally hate her for her looks.
So what’s the truth here? Is she just a self-absorbed woman with too much self-esteem? A crazy woman trying to draw attention to herself?
Or has she perhaps verbalized what all women have felt?
Women are good at beating up on each other. Really good. It doesn’t take much to alienate another one of our kind, especially if you have something that’s better than what she has. Her post wasn’t about her beauty – it was about the competition that exists among all women. I see it happen intensely between sisters, best friends, casual acquaintances… and even members of the same church.
Instead of building each other up, being glad for others, we make little digs about them to each other. We comment on any little chink in their armor, anything that shows weakness, inferiority. Why? Because it puts us above them. Just for a second. We feel better about ourselves in those seconds, walk away with a little more self-confidence.
When have you ever felt glad – even just the tiniest spark – when another woman who had bested you is brought low? When she doesn’t succeed, or is knocked off her pedestal? Maybe you haven’t felt that way. But have you ever wished that the beautiful high school girl would show up to your reunion with just a little more weight around the middle than you? Or maybe an age-sagged face that looked just a bit older than yours?
Women have the innate ability to compete with each other. Whether or not Brick is beautiful enough to warrant the hatred she claims, this scorn is not outside the realm of possibility, is it? We have such a strong God-given ability to nurture, encourage, perceive hurt. Why don’t we use it? It is said we need four positive comments for each negative. How many of you have that in your life? Probably none of us.
While we can’t make other women act lovingly, and probably will never change this norm in the world, we always have the ability to change ourselves. We looked at how many positive comments we receive in our own lives – how many do we give out?