I wanted to write about this topic because it’s something that I think has a really negative impact on my life. Growing up my parents entered me into beauty pageants causing me at age of 3 or 4 to view other girls as competition. These little girls who were dressed up in their Sunday best were not little girls for me to become friends with or get to know, they were the enemy that I was out to destroy; while smiling and waving at the judges of course.
Here is the irony, I am aware that these girls are out to take the same prize I am going for (1st place), so therefore I must crush them, but I also need to hide the “want to win” attitude because it is not “lady-like” and it’s frowned upon.
Wow! NO wonder we are all so fucked up! I don’t know if it’s the same for boys. Boys grow up playing sports on a team where they learn about working together. I am not aware of any boy’s handsome pageants (but please let me know if I am overlooking a booming industry)
Is this why little girls grow up to be jealous and spend a lot of time vying for our position in relationships? Is this why men think we are insane? Because we are dealing with the fears that some cute 3 year old with better curls and tap dancing skills could come and take it all away from us?
I have worked really hard at appreciating other women and not feeling threatened but there is just something in my DNA that causes me to compare myself to others.
I have to bring social media into this discussion because for me, it has escalated everything. I know that people only post the best of everything on there, but there is no disclaimer.
And the worst part is that we use it for validation. As a way for us to say “I think I look good today, but that doesn’t really matter, that is really not enough…what I really need to know is what do YOU think???”
And I will incessantly check my phone to find out while I’m at the movies, driving on the freeway, or even rudely while someone is talking to me.
People say we are addicted to our phones, and I disagree. We are addicted to the narcissistic “hit” our phones give us by telling us we are ok, or better yet that we might just be awesome.
In 12-step rooms people often say we are comparing but what does that mean? From where I sit I see all of us becoming less interested in anyone’s insides and more obsessed with people’s outsides.
My daughter just turned 21; she doesn’t really remember a world without a “selfie.”
When I grew up I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about what I looked like. I didn’t constantly check myself in a mirror and I didn’t see pictures of myself the minute they happened, and that was kinda nice.
What I really want to say is that what we look like on Snapchat with or without a filter doesn’t matter, that our beauty and our worth shouldn’t be based on that—but I think those words are really late to a party that has already kicked off.
There have been days when I was feeling pretty good about myself and my life only to go on my phone and realize that others are doing so much more and I am behind in a race that I will never win, I cannot “Keep up with the Kardashians” or anyone else.
I’m sure that I am doing better than some and not as well as others but I need to constantly remind myself that I am running my own race, that people who I meet along the way are running their own race, and that even that adorable 3 year old with the perfect curls and mad tap dancing skills is not my competition.
It’s a constant battle to keep my self-worth intact while scrolling through my social media feed and sometimes I have to silently repeat to myself “I am enough.”
I was approached once by a friend of mine with who had been single for a long time and just recently got into a relationship and he asked me “Are you and your husband as happy as you look on Facebook?”
I couldn’t help but laugh, as I said, “No, of course not- have you seen my stand up??