“‘Sisters, can we have a chat?
I feel like we all need to have a group hug or something.
I see an awful lot of claws out, both on social media and in real life, and I want to remind you of something that I think we all too easily forget.
Hang with me for a second. This is important.
How many times this week, have you heard this type of criticism whispered about another woman?
‘That girl wears so much makeup, she must be high maintenance.’
‘That girl posts too much in the mom group, she needs to get a life.’
‘That girl laughs too loud at her own jokes, she must think highly of herself.’
‘That girl posts a lot of selfies. How self-absorbed is she?’
I’m guessing you’ve heard at least one catty comment this week (if not every day).
Now, here’s a fun exercise.
How many comments like that are you guilty of making?
You don’t have to answer that. Let’s move on…
It seems to me that instead of looking for points of connection with other women—a whole lot of us are looking for chinks in one other’s armor.
We see a woman succeeded, so we look for her fatal flaw.
She’s pretty, so she’s dumb.
She’s smart, so she’s condescending.
She’s confident, so she’s a b*tch.
WHY IS THIS EVEN A THING?
Do we think our lights will shine a little brighter if we are able to dim somebody else’s?
LISTEN TO ME.
It’s not necessary. STOP IT.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret:
Every single one of us have insecurities. Every single one of us feels pain. And every single one of us is terrified of being sized up and judged by one other.
We all want to be loved. We all want to be included.
So why do we find it so hard to LOVE and INCLUDE?
I think I know.
Growing up, I was often complimented that I was ‘not like other girls’.
I loved to play sports and crack jokes and hang out with my brother’s friends. I put my hair in a pony tail and wore blue jeans.
And I wasn’t like other girls.
Because other girls were…
Hmm. I don’t know, exactly.
I guess girls weren’t all that great, since NOT being like one was supposed to be a compliment, right?
I bet a dollar that every single one of you has received such a ‘compliment’. At least once.
And you looked down your nose like ‘You’re dang right I am special’ because YOU WERENT LIKE OTHER GIRLS.
And here we all are, years down the road, still buying into that narrative that we are better off being separate from other women.
Better than other women.
Different than other women.
And I’m telling you, sisters, if you haven’t stopped thinking this way it is LONG PAST TIME. Stop.
You are missing out on so much.
Other women aren’t your competition. They are your TRIBE!
Each and every one of us can shine bright as the sun, in unique and beautiful ways. We are all so very different.”
But we have so much in common, too.
Instead of looking for one another’s weakness, why don’t we look for one another’s strengths?
Instead of competing for center stage, why don’t we take turns giving one another applause?
Instead of pulling one another apart like butchers, why not defend one another like warriors?
Instead of NOT being like other girls, why don’t we look at our sisters with pride and say
HELL YES, I am like other girls.
Look how smart she is! How beautiful she is! How confident she is! How talented she is!
Why wouldn’t we want to be like other girls?
OTHER GIRLS ARE FREAKING AWESOME.
Remember that this week.
When that societal brainwashing rears its ugly head and whispers that you need to tear another woman down…
Look for her strength. Look for her beauty.
Call it out.
Lift her up.
Make her your friend.
And discover how beautiful the world becomes when other women are no longer your enemy.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mary Katherine Backstrom. The article originally appeared here. Follow Mary on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
Provide beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with your friends and family.