“No, I’m not a jealous person but…”

I want to share a quote from an email I just got from a friend:

Distraction: Model thin and gorgeous girl from woman’s wear just walked past. My self esteem just plummeted to non existence. I HATE her and wish her lots of calories.

Why do we feel so competitive when it comes to appearance and weight? Why does a stick thin colleague elicit such a reaction? Normally I’d say it’s just X friend but really, we all do it. I was talking to some work friends today on the way back from lunch. Somehow we got onto the topic of bathing suits and how traumatic it can be to shop for a new one. I haven’t bought a new bathing suit in years and got around it last year by simply not going anywhere that required one. But I NEED one this year, hence the discussion. But it was interesting. Another quote, this one not verbatim because, well, I didn’t record the conversation:

The thing about going to the beach or whatnot is that you always know that there will be someone there who looks better than you and someone who looks worse. You just have to find that person who looks worse and use that to make yourself feel better about being in a bikini.

Again with the competing. The whole “am I the fattest person here?” If yes, then you feel like shit. If not, then you’ve been let off the hook until you notice the tiny girl in the corner or the girl with the muscles or the girl with the perfect flat stomach. And then you’re down. And you’re covering up, hiding, trying to reassure yourself that you don’t look AWFUL.

And none of these girls I was talking to had anything to worry about – all healthy, beautiful girls. And yet they were all talking and competing.

Is this something we’re conditioned to do as women? Men, do you guys do this kind of thing at all? Instinctively I’d say not but maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before.



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