I saw this graphic on a friend’s Facebook page last week, and I’ve been thinking about it off and on since then. I messaged her to ask if I could write a blog post about it, since the image stuck with me so intensely.
Here’s the thing: I REALLY wish it was true. But it’s not…and yet, it also IS. Yeah, yeah. I know that’s really convoluted, so let me explain. Tearing someone else down DOES NOT build me up, in fact, I believe the opposite is true. If I talk shit about someone else – especially about another woman – not only does it make me feel crappy about myself, but it very likely makes others think less of me as well…certainly not the way to shine, right?
And yet, I have plenty of recollections of conversations and thoughts from my past where I unfairly and ridiculously judged other women. I was such an asshole. I’m not sure I would call myself a bully – usually it was small-scale assholery, like whispers or sideways smirks with a friend – completely out of earshot of the person we were mocking; more often it was silent judgements about my own perceived superiority. I sometimes noticed and commented if other women had gained or lost weight, or gotten a haircut I didn’t like, or wore clothing that fit their body in a way that I deemed less than acceptable. I judged women who had sex with “too many” men, and those who “acted like a prude.” I acted superior to women who chose to terminate pregnancies, or parented in ways that I didn’t agree with, or spent their money on luxuries that I scoffed at, yet often secretly coveted. I wasn’t joking when I told you I was an asshole.
The most ridiculous part of this for me is that I didn’t ACTUALLY think I was better than these other women; in most cases, it was my own feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, and lack that lead me to judging, whilst subconsciously trying to assert and raise my own value. I was trying to unscrew other women’s lightbulbs, in some awful, ridiculous, misguided, and downright mean attempt at brightening my own. That was stupid. And pathetic. And wrong.
But I’m learning. and I’m getting better – or at least I’m trying. I’ve made some significant revelations about my own motivations, and I’ve had a BIG TIME change of heart. Now I try really hard to stay in my lane and mind my own Goddamn business, and I’ve also come to wholeheartedly embrace the phrase, “good for her, but not for me.”
You see, none of those things that I used to judge other women about are even remotely my business, and they are certainly not judgement worthy. Whatever other women choose to do with their time, their money, their bodies, and their lives is entirely up to them, entirely fine by me, and entirely none of my business, unless of course I’m trying to help them shine. I won’t be unscrewing any lightbulbs from here on out…I want women to light up the whole fucking world.