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Before you jump down my neck, let me present my case. First there is this post by the lovely Samantha Hadadi about how she's receiving a lot of judgmental comments from women for deciding not to return to work after having her first child. Then of course was the infamous Samantha Brick article where she stated that 'other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks' and received a barrage of comments ridiculing her appearance - again, mainly from women. Lastly is this fantastically empowering response by the actress, Ashley Judd to media criticism - largely from women - of her appearance.
All very different but the common theme was how judgmental and critical women are of each other. Many of the responses to Samantha Brick said that women don't hate beautiful women, they just don't like arrogant women. Mmm... I used to know a stunningly beautiful girl called Jody who was also one of the sweetest, kindest people I've known. She never ever used her looks to get anywhere. It was depressingly common for us to be in a pub or something and groups of women who she'd never met would stand in front of her & talk loudly to each other about her calling her a 'slag' or say that she was 'just an stuck-up ugly cow who needed to be taught a lesson'. In one notable incident she was attacked by a group of girls in the toilet of an upmarket bar 'for thinking she was better than them'.
In my younger days when I was... er, in the bloom of youth, I'd know when I was looking good by the filthy looks I'd get from other women. On more than one occasion, when I was on a crowded tube I had women murmur in my ear, 'You really think you're something special, don't you? Well, you're not.' Just for the record, when I was young, I didn't need anyone to tell me how I wasn't special - no one knew that more than me.
Now there's no way I could be considered beautiful when I'm at work. Unless motor oil on the face, birds nest hair and a spanner hanging out of the back pocket is now considered attractive, in which case I'm well in there.
Anyway, I digress...
What saddens me is how so many women regard each other as the enemy. It strikes me quite strongly that we hate in each other is a projection of what we feel bad about in ourselves. Hating Gwyneth for saying things like "Sometimes Harvey Weinstein will let me use the Miramax jet if I'm opening a supermarket for him"? All that says to me is that you wish you had a big shot film producer lending you a jet. The girls who pillory the beautiful girl? Actually they're just pissed off because they don't think they're that attractive themselves.
Now I'm certainly no saint. I'll admit that there have definitely been times when I've looked at the so-called perfect woman with her great wardrobe, immaculate hair, handsome husband & all round enviable life and thought 'Bitch!' but I've learnt not to vocalise it. It's doesn't make my life any better by trashing hers. It's just going to make me look jealous and unconfident which are highly unpleasant traits.
I'm going to put something out there. Let's just be nice to each other. Really. The odds are stacked against us as women so let's not add to the burden by trashing each other. Just because someone is beautiful and successful doesn't mean that you're not. I'm not advocating schmaltzy gushing, just common courtesy and respect. It'll make all of our lives better in the long run.
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