Conventional wisdom tells us that we dress to impress the opposite sex. Ads put out by the beauty industry encourage women to imagine how male observers will respond to this perfume or that low-cut blouse. But this is only part of the story when it comes to how we imagine our audience when we’re getting ready to leave the house.
In reality, other women can be much more observant – and much more critical – of the subtle details of color, style, and trend than the average man. What is it that makes so many women feel like they need to bring each other down a notch? And is it possible that there’s a better way to be? If you’ve ever wondered why women judge each other so harshly, you’re not alone.
In this thought-provoking new video from #IPEtv, Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, asks us to consider what life would be like if women could treat each other with more kindness.
Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Greetings friends, this is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today’s Topic: Why Do Women Judge Each Other So Much?
I pose this as a question, and I think it’s a very important one.
I think this is especially important in light of weight, body image, beauty, and our relationship with food.
I used to think that it was the men of the world who were giving women a big complex about food and weight. I’m not sure why I thought this from a young age, but I did. Perhaps I might’ve heard some women complain that men want this or men want that.
But what I’ve continuously noticed over the years is that women can be a little harsh towards each other in this realm. And indeed, the more I’ve known men and observe them in relation to women and weight – the more I believe that men have more room and acceptance for women and their bodies than do women.
So let me tell you a story:
I’m 19 years old, and I’m on a bus in New York City. Like most 19-year-old boys, I don’t know much about anything, though I probably liked to think that I did know a lot. The bus that I’m on is quite crowded. There’s a lot of conversation and chatting, and a lot of energy. This is the Big Apple after all.
So the bus makes one of its stops and onto the bus comes a young woman. But she wasn’t just any young woman. She was clearly quite beautiful. Now I know it’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I certainly know this to be true, but I’ve also noticed that there are certain cultural agreements around what beauty is or can be. When this young woman walked onto the bus, I had an extremely fascinating experience.
The entire bus went silent. She had the kind of beauty that was clearly show-stopping. There was literally a hush. All eyes were focused on this young woman. Even though I was a 19-year-old know nothing, I knew enough to know that I’ve never witnessed something like this. The way this person’s beauty impacted everyone was absolutely fascinating. There were no empty seats on the bus, and the young girl had to slowly move through to find a place to stand. I was literally watching people watching her. I’d never done something like this. It even seemed to me that the women were eyeing her as intensely, if not more so, as any of the men.
Once the bus got moving, and the young woman found her place, two women who were sitting right next to me, who were approximately in their 50s and who were obviously friends, turned to one another. One of the women said to the other in absolute disdain, “Did you see those horrible shoes she was wearing?”
Now if you would’ve given me $1 million and 1000 guesses beforehand to anticipate what these women would have said to each other about the beautiful girl walking onto the bus, I would never have imagined it. Honestly, I had no idea that this young woman even had feet, let alone shoes.
I was initially dumbfounded by the comment. I had no idea what it meant or where it was coming from. What I knew for sure was there was contempt. I felt the judgment and the criticism.
And it hurt.
Have you seen this?
Have you noticed how women can talk about each other?
Have you noticed how there seems to be a culture amongst so many women where they criticize others when it comes to weight, looks, beauty, how much they eat, how much they didn’t eat, how skinny they are, how fat they are…?
In my observation, it’s not easy being a woman in this world when it comes to looks and weight.
In my observation, I also believe that women need to step up and make it easier for each other.
There needs to be a stronger sense of community amongst women in this realm.
I think women need to be more supportive of each other.
I think women need to uplift each other more.
I think women need to celebrate each other more.
I’d like to see less competition amongst women when it comes to beauty or weight.
So if this resonates for you in any way, I invite you to examine the conversation that goes on in your mind or the conversation you indeed speak out into the world when it comes to other women, food and weight.
Do you judge? Do you say harsh words? Do you gossip? Do you look to elevate others? Do you celebrate other women? Are you kind and supportive to the women or girls who are younger than you? Are you respectful and loving to the ones who are older than you?
Women have a major untapped resource – and that resource is each other.
What goes around comes around.
Love and support those around you, and that love and support magically returns right back to us.
I hope this was helpful my friends.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions and we will be sure to get back to you. Thanks so much for your time and interest.
In the comments below, please let us know: Why do you think women judge each other?
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