Coffee Talks: Supporting Women
Another holiday is approaching, and I’ve been asked by a few ladies in my family about what I’m going to wear for Easter. I can feel the warm weather wrapping around each day more and more, and it makes me want to break out some new styles. It’s that time of year when female competition gets a bit intense too. The clothes, the makeup, how good your skin is, and what size your swimsuit is will all be things running through the mind of the women who haven’t realized that it’s 2019, and competing with each other isn’t a good look. We are all beautiful and don’t need to try and out do each other.
When I was growing up, the women around me could turn anything into a competition, and I was never a front runner. It was similar in high school too. I never had all the “criteria” to the best. I’ve had very few female friends that weren’t annoyed by my successes, which clearly shows they aren’t good friends. I’ve just always been around very competitive and down right catty women, and that’s pretty sad.
Skin Deep Beauty
I will always have a fair complexion, and when I was in junior and senior high, going tanning was what the girls did. I went once, but I burned the underside of my butt and thought it was stupid, so I never went again.
My family was always big on being tan too. Half of the women are naturally tan, because we have a hodgepodge of heritage, but a few are fair skinned like me. Between the mean girls at school and my family, I’ve been called every name that had to do with pale skin from pasty to Casper. I stopped caring a long time ago, because I’d rather have healthy skin. I still tell my mom she needs to stop tanning so much, but there are a lot of women who feel the need to compete even into their 50s. It goes beyond vanity, and I hope it will start to change soon.
I don’t understand why some women haven’t grasped the concept of supporting each other, but it’s still an issue. I have run into a few women who still manage to slip in a catty remark in these last few weeks, and it really surprised me. It’s a new year, and women are doing so much. We are growing and dominating. We speak up now. We stand together, but I guess these few ladies didn’t get the memo.
I was recently handed a pair of yoga pants from someone I know and asked what size I was. I didn’t think anything of it, until she made the comment, “well, since you’re working out a lot, maybe they will fit you soon.” That was said after I already told her my size. The pants happened to be exactly my size, but I guess she thought I was lying. The tension could have been cut with a knife, but I just said, “cool, thanks!” She walked away in a huff, and I think I won? To be fair, no one wins when we aren’t supporting each other.
Growing as a Woman
Whether it’s a dig at something superficial or how I raise my kids, I’ve learned to handle them all in different ways now. My family likes to remind me that when I was in high school, I was a force. A mean girl didn’t stand a chance with me after I decided I was going to stand up for myself.
I didn’t just learn how to fight, I learned how to play their damn game. There was a mean girl who always ended up in front of me in the lunch line. She would push her way there, mind you. She would criticize what I ate and just call me names and laugh.
One day, I snapped. I didn’t break her scrunched up little face like I wanted to. I fought her way. It took me less than five minutes to make her cry. All I did was tell her I was sorry her parents didn’t love her enough, and I’m sorry her friends only liked her because she had a cute brother. I may or may not have mentioned that I didn’t need a fake tan and name brand clothes to feel beautiful too. A few of the girls behind me nodded as she walked towards the bathroom crying, because she had bullied them too.
Now, I don’t know if I would have handled it the same. Out bullying the bully seemed like the best option, but I’m still not so sure. My mom still warns people not to mess with me, or I will tear them apart. While, it was a helpful way to stop mean girls without actually fighting, I don’t enjoy hurting people in any way.
As I’ve gotten older, I just feel genuinely sorry that women still feel the need to tear each other down. I’ve talked about dealing with hateful people before, but things have changed even since then and those posts. Sure, your girl can still stand up for herself, but I prefer more of the “bless your heart” strategy now. I’d just rather support the women around me, and if they don’t want my support or are mean, then that’s where that saying comes in. It’s like a “screw you.” I’ve just learned to smile and walk away from the negativity. I’ve grown.
Can’t Control Everyone
As much as I wish some of the women in my family would let go of their insecurities, I know it won’t happen. Everyone would be so much nicer to each other’s faces and especially nice behind their backs, but some women just refuse to support each other. They live for that competition, and that’s something you just can’t control. I’d love for them to be rooting for each other, but I guess I will do all the rooting and smiling for them.
You can’t control how people are with each other or even with you sometimes. That’s why I’ve learned to let go of some of that animosity. It’s too negative to try and beat them at their own games.
I will say if someone comes at me with something snarky about my babies and my parenting, the game might come back on. As a mom, I will do anything for my kids, and if someone puts them down, “bless your heart” might not cover all of the necessary bases. That’s a situation I honestly can’t accurately predict my reaction or actions.
One thing I can control is my positivity. No matter how hard one of these women tries to compete or put me down, I’m going to stay positive. I hope that whatever insecurities or demons she has, leave soon. I hope she learns to love herself the way I have. I just think as women, we should be supporting each other. We have so much else to compete for in life. It’s time to let the cattiness go. We need to be saving the world we live in so our daughters have a better one when they grow up.