It was a usual day, and I was passing the time in a usual way—by bumming around on the internet.
I came across a post, one that I have seen variations of before, and probably will see variations of again. This particular post showed the bodies of two female celebrities, Madonna and Lady Gaga, and it asked the question, “Who’s hotter?”
There are many things that I could say about this post. I could say that Madonna and Lady Gaga are both intelligent businesswomen and artists who have fought to keep themselves relevant through the years, and yet, this post reduced them to their physical beauty.
I could say that both women have proved themselves to be more than mere objects whose beauty is to be judged and determined by others. As much as that is true, what I am going to discuss is the manner in which these two women were being competitively pitted against one another in the beauty stakes.
This is not a rare occurrence. Sometimes, these posts are direct, as in the above example, and sometimes more subtle, such as when people make comments like, “Girls who are *insert body type here* are much more attractive than girls who are *insert body type here*.”
This last example gets passed around quite often. Women who are larger are made to feel as though they would be more beautiful if they lost weight. However, in an attempt to validate women who are larger, internet memes produce quotes like, “Real men like curves, only dogs go for bones.”
Body weight is not the only area in which women are pitted against one another. Women who don’t wear makeup are told that girls who do are more beautiful, while women who wear a lot of makeup are told that girls who are natural are more beautiful.
The competition doesn’t end at physical beauty. Many women—especially teenage girls—feel the need to insist that they “aren’t like other girls,” suggesting there is something wrong with other girls.
It seems as though our society has decided that there is one clear way that is the “right” way for a woman to be, but they haven’t decided what that is exactly.
Some will say curvy women are hot, some will say skinny women are hot. Some will say ultra-feminine women, who enjoy doing their hair and nails, are better, while others prefer their tomboyish counterparts, who fix up trucks and live for sports. Some think Madonna is hot—others Lady Gaga.
The reason for this? There is no one way to be beautiful.
Too often, we forget that. We think that we can come up with a winner in this competition that all women are unwillingly entered into. But we can’t. There will always be someone out there who thinks you are beautiful, and there will be someone else who disagrees.
It is impossible to please everyone, so why bother? The only person you have to please is yourself. So, as long as you are happy and comfortable in your own skin, the right people will be able to see that and love you for it.
Let’s stop pitting women against one another. The idea that women need to be in competition with one another to be the most beautiful or gain the most men (if the woman in question wants a man, that is) is only hurting us in the long run.
We should be supporting one another—not tearing each other down. We should be trying to make our fellow females feel like they have value, like someone out there cares about them.
There is no use tearing each other down in order to build ourselves up.
Author: Ciara Hall
Editor: Lieselle Davidson