What is it about society and culture today that allows fellow females to criticize and bash each other just to get a few laughs out of others? Is it to feel like the bigger person or to hide their own insecurities by transferring them onto those at the butt of their jokes? Either way, women seem to be the first to name-call, the first to put down the countless photos instead of empower what she’s achieving. I can see how one can feel threatened by a successful woman, but rather than focusing on her thin arms or shapely thighs, get off your phone and do the thing you’re jealous of.
I’ve recently come across several articles about Serena Williams, currently ranked the number one tennis player in women’s singles. That’s a pretty impressive feat, one that took years of training, hard work and perseverance. She is a true competitor, a woman who hasn’t let anything slow her down; especially not scathing reviews of her physical appearance and likeness to a man. Her derriere, muscular arms and strong physique have been the subject of ridicule – sometimes even during tennis matches when hecklers were escorted out of the stadium for yelling obscenities at Williams. It’s during these instances that she is not regarded for her accomplishments but only her outward appearance, an approach that is becoming more and more prevalent as the digital and media worlds dominate.
How many of you lay in bed at night scrolling through Instagram, light burning on your face, as endless photos pop up? I know I do. Secretly, I’m there for THE COMMENTS. They’re so much more entertaining than the pictures and give a world of insight about the way both men and women think. Some of the comments are amusing, most are “tags” for their fellow friends. A majority of the time comments are mean, hurtful and borderline disgusting. Why is it that we can’t appreciate a picture of a woman without calling her too fat or too skinny or analyzing the size of her breasts? Because it’s in our nature to automatically stop and point at the things we might not like, or deem to be acceptable. I am 100% guilty of this and can guarantee that at one point in your life, you’ve done it too. The major difference is actually putting it in writing on the Internet. This is the one place where words are like tiny little daggers piercing at your heart, waiting for it to rupture. They can’t be taken back and nearly every other person who has visited the said article, photo or posting will be privy to the “oh.em.gee. You can’t wear that bikini, your love handles show” followed by giggling emoji comment. Or the girl tagging her friend saying this looks like you but you’re sooooooo much prettier.
Information overload most certainly contributes to how we view other people, how we judge them and how we react to what they’re putting out there. Of course on some level they know disapproval will follow because um, we’re human and personally I speak then think. It’s unbelievably frustrating to read about women who have done so much to be publically shamed by their peers. Even women who we might not hold in high regard deserve a modicum of respect. Case and point: Sinead O’Connor went on a rant and referred to Kim Kardashian as a C U NEXT TUESDAY because she was on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Now, anyone who’s ever had a conversation with me knows that I am NOT Kim’s biggest fan. Of course I laughed on the inside, but purposefully slurring her seemed a bit drastic even for me.
I know it’s too much to ask for; can everyone just be? I highly doubt it. But I can sure go without the slut shaming, the skinny- and fat-shaming, and the shaming of how if you don’t have curves you’re not a REAL woman. I’m talking to you not-so-funny meme.