Are we our own worst enemies?

Violent Acres made a good point in her post today about women and their looks.

Too many women waste their lives chasing some arbitrary form of physical perfection. There is no point to it. Even the women on the cover of Playboy magazine will eventually get old someday.

While we’re all on the subject of feminine beauty in society, let me ask you all a quick question. Why is it that a woman cannot be confident about her appearance without being referred to as ‘vain?’ After my last story, I was called shallow, conceited, vain, and full of myself…all because I had to audacity to admit that I had a pretty good body when I was 14 years old.

It got me thinking… are women sabotaging themselves?

I thought back to a very early Sex and the City episode – Models & Mortals – where they all sat around discussing their flaws. Charlotte hated her thighs, Miranda hated her chin, Carrie hated her nose, and Samantha…. loved the way she looked.

But when she mentioned that, Miranda snarkily said: “You should! You’ve paid enough for it!”

That comment never used to bother me. Until I read V’s post, and wondered a woman couldn’t be happy and love the way she looked without another woman making a snarky comment to her about paying for it (as in it’s all not natural, and was bought rather than earned).

I’ve found the easiest way to bond with women is to snark about your flaws.

My thighs are too fat.

My arms are flabby.

My toes are ugly.

I think I learned this behaviour growing up because that’s just what young girls did (and do), but trying to break yourself of the habit is quite hard. I could improve on my stomach, sure…if I compared myself to Jessica Alba, but I’m actually happy with my entire body and my looks.

But when I mentioned this to a group of gorgeous, articulate, intelligent women, they’d immediately gave me this half disgusted, snide look that made me think I was being arrogant, vain, or shallow.. then I’d get this pang of guilt and think: “Am I?”.. and slowly start to scrutinize myself until I found a flaw that I could proudly announce and regain approval of the group.

I just caught myself the other day immediately countering someone when they told me I looked beautiful that day, and I hate that I did it instinctively…

So what do you think? Are women sabotaging themselves?

V writes

I’m sick of being surrounded by self loathing people who elect to change their outsides because they have not deemed their inside worth improving. I’m tired of the notion that, as a woman, I’ve either got to be perpetually unforgiving of myself or an egomaniac. When someone gives me a compliment, I want to simply say, ‘Thank you.’ I do not want to feel compelled to argue or immediately start listing my faults. I’m tired of bulimia being the new black.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.