Even if you have a basic exposure to feminism…okay, basic exposure to Beyonce, you would have heard of the notion of women seeing each other as competition. If you are a woman or around any group of women, you most likely have either been on the receiving end or witnessed how women act when they feel threatened by another woman’s success.
Let’s be honest, how many times have you seen a woman with a really banging body and thought to yourself, “oh my god, I hate her,” or seeing a woman achieve something and felt a pang of jealously. These feelings often to lead to us bringing down other women, trash talking and running your mouth about these other woman. This is where women get the reputation of being “catty” or “bitchy”.
I get it. I’ve felt it, I’ve been a victim of it. These emotions come to us because we are made to see our own inadequacies. When another woman succeeds, it makes us question why didn’t we succeed? Often as well, there are such limited places for women in a lot of spaces, that when one woman succeeds, she wants to maintain her spot and by bringing down other women, she feels she maintain her power.
Well. This shit has to stop.
I found GRRRL clothing back about 6-7 months ago, but over the past two months I’ve really embraced the philosophy that comes with it. That women are strong and deserve to take up space and that other woman are not your competition. They run various campaigns along these lines, and #notyourcompetition has really resonated me. It was easy for me to say “yeah, other women aren’t my competition” but it wasn’t really tested. Well until now.
This week, a very amazing woman, a really good friend of mine achieved something that was once on my goal list. While it was no longer on my goal list, seeing her achieve it, made those old voices and feelings start to stir. A year ago, I would have felt an intense animosity and jealously towards her, then I would have brought myself down for not making that achievement. This time, I decided that I was going shut that down. This woman was my friend and she has worked so hard for her recognition. Not only that, now that she has achieved this goal, it shows other women that it was possible to achieve. Her success paves the way for other women to follow her. Once I was able to put my mind back on to the concept of #notyourcompetition, I was able to be happy for my amazingly talented friend. Not only did make me feel better, this mindset allows for growth of the community.
I have a friend, I have lots of friends. I am around amazing people constantly. Their successes do not threaten mine, just like my successes don’t threaten ours. The more we build each other up, the more space we take up. Next time you see somebody achieve something, instead of getting jealous or feeling threatened, look at how their success can inspire yours and most importantly, BE HAPPY FOR THEM!