Throwback to high school.
One time my friend's ex dated someone new. We did what many girls do. We stalked the new girl and compared her to my friend…
“YOU'RE PRETTIER THAN HER.”
“OH HE TOTALLY DOWNGRADED.”
Downgraded according to Urban Dictionary means:
"When someone goes from having something relatively good to something that is worse than the original. Often used with boyfriend/girlfriends."
So basically I called some random girl who probably is a sweet girl with dreams, a family, and insecurities, uglier than my friend. I compared my friend to a girl she didn't know. I created tension between two girls who did not even know each other.
I thought comforting words were: "you're prettier than her.”
But this comparison competition doesn't just happen in high school and college and when you're a grown woman.
It starts the minute someone tells their daughter she is "the prettiest princess.”
When we say "prettiest", it means she is better, more beautiful than any other girl. Once again, creating competition.
The truth is comparison isn't comforting. Comparison may make you feel good for an hour while crying that your ex moved on, and having a friend chime in saying "she isn't as pretty as you," but the next day you'll wake up and look in the mirror and doubt your friend's words. You'll notice your waistline increasing and freak because Sally Jane, who is now dating your ex, has a smaller waistline. You'll realize you aren't the prettiest princess, and yes, maybe the girl next to you does have better legs than you. Her chest is bigger and the girl your boyfriend cheated on you with does get more guys than you.
Comparison highlights someone’s best and worst qualities while allowing you to only highlight your worst.It may make you feel good for a second, but comparison doesn't comfort. Comparison doesn't bring you peace. Jesus does. His grace completes you.
When you compare others to each other, you begin to see the worst in your self. If you speak destruction in others' lives, you continually destruct your own.
Comparison only highlights insecurities more.
Because, truth be told, if I compared my looks to the fashion blogger on Instagram – she would probably win.
I can't compete with her, because I was never meant to be her.
And you know although there are plenty of girls who are beautiful and plenty of people who think Kate Upton is hotter than me, it does not mean there's an absence of beauty in myself. Sadie Robertson has a great blog, and that doesn't mean mine sucks because hers is great. Both are different, both are wonderful (at least I like to think lol). They don't have to be battling it out.
And you don't have to battle for the "hotter prize" with every new girl your ex takes to a formal.
Our society already puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way and to act a certain way. Why do we as women, who firsthand know how hard it is to be a girl… still decide to put down other girls?
And the thing is, this kind of stuff doesn't only happen in high school. We like to believe it only happens in high school… childish stalking, judging a girl by her social media, and comparing her to your best friend… but I've met plenty of 20-somethings, 30-somethings, and soccer moms who like to make life a competition.
Why are we women so darn competitive?
LIKE WHY DO I HAVE TO ALWAYS BE FASTER THAN THE 40 YEAR-OLD NEXT TO ME IN THE GYM.
There's no way my quads will ever be as good as hers. Nothing wrong with that. But why do I care? Why don't I focus on myself, instead of wasting energy trying to be someone I'm not?
Maybe you sometimes feel the urge to compete with your ex's new girlfriend. Or maybe you feel like your friend gets all the boys and since you don't, she's winning and she is prettier.
It sounds dumb, because it is dumb. But let me be clear – just because one girl is beautiful and talented does not mean you are not. Just because someone is scoring touchdowns does not mean you have to sit on the sidelines. Just because someone is happy, does not mean you are supposed to be sad.
Life was never meant to be a contest. Community is about connecting, not comparison.
Our one goal should be Christ. We should be pushed to know Him and not be pushed to be the prettiest girl in our group, to be more popular than his ex, or to be more successful than our "friend."
So ladies, let's stop. Stop trying to live life like a contest. We have enough women who focus on changing their relationship status and changing who they are to please society. We need more women willing to change the world.
Always remember ladies – just because another girl is beautiful does not mean you are not. Life and community was meant to be a celebration, not a competition. Run the race God called you to run, the One that leads to Heaven. AND STOP trying to compete with people who are supposed to be your teammates.
Photocreds: Loren May Photography; Insta: @lorenmayphotography