Allies, Not Enemies: Women Empowering Women

Let me be honest here. I used to be that person who sat in the corner of the room and envied the pretty girls; the ones who were smarter than me, more popular than me, seemingly better than me in any way, shape or form, and when I say ‘envy’, I mean that I despised them. I saw them as a threat or rivalry but it was my own insecurities, as well as the way that society made me think, that produced this unnecessary hatred. It wasn’t and it isn’t acceptable, and, looking back, I can’t even believe that that person was me. I’m sure that we have all been guilty of this at least once in our lives and the problem is that we often don’t even realise that we are doing it at all.

The reason that this kind of thing is so prevalent, in my opinion, is due to the fact that women are so often pitted against each other in the media. We see it every day. It’s always ‘who wore this better’ or ‘who’s dating whose ex’. Even in movies and television, there’s usually the typical ‘nice girl’ and ‘mean girl’, more than likely put into a love triangle with some guy where they compete for his affection and do everything to make each other’s lives a living hell. It’s weird to think about really, but I’m pretty certain that being exposed to these things from such a young age is why we often react the way that we do. It has been so largely normalised that it’s almost as if it’s just a natural response to be at war with one another. We can’t be on the same level; someone always has to be on top.

On the other hand, you’re not going to get along with everybody and, just because somebody is the same gender as you, doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends. Some people are really just not very nice to be around and you shouldn’t feel obliged to put up with somebody who makes you uncomfortable for the sole reason that they are female. Of course, this is another story, but I think that tearing down women who we don’t even know and deliberately looking for any negative trait in them that we can find is the problem. We’re almost tricked into feeling like we have to hate each other, often for no apparent reason at all.

Women have had to endure so much discrimination and mistreatment throughout history and, sadly, these are battles that we still fight to this day. Especially in regards to recent events, we should be standing together more than anything else. Even if it’s just something small like letting someone know that they are killing it right now, or that their makeup looks good. You know, drunk girls in a bathroom on a night out kind of style. I mean, how amazing is it to be in the girls’ toilets on a night out? Everyone is so lovely and encouraging and you suddenly make ten new best friends in the space of five minutes. Why can’t we be like that all of the time? And yes, I know that supporting one another is about more than just the little things, but I believe that it is the best and simplest place to start.

I currently work in retail, so I regularly come across all kinds of women shopping for little bits and bobs; usually asking my opinion on how something looks or if it suits them. I’ve kind of made it my mission at the moment to compliment at least three people that I serve on a daily basis. If I like your hair, I will tell you. If your coat is pretty, I will tell you. If that necklace looks amazing on you, I will tell you. And, you know what, you’d be surprised how lovely and rewarding it is to just be nice to people and for them to be nice back. I’m not about purposely giving other women dirty looks (I do have a resting bitch face but it’s unintentional, I swear!) and I’m much more interested in being your friend rather than creating some weird, pointless feud.

I am so proud to be surrounded by so many wonderful, strong, brave and beautiful women no matter their age, race or walk of life. I’m not threatened by these people anymore; instead, I am inspired and motivated and liberated. We need to stop comparing ourselves and we most definitely need to stop saying things like ‘real women have curves’, or ‘she wears too much makeup’, or ‘she’s a bitch because she’s dating a guy I like’. Imagine living in a world where we are all real women. A world where we respect and appreciate each other’s differences and strengths Where we’re not enemies, but allies. That’s the world that I want to live in, how about you?

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