Looking back to my high school years, I recall the frequency in which my girlfriends spoke things like, “Girls are so caddy” as if it were some unwritten, non-debatable truth.
Looking to the popular culture narratives that bombarded us (and they seem not all that different today) sitcoms, movies and storylines seemed to uphold the same expectation and stereotype:
Women stab each other in the back.
It seems as if everywhere I look, from magazines, teen TV shows and Hollywood films, the unquestioned narrative of women pitted against each other have been weaved into our consciousness.
With multi-billion dollar cosmetic, apparel, and dieting industries profiting off the basis of us not feeling good enough, the rate of sexual assault and rape experienced by women worldwide holding depressing statistics, and patriarchy creating a wide web of inequalities, including the wage gap of women and men for the same work, you think we’d be banning together instead of splitting each other apart.
The truth is, a great deal of this very problematic paradigm that does not celebrate and uphold the brilliance of the feminine thrives on the basis of women being divided.
Girls, there are enough forces in the world aiming to chew us down and make us feel less than perfect.
Let’s refuse and reject the social conditioning that tells us to break each other down and instead, choose to lift each other up.
We Are Not in Competition
Too often, in relating to other women, we find ourselves in the pattern of comparison. Whether in real life or through social media, we find ourselves sizing ourselves up to other sisters. This habit can be used to either diminish our own unique traits and qualities by thinking they are less than another’s, or belittling those of others to affirm our own beauty.
Another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own.
We have the opportunity to reflect each other’s unique beauty and expression. We have the chance to affirm our own worth by refusing to diminish our charm by sizing it up to another’s.
Let’s seize the moment to be mirrors to each other’s individuality and magic. Let’s choose to love ourselves and our sisters fearlessly as we are.
Choose to be a force that supports other women in feeling adequate and perfect as they are.
Be a collaborator and help sisters climb up to their greatest potential and view of themselves.
You’ll discover that when you empower women, they help lift you up too.
Dissolve Body Policing
Advertising, representation in media and the fashion industry already present us with a limited, finite window of what’s considered conventionally beautiful. And unfortunately, it does not present the loveable, strong, wide and diverse bodies, shapes and sizes we all lead our lives in.
Be mindful of how you relate to, think about and speak of your own body as well as those of your friends, family, and acquaintances.
Speaking poorly of another person’s physique isn’t only rude and straight up cruel, but it may also reinforce insecurities others’ may be experiencing in relating to their bodies.
Women already are rained down on by scrutiny seemingly everywhere in society.
Don’t add fuel to these destructive flames.
ALL bodies are beautiful, perfect expressions of creation.
There is not one type of physique that is worthy of our celebration and awe.
ALL bodies are vessels and temples of divine human potential and essence, deserving of our respect and praise, regardless of what shape or size they come in.
Show Gossip the Door
Our harsh words and judgments only have the potential to create pain and doubt in others, not to mention the impact it has on those spreading verbal poison into the world.
Let’s bring an end to upholding the stereotype of women’s disloyalty and instead learn to foster dialogues with other women, especially when they’re difficult and even ugly.
Conflict in relationships is inevitable, even within friendships with girl friends. We can either cause unnecessary rifts in our lives by bashing someone we ultimately care about behind their back or face our conflicts head on, welcoming resolution and the potential to grow from our challenges.
Find yourself babbling on about women you don’t even know? Our words and thoughts shape our reality. Do you want to live a life filled with negativity and judgment? Change your script and instead use the power of your thoughts and words to compliment the sisters in your life.
Be A Shining Example
The truth is, even if you open yourself up to other women, some may not want to take the bait.
You may still encounter sisters who will judge you and try to break you down.
You have a choice: reflect that pain by dishing more back or be a shining, open hearted example.
Celebrate your journey of dismantling socialization that has kept you separated from uplifting, life-changing connection. Be a pioneer for other sisters that may have not found their way yet.
The process of no longer tearing sisters down is one of letting down our guard and getting honest with our behavior. Because the truth is, we’ve all participated in the dissection and pushing down of each other at some point, including myself.
We are forgivable and able to move forward with greater integrity and standards.
No matter how much our culture persuades us to be divided, we have the choice to rise above that programming.
When I gave myself permission to dissolve these obstacles and limitations that held me back from connecting with other women on deep levels, I opened myself to some of the most transformative, healing friendships of my life.
The authenticity of women cheering each other on, reflecting each other’s strength and capabilities when we doubt ourselves while celebrating the harvest of our successes throughout life is a force that can heal the entire world.
Your tribe of sisters awaits you, a badass crew of comrades stoked to empower each other… all you need to do is let go of harmful patterns that push each other down and instead choose to lift each other up.
Let’s rise together.