Stop throwing shade: why we shouldn’t be envying other women

No matter how hard you look, I bet you can’t find one woman out there who is 100% happy with every single detail and inch of her body and with every failure and success she has ever had.

Each one of us, no matter how much self-confidence we have, has something we want to fix about ourselves.

It could be a tiny flaw, or it could be something more significant. But the sad fact of being a woman is that we often judge ourselves too harshly, and view other females as better versions of ourselves – more beautiful, more successful, more content.

Last week Sophia Loren opened up about the infamous “side-eye” photo of her staring at Jayne Mansfield’s breasts back in 1957. The actress admitted that she hates how well-known the image has become and that she refuses to autograph it.

But women all over the world loved the picture, and still do, for the fact that it made envy and jealousy of our fellow females seem a little more acceptable. Okay, throwing serious shade in public is not the best way to express your feelings, but we all do it, even if it’s just in our heads.

Envying other women might not be the nicest trait in the world, but it’s something each of us is guilty of.

We pick out other women and simply assume they have better, easier lives because they have amazing hair, long legs, or gorgeous clothes. They have all that, so they must be happier than us.

What we need to realise though, is that the woman we are girl-crushing after on the street is just another person wishing they had what someone else has. So maybe it’s time to stop lusting after a better image of ourselves and to instead focus on what it is that makes us special – what it is that would make others envious of US.

A couple of years ago, journalist Samantha Brick wrote an article for the Daily Mail titled, “There are downsides to looking this pretty: Why women hate me for being beautiful.” It’s the kind of headline that instantly makes us roll our eyes. While it does seem more than a bit arrogant to speak openly about how good looking you are and how others hate you for it, the writer did have a point about the negative interaction that goes on between women every day.

“If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering,” she wrote. “I can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background. Perhaps then the sisterhood will finally stop judging me so harshly on what I look like, and instead accept me for who I am.” Ouch.

Next time you envy (or even judge) another woman for something she has that you don’t, try to see the bigger picture. Rather than gossiping gleefully about that colleague at work or old schoolmate, ask yourself if she really deserves that kind of treatment. After all, isn’t she just another women wishing she was someone else?