(That is a reference to one of the more iconic High School Musical numbers, for the more uncultured readers)
Anyway, speaking of students who are all uncommonly good-looking (I’m looking at you, Zac Efron), I attend a college where most of the pretty girls look the same.
That sounds a little sad, but the school I go to has a beauty standard: short, skinny, athletic white girls with long straight hair are the norm for what is considered beautiful on my campus.
And I don’t look like that. I’m a 6’3” ex-athlete with curly brown hair, and I’m not the skinniest girl around. When I walk to class and compare myself to these girls, I’m not gonna lie:
Sometimes, I feel ugly.
And some of my friends, girls who I live with and am pretty close to, also don’t fit into the standard of my cookie-cutter PWI of athletes and sorority girls. And it’s something that we notice and talk about every day, and sometimes, the rhetoric is less than kind.
It’s hard, when these girls are the ones who get to wear cute little clothes, or who talk to the boys we like, or who seem to have all of their lives in order because, honestly, how could they not? But I am really trying to change the way that I talk about these young women, because the negativity is too much for me to handle.
My friends and I need to seriously take to heart the lesson of comparisons: don’t compare yourself to other women. Roses and daffodils look totally different, but both are beautiful flowers. It’s the same way with all women.
Internalizing the negativity that comes from this game of comparing ourselves to other people can do us absolutely no good. And saying negative things about other women just because they look different than us doesn’t solve any issues either.
It’s hard to feel 100 percent good about yourself when you don’t really fit into the standards of your school/your work/your family, but it’s so important to not dwell on the negatives. I mean, I don’t like to see the guy I like talk to a girl who isn’t me, but being rude or negative about the other girl doesn’t get ME anywhere. Being negative about other women doesn’t help us to be more positive, but just enhances whatever negative feelings we are already having.
Rhetoric and how we talk about ourselves and how we talk about each other is such an important aspect to the whole concept of body positivity, and we need to be more cognizant of what we say and how we say it, because society can already be toxic enough to our body positive journey. We don’t need to turn on each other.
After all, when it comes to body positivity, we’re all on the same side, right?