Why do we compare ourselves?
The other day I was hanging out with a good friend whom I hadn’t seen in months. We had brunch, walked through West Village to SoHo, did some shopping and had great conversations catching up on the lost time. I felt great. I felt comfortable and self confident.
As we walked out of a store and down Broadway a street style photographer stopped us and asked if she could take a photo. I instantly said yes, thinking it was of us both. And it truly made me feel less about myself when I realized it was of my friend only. All of a sudden I felt invincible (and a bit ashamed of saying “yes” so quickly). Not that I’m not happy for my friend. She deserves the world, but I couldn’t help but feeling a bit disappointed and not good enough. Not interesting enough. Why didn’t that photographer want to take my photo? I had carefully chosen my outfit that morning feeling like the most fashionable woman on earth. Feeling good about myself. So why is it that I suddenly dropped all that and started hating everything about my body. “I’m too short, my thighs are too big, my hair looks too done, my outfit is not that cool.” Why do we do that to ourselves? I hate myself for even feeling like this and not just be truly happy that my friend just got the nicest compliments and her photo taken. I hate myself for thinking that I’m now not only too short and too wrong, but also a bad friend.
The truth is it probably just awoke that insecurity deep down inside me. That insecurity we all have. Maybe mine is just a little closer to the skin. A little more visible in my eyes. A little bigger in my smile. The truth that often lead to me feeling like I have a bag over my head and am invisible to everyone else.
Or am I wrong? Am I just focusing on all the bad things in a situation like that? Why do we compare ourselves to other beautiful women? Why do we think less of ourselves just because someone else is recognized for their existence? Shouldn’t we just be happy for them?
The answer is ‘yes’. Yes, we should be fucking happy for them. I do not know why I – we – compare ourselves. But I know that it only made me feel less valuable.
When I talked to my mom about it, I started crying. And yes, I still call my mom in emergency situations (and every other situation basically – that will probably never stop). Crying because it had made me feel really sad, and crying because I felt safe. She told me that it’s really all in my head. And it’s a dark circle. If I think less of myself, I’m going to feel like other people think less of me. And then I’m not myself anymore. When I’m not myself, why would people see the beauty in me? That question stuck with me. She’s very right. I – we – have to believe, deep down inside, that we’re good enough. Because if we believe that, everyone else will too. And if they don’t, it’s their loss.