We can’t judge a book by its cover. We already know this. That’s not the moral of this story.
To explore why women “hate” each other is inevitably to explore envy and jealousy and the importance of appearance. In April of 2012, journalist and writer, Samantha Brick, notoriously wrote an article titled, ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful. The response to the article was largely, “she’s not pretty; she’s delusional and arrogant.” It seemed that very few people actually discussed the topic at hand—how women respond to prettier women. Among all the comments in the article that berated Brick were a few comments from women that countered her assertion and said that they actually admire beautiful women as opposed to hate them. I thought these comments were cute but dishonest, mainly because I hate pretty girls and I’m not afraid to admit it. I have good reason to hate them—biological and sociological reasons.
Looks matter. There’s no getting around it. The survival of the human race depends on it. Per Wikipedia, “Physical attractiveness is a characteristic that suggests fertility and health. These factors contribute to the probability of survival and reproduction for continuing life on Earth.” (Doesn’t that sound dramatic)? In other words, pretty women are more likely to attract mates and have babies and keep the human race going, while ugly women or women who have deviant features like this albino peacock (which in my opinion looks ethereal) are not likely to find a mate and reproduce.
What’s more, society puts a premium on pretty. To speak generally, pretty people have it easy. According to a 2005 article by Kate Lorenz on CNN.com, attractive people make more money; “attractive students get more attention and higher evaluations from their teachers, good-looking patients get more personalized care from their doctors, and handsome criminals receive lighter sentences than less attractive convicts.” Pretty women also get free stuff. Samantha Brick spoke about it in her article and model Cameron Russel briefly mentions it in her TedX talk. I personally know some striking girls who get flown out to the Caribbean and receive Mac books and designer bags as gifts. And as much as we can shrug off all of that stuff as petty superficialities, who wouldn’t want that? Who doesn’t want free stuff on occasion or a higher paycheck or preferential treatment or a larger pool of potential mates? These aren’t crazy things to want… or envy.
Resenting a beautiful woman because she’s beautiful is like resenting someone born into wealth. They don’t have to work for a lot of the things most people do just because they won the “genetic lottery.” It’s hard to sympathize with that. I’ll hate on that all day long, lol. It’s a natural response.
Like most supposedly negative emotions, jealousy and envy aren’t bad in and of themselves; the actions that might come out of them are what can get ugly. First let’s delineate between the two. Again, per handy dandy Wikipedia, “jealousy is the result or fear of losing someone or something [that one is attached to or possesses],” while envy is the resentment caused by another person having something that one does not have, but desires…” So jealousy = fear of loss and envy = resent because you want something. I’m a glass-is-half-full type of person, so I’ve been able to find upsides in both of these emotions.
Let’s start with jealousy and let’s assume you’re feeling this emotion in a social gathering. You might be the girl that’s at the gathering with her boyfriend. A STUNNING woman walks in. You notice other people, guys and girls alike, notice her. Without realizing it, you’re holding your boyfriend’s hand a little tighter as she walks in the direction of the two you. She walks past you and your boo, the man you love, and his head turns in her wake to enjoy the view from behind. You could bite his head off. You could storm out of the party. You can sneer at her and make fun of her cankles, which most men wouldn’t even notice. Or you could acknowledge that you’re worried that he finds her more attractive and that makes you feel bad. Let yourself feel bad; he might very well find her more attractive. Is that really a big deal?
In this scenario there is a fear of some kind of loss. The woman is just a trigger of that fear. Being afraid of losing something is an indication of how valuable that thing or person is to you. In relationships, jealousy can can be used to remind yourself how much that person means to you. It’s easy to get comfortable with someone and assume that they’re always going to be around. But someone always being around is never really guaranteed. So what do we do about the things we’re afraid to lose? We protect them. Think about your cell phone. If you’re like most, you probably have a smart phone and that phone pretty much contains your whole life—contacts, pictures, your bank account app, etc. It would suck to lose it. So you protect it. You have it insured and you put a case on it. You don’t throw it against a wall or drop it in a toilet when it acts up. I’m not 100% sure of what the cellphone case equivalent of a relationship is, but I do know that as soon as you recognize the value of something or someone, you immediately adjust your behavior, even if the adjustment is simply acknowledging that this thing or person really matters to you.
My solution to envy is actually quite simple. If you want what someone else has, get it. Knowing what you want is half the battle and if you’re envious about it, you must really want it. Listen to that emotion. Embrace the inadequacy or the insecurity it might cause; embrace the threat. Acknowledge it. Feel it. Let it ruuuuuun through your veins. Just don’t bottle it in and ignore it. It will come out in horrible ways if you do. But while you’re acknowledging this emotion and desire, take the time to question why you want it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in beauty, wealth and fame. Our Western society tells us that these are the things we should pursue because that’s how we define success and happiness. But that pursuit is so narrow when life has sooooo much to offer beyond that. Launching un’ruly and moving to Paris has made me start to explore living a “wider” life. I’m an ambitious and entrepreneurial person and I have and will always pursue money. But I’ve come to realize that it’s the act of building something, especially something from scratch, that really satisfies me. So I’ve started to think more and open myself up more to the things that make me happy on that “un’ruly” level. And these are things that are typically outside of the oh so coveted beauty/wealth/fame ideals.
As a result, I now guard myself against obvious definitions of happiness as well as relative definitions of happiness, i.e. feeling accomplished because you’re better—whether it be smarter, prettier, more talented. There’s always someone better. As long as human beings continue to move forward and pass the baton of human progress to subsequent generations, there will always be someone better. The danger of relative happiness is not that you’re chasing a moving target, but more that you’re defining your happiness based on where someone else is versus where you are and where you really want to be.
So, the moral of this story is to not shy away from feelings of envy and jealousy. Embrace them and use them to identify the things you want and the things you value, but also use them as moments to question what really makes you happy. Is your definition of happiness your own? It’s so important to dive deep into this question because in your pursuit of happiness, with all that there is out there to distract you, you may run in the wrong direction or not realize that you’ve already arrived.
19 thoughts on “Why Women Hate Each Other & How to Deal With It”
For anyone to get whart someone else have that they want or need, they must have the talent, to know their talent, rememeber the saying; “He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool; avoid him.
He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a student; teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep; wake him.
He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man; follow him.”
Alot of people do not know their hiden talent, or know how to find it, to use, this is the reason they spend theirr time wanting/needing what others have, they can not get it or have.
My definition of happiness is simple, being able to satisfy my simple daily need by just being happy within me, loving me,knowing me, and having the strenght to chalenge myself and accomplish my goals daily is a blessing and it makes me a happy woman everyday. Tell me are you in love with yourself enough to make you a happy person?
If you are jealous of another girl’s look out there, visit your costmetic surgeon to improve on your looks, or if you think you do not look like any one in your immediate or extended family ask your mother, or if it is about wanting to sing like Beyonce, cultivate your talent to have what you want and be who God made you to be. Be yourself!!!!
Investing your time daily to hate wealthy, beautiful, and successful people is taking 50% of your lifespan away from yourself, it is too time consuming. Test yourself, invest a day on yourself, by trying to discover yourself, you will gain atleast 20% of the 50% of your lfespan you lost back. You are more important to yourself than anyone out there. Devote your time and energy on you, because they are fulfuling their life dream while you are wasting yours on them, time waits for no one remember that!
Jealousy and envy both mean the same thing because person number one wants what person number 2 already has. Fear isn’t always attributed to jealousy, but it can be depending upon the situation. With regards to the cell phone example….the phone is the person, the case is the marriage/ring/certificate of marriage, basically the commitment that you are suppose to both have for one another. And of course the insurance would be the life insurance one would have purchased in-case, no pun intended, they die.
All I know is, if a woman even more attractive than me walks into the room and my ‘boo’ recognizes it also…we are both admiring. I can’t help it, my ‘boo’ is attracted to women that look like me! =D It helps I spent a decade working with mostly men. I am an equal opportunity admirer of physical beauty, male or female.
But, I’m also one of the ostracized by other female females, on sight, no less. My mom tells me I’m a type A personality, so, now that I’m in my 4th decade, I no longer let it bother me. I know these women are projecting their internal ugliness on me. I know it because I see it in their expressions when they look at me the first time.
However, I am actually truly saddened to see how many women that are unable to share even a tiny part of their lives with me are usually not so big into the self-care, themselves, relying instead on emotional eating and pharmaceuticals to get by. Since I am on the older side (40+, but not yet on the almost 50 side, yup, even us older ladies get the hate envy, LOL), considered attractive, and, therefore expected to hold a good example for the youngers (in my own morality, of course), I do make a point of letting everyone know about my diabetes and warn them, a. skinny people do get Type-2, and, b. do everything you can to avoid it, and, c. I am by medical necessity (I hate insulin shots and the pharmaceutical controls for diabetes do nasty things to me) relatively skinny…
That usually takes care of any envy attacks on my emotions, now a days. But, I still always remember the ugliness on those women’s faces upon first viewing me. So, beyond compassionate medical advice, or casual social interactions they initiate, this type of woman is beneath me. Why? Because I’ve made the decision I will no longer attract psychotic persons to myself.
I chalk it up to bad parenting. I come from a family of women set on each other by the matriarch who has it in for all of her female descendants. Even the Great Granddaughters. And, I saw when my grandmother’s switch of female hatred turned on for my daughter….it turned on when my grandmother could no longer lift my daughter. AND THEN: I heard all the subtle nasty phrases used on my daughter that were used on me at the same age! Age Two. Needless to say, after these memories were reawakened, Great Grandma will never see her Great Grand Daughter, My Daughter, ever again. Great Grandma will die soon, and, I already outwaited the other Great Grandma that did the same thing to my daughter (same switch turned on when she also could no longer lift my daughter)….She is dead now. And, after she emotionally attacked my female child, she never saw either of us again. I even cleared it with Grandma A and Auntie L, and, I told them why.
I believe too many females are raised by mothers who were also raised to hate females…even their very own female children. And, this is why, so many females hate other females…who can a girl trust if their mother isn’t even on their side? Therefore; female parents, be careful about letting your inculcated female hatred out on your daughters or grand daughters or great grand daughters. Some of us won’t take it, and, we will make sure you NEVER see us again. Not even for the Thanksgiving Family Reunion. Thank you.
I’ll be seeing my Grandma at her funeral, next, to make sure this evil woman is finally dead even though her nasty handiwork lives on in her female descendants. I never understood the need to see a dead body before this woman attacked my kid in front of me because she thought she had me sufficiently quelled.
Wait until you get older and your not all that anymore and your husband still wants young hotties you’ll feel differntly
Yikes, is that something you’ve experienced? If so, how’d you deal?
I think women should worked on themselves and strive to excel themselves instead of wasting time about other women plus points. There will always be someone better, richer, slimmer and more beautiful than oneself and there will always be those that are less fortunate! Why waste precious time getting green and unwanted wrinkles…
I love this article! You make a lot of great points. I didn’t even consider the fear of loss while writing my article (that has a very similar title to yours, oops!). I actually feel bad for Samantha Brick, but all the mean-spirited comments about how she’s “not pretty” and “delusional” sort of prove her point, y’know? If you’re interested, here’s my article: http://www.oomphify.com/the-truth-about-why-women-hate-each-other/ I hope you like it!
I agree completely. I just went through a very difficult situation. I
went for an interview for a job that I really wanted. I researched the
company, reviewed my interview questions and answers with several
intelligent people.(who by the way all told me they were impressed with
all of my efforts). They assured me that there was no way that I
wouldn’t get that job. I went in a very nice basic black suit, smiled,
I have 22 years of experience and the job that I recently had/the
skills and duties were exactly what they were looking for.
Unfortunately the women that interviewed me rolled their eyes through
the whole interview, they were rude and snappy and knew less about the
company than I. However they were on top and I was just a nobody pretty
women who imposed a threat. It was as obvious as the women standing in
front of me that they didn’t like me-despite my positive demeanor and
intelligence. They let me have it from the first glance with ice and
rudeness. Needless to say , I never got a call for the job.
one am so sick of it!!! It happens all the time, women whispering when
you walk by and being rude and secluding you and excluding you whenever
they can. It has nothing to do with delusions. It does exist. And it
Hi, wanted to tell you I’ve has the same exact experience in an interview, which is why I’m here reading this article. I swear the woman who interviewed me hated me on site. I even caught her giving me this icy, cold glance at one point. I don’t want to feel badly, but I do! II’m not conceited or mean, just a normal person who happens to look a certain way. I think they feel justified in treating pretty women badly because they assume they’re full of themselves (so not true). I pray that I’m not interviewed by women. They’re too biased and ruled by their emotions.
I know I’d be treated more fairly if I looked differently or even if I were a man (which sometimes I wish I was). Oh and the last part of your comment I totally understand and can relate to.
It is true, I’m very nice and social, yet most (not all) women look at me like I just killed their dog, and even full on ignore me after I ask questions in an attempt to be friendly. I find I have to be overly nice and compliment women before many will act cordial. It is hard to find female friends which sucks! However, I found that befriending other nice (not stuck-up, catty) attractive women in the same boat make excellent girlfriends :)
You make a fair few comments but I have an issue with women who are not as attractive as others as I have found they tend to be salty and negative towards attractive women, but you don’t necessarily see attractive women being salty towards women who are less attractive. Y’all just need to stop being so insecure with yourself and then you’ll stop comparing yourself to other women and getting annoyed with the ones who are better than you in one way or another.
At the end of the day, there’s always going to be someone who’s better you in something, i.e someone who’s more talented or has silkier hair or brighter eyes. You’re never gonna be the brightest bulb in the box so just learn to love yourself and you’ll stop hating on others.
Very well said!
okay I had the same experience all of you girls on this site when I started middle school lots of girls talk about me behind my back all because I had become full glow women they gave me dirty looks
You mention attractive men get some things easier too, yet men dont appear to feel threatened by each others looks in the same way women do. Men still own more of the worlds wealth then women and this is why looks give women access to wealth in the way they do. We still live in a patriarchy and one that views women as the objects in a world when men are expected to be the ones to build things. Men as a sex group tend to restrict how much of the world they will share with women, even with the women who meet the looks mandate, they may get things but they dont get to express opinions and soon get pushed back down if they try and become much other then an accessory for men. Beauty is a silent form of expression, one open to constant inspection and ridicule and one that fades with age while all others strengthen. It does not command change in the world, and it cant even ensure its always seen because the observer can always look away or walk away, after its faded it leaves nothing behind.
The fertility concept of beauty is actually a wrong one because western ideas of beauty are far away from the effects the female reproductive hormones have on the body. In Victorian times the ideal of beauty included things that today would be a sign of disease. Very pale skin, whitened with arsenic and this look was related to social class rather then any biology thing. Lower classes had tanned complexions from working outdoors, so paler skin indicated an indoor life. Victorian high class women carried umbrellas in the sun as a result. Over time though as more people worked in factories and mills and as the higher classes could afford to travel away on trains for holidays having a tan became associated with wealth. They also found out that avoiding the sun caused rickets which proves humans tastes are not always inline with biological ideals.
No woman today is allowed to be considered beautiful if she is natural looking, and how she dresses has a big say in it. Tall thinner women are no more fertile then short fatter women, infact they may be less so. I think you should read Andrea Dworkins books as they apply as much today as ever.
Good comment. I’ll check out Andrea Dworkins’ work.
Wow I liked that