“Look at her… She thinks she’s cute.” *said with cutting eyes and pure disdain*
This is often something we hear (or say) in response to the sight of an attractive woman. Luckily, I don’t hear it as much now, but it stayed on the lips of my adolescent school peers who were painfully aware of the power of an attractive female. Even then, I knew something wasn’t right. I couldn’t fully analyze the statement and extract the dripping bits of self-loathing, but I automatically knew the problem was with the one doing the speaking, not the one being spoken about.
I mean, just listen to how it sounds. “She thinks she’s cute,” as if being pleased with one’s own appearance is some sort of crime, punishable by cutting glances and mean-spirited taunting. Women and girls are so pressured to meet unrealistic physical beauty standards that, really, you can’t be sure what “she” thinks. She, just like you, may have been convinced that her beauty isn’t enough. She, just like you, might not even be aware of how wonderful she is. Or maybe she is aware. Either way, the problem is most definitely your own.
The truth behind this statement is, “I think you’re cute, and that bothers me because I don’t think I’m cute.” This is the subconscious reality most people know nothing about. They think they’re exposing someone else for thinking too highly of herself, but really they’re exposing their own sense of self worth. There is a saying I heard that I find to be true: “Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours shine any brighter.” There is nothing but truth in that statement. Perhaps I should print it up on some t-shirts, or maybe a billboard. Women need to hear this.
It seems there is a finite amount of space for attractive women in our society, so we constantly have to keep score and sabotage others to solidify our own spots. God forbid someone else truly likes herself. That’s nothing but a nagging reminder of the fact that we don’t feel the same way. True beauty starts within. Cliche, I know, but true. We can never reflect a recognizable image of beauty if we don’t start with a firm sense of self. Our facial features won’t matter if we’re filled with jealousy and envy. Our impressive clothes won’t matter if they’re only a cover-up for shabby self-esteem. Our cute hair styles won’t matter if we’re only using them to hide our true selves. All of this comes pouring out to create an ugly picture that everyone can see.
The next time you feel the need to comment on how cute someone else thinks she is, stop and ask yourself how cute you think you are. Get in touch with the feelings of inadequacy that are prompting you. That’s the only way we can find peace in our lives and truly be happy.