Friday, January 25, 2013

The Unhealthy Ways We Compare Ourselves to Others

It’s human nature, we all can’t help but do it, and that is compare our looks, clothing, hair, skin,  boyfriends/girlfriends, and everything else in between to another person. Many people like to claim that they don’t, but believe me they do. It’s just inevitable.

Self Discontent

We have those days, we’re on the street, browsing blogs online, hanging around school or campus, on our way to work, whatever it may be, and we see this person, someone we feel is prettier, more fashionable, just somehow better or has better things going for them than we do, and what happens? Self doubt, loss of self esteem, sadness, and just a lot of bad feelings.

And as I like doing in my posts, lets get personal. This whole topic stemmed from a personal struggle after all.

Being a young female is hard sometimes. We are constantly bombarded with ideals of beauty that are sometimes somewhat unattainable. You want to be every kind of “beautiful” under the sun but you know you just can’t do that. Sometimes I get down on myself for not being as lovely as the girl crossing my path on the way to my destination, the gorgeous beauty in a picture online with hyper feminine body features I don’t have, or not really having the “sexy”. On those last two notes, I’m referring to having a bigger bust and rump and overall “sex appeal” which are the ideal desires perpetuated by many men (not saying all, but many) and by mainstream media as well. Everywhere you look, these ideals bombard us; on TV, the internet, on poster adverts, everywhere. And I must say, that now being in a relationship, certain insecurities have become all the more apparent in me, insecurities that in the past, I could care less about. 

I’m the type of girl that doesn’t go on a jealousy trip if my man admires another woman. I for one usually join in on the admiration anyway, pointing girls out myself, as I do find women to be beautiful and I like to look at them too, but sometimes I get that twinge of self doubt when “I don’t have what she has”, and it’s tough to find a balance. It happens, we could be looking at some lovelies online, or see some pretty girl on the subway, whatever it may be, and a statement could me made that just steps over the fine line of light-hearted admiration...

And my self esteem ends up in the toilet. 

I may unintentionally compare everything about myself to the other girl, wondering what she has going for her that I don’t, why she is “better” than me, and if I’m good enough.

Talk about unhealthy.

But so many of us do the same thing, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves. It upsets me when I feel angry or flustered when I can’t be every type of beautiful for my mate, getting that feeling of inadequacy that makes you doubt if you’re even wanted, that you weren’t just “settled for”. Really awful feelings you just wish you didn’t have or could deal with better.

And it's the same for those seeking out a mate or significant other, you look at someone and tell yourself "Oh, I'm not good enough for him/her, let me not even try..." or "I bet he/she would like him/her better than they would like me, I'm so *insert self insult here*".

But how do I, or rather, how do we fix this?

Assurance From Others

I must have made it seem as though I’ve never been reassured about myself, my body, and my looks, or that I must be in the saddest relationship ever, that’s not true! Let me start by saying that I’ve been told directly and reassuringly by my bf that he loves me for ME, my body, my everything. We’ve spoken directly about some of my self esteem issues, and though I don’t feel completely secure with myself all the time, I am working to better myself with it. With time comes strength. With experience comes learning. We need to feel secure with ourselves first. You shouldn't NEED others reassurance of your looks to feel better about yourself, but it does help you toward helping yourself realize your assets and your worth. 

It’s only natural to have likeness for and attraction towards others, but that doesn’t always mean you will be cheated on or dropped by the wayside because girl/boy over there has more this or that than you. 

And it's the same for the Single and Seeking bunch—just because girl/boy over there has more this or that, also doesn't particularly mean that your worth less than they are. You can find that special someone if you work toward feeling confident about yourself first. It might take time, but go the distance.

For us women, you don’t have to have big boobs and full hips, the perfect figure, the longest and flowiest hair, the best clothes, perfect skin, or what have you; there will always be someone out there that appreciates your body and your looks for what they are, and even if they find appeal in some other attribute you don’t have, they still chose to love and admire you

This applies to the men out there as well, i.e. you don’t need rolling six pack abs, six foot tall, etc. to appeal to everyone, because that isn't what everyone in the world wants.

Looks aren't the most important attribute of a person.  

So let's break it down, you don't have to be "sexy" to be appealing to your mate or a potential mate, and me being "sexy" isn't the reason I have a boyfriend. But we must understand that sex appeal is a part of life and you can embrace it if you decide to. It shouldn't be forced on you by society or anyone else; it's your personal choice and don't forget that.

We all need to learn to love what we got going for us and make it work! 

We also need to get with others that love us for what we are despite our "flaws" and lackings. These are the things that make us who we are. If they don't embrace them, then you are better off without that person. Put yourself first.

Healthy Comparisons

Comparing yourself to another person doesn’t always need to be unhealthy either. I see girls sometime who are a lot like me, who seem confident in themselves and happy. I see girls who still manage to look sexy, cute, lovely, and fabulous with the same body type as me, similar hair to mines, similar facial features, or what have you. I look at them and tell myself “Hey, if she can do it, so can I” and then I instantly feel better about myself. 

I get friendly reassurance from my peers about my looks, not because I'm putting myself down and people pity me (which is also unhealthy), but because they genuinely admire me and I guess that's why they are my friends. Don't forget that having a pleasant personality adds to your beauty too; your inner beauty.

I look to others for style inspiration, and make it attainable for myself. If they are wearing something I can’t afford? I find an alternative. If they fill out *insert garment here* better than I could? I look for something similar that better suits me. If there’s a will there’s a way, and instead of beating yourself up about not being like so and so, just be your best YOU.

But it’s difficult. Those bad days will be there sometimes, or more times than you’d like them to be. Just take a step back and re-evaluate yourself, focus on the positive, try not to let what others say get you down, and do your best not to, if you have a significant other, chew them out for looking at or making comments about others that may appeal to them—pro-tip for a healthier relationship there. That is just human nature. It's what's acted upon that creates the issue (but that's a whole new discussion right there).

I'm trying my hardest to stick to my own advice here too.

Keep yourself happy. Don't be your own worst enemy. 


  1. Self esteem issues and general insecurities surface once you get into a relationship. So it's a starter that you at least are aware of that.

    BTW, this' Kennyata your cousin. You're taking a page out of my book by blogging about dating and relationship stuff. Great!

  2. Kennyata, hey! I didn't know you blogged as well, could you link me?

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Yep. I've been blogging for a while now (few years) but from a radical sense of dating opposed to the romcom dating advice you'll get on Dr. Phil lol. BTW, I'm a pick-up artist and a member/coach in the seduction/pick-up community.

    Anyway, I'll have to throw your site up on my blog to show some link love lol!