There’s been a recent spate of studies and stories about the harmful aspects of female friendships. Psychologists, sociologists, and laypeople alike have been sharing statistics about and tales of competition, backstabbing, bullying, sexual shaming, and other hateful, damaging, and downright terrifying things that we women do to each other. Things we don’t generally consider doing to men. And it’s quite true that women can be cruel and manipulative, jealous and petty. We’re incredibly effective at devising ways to hurt one another because we know exactly how difficult it will be to bear our attacks.
Originally posted 2011-02-21 06:11:04.
Reader Martha sent me an e-mail telling me about her recent style reawakening, and I just had to share:
I have begun working with a stylist here in Austin over the last year, as a part of my post-40, post-motherhood self care. Yesterday, when she sent me the digital photos of our styling session I had a huge shame reaction. We are “stepping out there” with my style — which, honestly, is a more true expression of my inner self. But I had this “You can’t!” reaction about it when I saw the photos and I think it’s about being seen. I used to dress to hide. The more I dress to express my true, colorful, audacious inner self, the scarier it gets. Especially as I am determined to love the body I have now, instead of wishing it were 20 pounds thinner or 10 years younger. So, the suggested topic is “personal style as a way of allowing yourself to truly be seen.” And how to deal with the fear that comes up sometimes.
Originally posted 2010-04-21 05:49:00.
This comment has been rolling around in my brain since the moment I read it:
It’s much less socially acceptable for those of us who love our bodies to express it than it is for women with body image issues to do so. It’s easy for female friends to commiserate about their body image issues. If a girl wants to diet, though she probably doesn’t need to, her friends will sympathize and support her. If a girl genuinely loves herself the way she is, she is probably viewed with spite, derision, or at least suspicion. I guarantee there are more body-loving women around you than you realize, and they keep it to themselves because they feel the negative body image crowd will view it as bragging or doesn’t want to hear it.
Originally posted 2009-04-22 06:08:00.