I cheered when I first saw this graphic. I mean Buffy came out on top!
I know this graphic was just made for fun, but it really made me stop and think.
And I realized that we were doing what we always do to women. We were forcing them to compete. We were saying that only one of these women could be awesome.
Which isn’t true! They are all awesome, badass characters. (We’ll talk about Bella in a minute.) Why can’t we just appreciate and celebrate each one? The accomplishments of one doesn’t diminish the accomplishments of the others.
But this isn’t the message that we send little girls. We tell them that other girls are their competition. That only one of them can be the smartest, the prettiest, the best at anything.
And that’s just not true.
I remember when I was young and feeling that I had to compete with my friends for the attention of boys. I remember some of my friends not inviting me or some of the other girls to events because there would be boys there.
It’s pretty sad that girls do this. We purposely exclude our friends because we see them as competition.
What’s even more sad is that we carry this attitude into adult hood.
I am competitive my nature. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. But when you are jealous of other people’s success it can become one. Especially if you let it effect how you treat other people.
Just because another woman is smart, funny, pretty, and successful doesn’t mean that I’m not. Her accomplishments do not diminish mine. We can both be all those things and more.
I remind myself of this every time I feel a twinge of jealousy toward another person for their success.
I don’t want to see other women as competition. I want to be genuinely happy for them when they succeed. It’s a work in progress, but I’m getting there.
I do want to say a word on Bella. I know everyone downs her character for going in to a depression when Edward left her in book two, but personally I could relate. And I’m sure a lot of other girls could too. Not everyone has an apocalypse to stop or a Dark Lord to fight to distract them from a broken heart.
So, what do you think? How do we stop seeing each other as competition? How do we learn to be more supportive?