Ladies, If We Could Stop Hating On Each Other In 2017, That'd Be GREAT

Ladies, If We Could Stop Hating On Each Other In 2017, That'd Be GREAT

We need to lift each other up, not put each other down.
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Newsflash: nobody is perfect, no matter what you see on the exterior.

I bring this up because I recently overheard a girl rate another on a scale of 1-10 -- ‘a solid 7 or 8’. This was based solely on physical appearance, which struck me as a very shallow, harsh thing to say about someone.

It’s 2017. Why are we still stuck on the idea that women need to resemble porcelain dolls in order to be attractive? Not only that, since when is it OK to tell other women that they are not meeting these standards?

It’s human nature to be judgmental on occasion, and beauty is such a subjective topic. However, this does not make it OK to openly criticize other girls for things that you think they could be doing differently. My main issue with this mindset is that girls know how hard it can be to live up to such high standards. Flawless skin, long hair, toned legs, flat stomach. Does this ring a bell? Yes, these are all things that probably you’ve longed for at some point -- and not all of us have them. Attractiveness is not something that should be measured on a quantitative scale. I was appalled to know these ‘ratings’ are still used in a serious context -- that should have been left in middle school, if you ask me.

To everyone who still picks apart other people for their ‘flaws’: stop it.

I put ‘flaws’ in quotations because there’s no clear definition of imperfections. Maybe that girl with a very athletic body wishes she was a little less toned; someone else would kill to look like that. Perhaps the girl with perfectly tanned skin wants a less intense skin tone; another girl pays ridiculous money for that same look. It’s all about perspective, ladies. Think about that the next time you outwardly tell someone that they could afford to drop a few, or learn how to do their makeup a bit better. How would you feel if someone reinforced your own insecurities? Aren't you already consumed with your own thoughts about how you could look or feel better? That's what I thought.

At the end of the day, it's all about how you feel when you look in the mirror. If you're not happy with yourself, change it or embrace it. Either way, do not ever tell another girl that she's not a 'perfect 10'. I can guarantee you that she already feels that way about herself, and doing so will not help the cause. We're all in this together.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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what happens When your roommate gets married

Things will never be the same...and that's okay.

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My freshman year of college, I met this great girl. She was in my orientation class and I knew right away that she was probably the only one in it that I really wanted to be friends with. The other students were nice, but they either already had friends (sports) or were just really not my kind of friend.

And then there was Christa. She was smart, she was fun, and she had a type-A personality. Basically, she was amazing, but I was convinced she was too amazing for me.

Fast forward a few months and Christa and I start to become friends. She teaches me how to come out of my shell via funny music mashup performances and Target trips to buy light-up earrings. She also teaches me how to be real and start digging into life.

Much to my joy, Christa asked me and one of her other friends, Becca, to live with her the next year. And like that, (well, not that quickly,) we were roommates. Becca and I didn't really know each other that well, but after getting to know each other a little too intimately for the past two years, I am proud to say she (and Christa) are near the top of my favorite friends list.

Not long after we moved in together, Christa started dating a guy in our building. Not long after that, that guy, Parker, became a regular in my life, something that gives me great pride to share. In fact, Parker probably got to know Becca and me a little more than he bargained for. (Sorry Parker.)

Christa, Becca, Parker, our friend Aubrey, and I became one big family. We had Christmas gatherings, dinner, weekend hangouts, and all sorts of other bonding things together. It was great. It was fabulous.

Fast forward (again, this time a lot.) Just this past weekend, Christa and Parker got married. I'm not kidding, like actually married. This is both exciting (yay! They're married!) Sad (aw, things are a little different.) Crazy (wow, we are like adults who can do stuff like this?!) And so much more.

I was privileged to sing two songs at the wedding, one as one of my best friends made her way down the aisle on her father's arm.

Christa taught me how to be myself. Parker taught me that things (and people) aren't always what they seem. Together they teach me about love (which is weird and confusing and something I don't know if I want? Because wow so many emotions and excitements and lots of other stuff. I'll get back to you on that.)

Things are now different. I'm not living with Christa or Becca. Parker and Christa are living together. They're still Parker and Christa, but also now ParkerAndChrista if you know what I mean.

I didn't know how I felt about it, but I think I do now.

I love it.

I love their desire to honor God and show that love in their lives.

I love how happy and giggly Christa gets when she talks about Parker.

I love how Parker is great with kids and goofy and fun to be around.

And together, all of those things are amplified by 1000.

Life is different. Not drastically, but different.

I love Christa and Parker because of the love they share with every moment of their lives. I've been around them enough separately and together to tell you that they aren't perfect, but thank God they are not perfect.

I wish I could say more. It is hard to put all of my messy human feelings about this whole thing into words sometimes.

But this is a good start.

Life changes. A lot. And it is different and that is hard.

I'm not kidding when I say it's okay, though.

Not the kind of okay that makes you feel totally at peace and happy and not worried and all of the things that people sometimes mean when they say okay.

But the real okay. The okay that says, "Shoot. This is hard. I don't really like it. But I am safe. I am secure. Who I am is not determined by this situation."

Your value isn't in your relationships, your lack of relationships, the season of life you're in, or what you can or can't contribute.

Your value is buried inside of you, not hidden, but fastened tightly to you.

Your value is the light of the Creator. It's shining, even when it is dusty.

Change is hard. Change stinks (like, a lot,) but even when it stinks, you are still safe. You are still good. You do not change with the changes around you.

You. Are. Secure.

Mr. and Mrs. Titus: Basically, I know nothing of value about marriage, and maybe you don't either yet, but I know that you will use your courage to work through it all. I offer no advice (sorry about the "advice" Becca and I left for you at your rehearsal dinner...we may have used pseudonyms,) but I offer my open arms.

Always and forever.

And to everyone else: I do know something about life, and so do you. Don't forget who you are. Let go of what you aren't. Find people who love you, but remember to also love you. Always and forever.

Cover Image Credit:

Laura Peck

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