Thursday, August 16

Mean Girls | Guest Post | Corin Leigh Jackson

Today is a slightly different post from the norm. Firstly it will not be myself writing to you lovely lot, no no, it will be the absolutely gorgeous Corin, from OH! is for openminded. Secondly, it's not going to be a ramble about her favourite lippy or new handbag. Oh no! Prepare yourself for some girl on girl 'politics' ladies (& gents if you're reading)....

Mean Girls: Why do women dislike each other?
‘Jealousy, like the flawed love that bears it, has no respect for time or space or wisely reasoned argument. Jealousy can raise the dead with a single spiteful taint, or hate a perfect stranger for nothing more than the sound of his name.’
Whilst this quote from David Gregory’s Shantaram might seem a little overpowering, I can’t get away from the truth it inspires. The last words in particular ring with an inescapable sense of familiarity: jealousy provokes the hatred of ‘a perfect stranger’ for no real reason at all.
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I’ve often asked myself whether most of the tension that seems to crop up amongst the female sex is simply due to jealousy. I’m beginning to think that it might be true. Well, not jealousy as such, more as a result of the hidden insecurities which lurk, miserably, in the depths of us all. These insecurities manifest themselves in numerous ways, one being the manner in which we relate to others, particularly those we’re in direct competition with. 
Imagine yourself walking down the street. An attractive girl about your age walks past you, it’s suddenly awkward and you have to make the sub conscious decision whether to look straightforward with a concentrated frown, look down, or smile. If you don’t smile you find yourself wondering why, if you do, and they don’t smile back, you instantly dislike her. Naturally. All the while, she was probably trying to make the same split-second decision, wondering why she made the one she did. It’s no different to when you walk past a good-looking guy. If you don’t smile, it’s because you don’t want him KNOWING that you think he’s hot, combined with the fear that he fails to smile back. I’d quite like to focus on this idea of knowledge and the problem we seem to have with people knowing how attractive, or confident, or better off they seem in comparison to ourselves.
Unsurprisingly, I’m going to bring Facebook into the mix. It dramatises the concept brilliantly. For example, a fairly average looking girl (I’m not being mean here, just honest), with an overly photo shopped profile picture will, nine times out of ten, receive more positive attention for it than a naturally pretty or ‘fit’ girl with an eye-catching profile picture. The reason? If she’s decidedly average, she deserves a confidence boost, and gains support simply for being non-threatening to another girl’s self-esteem. People don’t think the pretty girl needs a reminder of how good she looks, when in reality of course, she does. We all do. I’d love to give some photo examples here but that really would be mean.
For some unknown reason, and we all do it, we struggle to compliment those who look or come across better than we do. It’s a persistent flaw that resides in a large proportion of us. What I’d like to know is why the hell we are all so insecure? Surely by now we’ve grasped the concept that just because someone is more conventionally attractive, doesn’t mean they have a life to be envious of, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they are any less insecure. After all, insecurity if often masked with a veil of confidence.
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It has dawned on me that we’re so harsh on ourselves that we’re becoming even harsher on others to compensate for it. Either we take a disliking to someone because they don’t live up to our standards, or because (more likely) they exceed our own capabilities and we feel threatened, beaten even, by them. Don’t get me wrong, competition is natural and healthy –we’re designed to compete for a partner in life, we’re genetically programmed to compete for survival. I get it. However, we also use to think that women were designed to have children and not a lot else, and we soon did something about that. Isn’t our generation of women designed to take expectation and tell it to piss off? I thought so.
As much as it’s hard to come to terms with the notion of disliking strangers, what I find even more difficult to grasp is the extent to which friends, good solid friends, seem to dislike each other too. I think, in many ways, friends are in even more direct competition with each other. The dynamics are emphasised further still where a friendship group is concerned. Not only within that friendship group, but in a form of rivalry from one friendship group to another. It’s madness when you think about it. We’re all the same really. Then again, that alone is a problematic thought for a lot of us.

I think what we all have to bare in mind is that just because somebody seems happy as Larry bouncing around Facebook in their size 6 leopard print bikini, it doesn’t mean that their any less insecure than you or I. Remember when you were at Primary school and one of the golden rules was to treat people how you’d like to be treated? Well, it’s still true. There is nothing worse than when a girl says ‘I hate her, I don’t know why, I just do.’ We all do it. It baffles me. Let’s not. 

I'm so blown away by Corin's incredible writing style, and this post feels perfect for my blog. We should all be sharing a little bit more love in this blogging (and real life) world, don't you think?! If you want to read some more wonderful pieces by Corin, then hop on over to her blog. Literally, I get lost in it for hours. Plus, she's actually gorgeous..Lauren Conrad the II anyone?

And a lovely little note from the lady herself: I'd just like to say that it was actually Megan herself who inspired the thoughts behind what I've written - she's just so damn nice! And an absolute pleasure to work with. Blogging is the perfect way to build relationships - the security of being able to be who you wish will triumph over any lurking insecurities...
Corin x

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