The female-on-female nastiness that prevails our society has always boggled my mind. It comes in many forms, from teenage bullying to shows specializing in fashion criticism. I’m not saying I’ve never looked at someone and said “Wow, why would you wear that?” I have. Often. It seems it’s built into our DNA to criticize one another. But sometimes it goes too far…
Gabby Douglas: This 16-year old U.S. Olympic gymnast became the first African-American to win an all-around gold medal (gold in all gymnastic events). She seems to defy gravity and is stunning to watch. But some people decided to focus on her hair. (story here) Seriously? The girl has more gold around her neck than I have in my jewelry armoire, and you want to pick on her about her hair. Sad.
Anne Curry: One of the better morning TV journalists in the nation, Asian-American Anne Curry managed to bring poise (and some illusion of journalistic integrity) to The Today Show. You’d think that would be enough for her bosses. Apparently not. In a recent interview, she said they made fun of her wardrobe and encouraged her to wear ridiculously high heels. (I often see shoes like this on TV hosts/journalists and think “When did stripper heels become workplace appropriate?!?!?”) I saw Anne Curry’s dismissal by NBC as one of those “their loss” things, but it seems like she was being mistreated, so maybe she’s better off.
Isn’t It Hard Enough? Being a woman isn’t easy. Being a teen-aged girl is harder in some ways. Being a minority woman is the hardest. We don’t need to make it more difficult on each other by being catty.
Stop the Madness: We have to do better. We are setting the example for a younger generation that’s already fixed on an artificially-created ideal of what they feel they should look like. Being barraged by a constant message of “even if you’re pretty, you’re going to be criticized” does nothing to help the problem. It’s ridiculous that women are criticized for getting cosmetic procedures and criticized if they look old. (Does nobody else see the hypocrisy in this?) Encouraging and participating in this behavior does nothing to further the cause of female equality. It’s time we all figure that out.