"Anyone can be there for you when you're crying, but it takes a real friend to be happy for you when something good happens."
My mom used to tell me that all the time.
As women, even from a young age, we have such a hard time being happy for one another. Lifting one another up. Supporting one another. Somehow, it's engrained into us from a very young age that another woman's success is somehow our failure, making jealousy our natural and immediate reaction, even when that other woman is our friend.
It happens at all stages of life.
She has a boyfriend and I don't.
She drives a new car and I drive a used one.
She's getting married and I'm not.
She's having a baby and I'm not.
She got a promotion and I didn't.
She has more Instagram followers than I do.
She's comfortable in a bikini and I'm not.
Her life is perfect and mine isn't.
And how about the women we don't know?
She's such a bitch.
She doesn't deserve that raise.
He's only into her because she's easy.
She's an idiot.
I bet she slept with him for that raise.
Need I go on?
Look - it's okay, you don't have to be ashamed! We have all felt this at one point or another, even about our closest friends. Unfortunately, it's very normal. Sometimes it's so innate that we can consciously recognize how ridiculous it is to be jealous, but we simply can't shake the feelings of self-doubt, low self-worth, envy and loneliness.
But just because it's commonplace doesn't mean it's okay.
Ladies, let's get real - we face a whole mountain to climb each and every day. From the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed, our responsibilities are endless. From looking good, to being "cool," to succeeding in our careers, to having a social life, to taking care of our families, to keeping up with our favorite TV shows (those Facebook spoilers are a real drag!), we have a lot of hats to wear all day.
With all of the institutional struggles of being a woman (healthcare, childcare, birth control, the wage gap, sexual harassment, sexual assault, common sexism, etc.), do we really need to be mean to one another on top of it?
I'm calling for an end to the madness.
It's time to start being nice to one another. To assume the best about one another. To start having each other's backs.
The next time you see a woman that you'd normally be jealous of, try to genuinely compliment her and know that she's facing struggles just like you.
When you see a girl with something you want, know that there's still plenty out there for you.
If your girlfriend gets engaged to Prince Charming tomorrow, scream and cry and pop the champagne just like you hope she would for you.
And if the girl you really, genuinely, honestly can't stand gets that raise at work,
take a second,
fix your lipstick,
and remember that your worth has nothing to do with her.
Empowered women empower women.