The Comparison Complex

By December 15, 2011beauty, body image

by Abby Farr

I’ve spent way too much of my life comparing myself to other women. I know I go in waves of not doing it nearly as much as other times, but I’ll catch myself rather mindlessly taking note of others outward portrayals. However, at the end of the day, comparing or critiquing myself with other women does not put my head in a happy place.

Here’s just a glimpse of how my mind whirls to far off, disenchanting places…

As I sit inside a local cafe, writing and relaxing, I take note of a shift just occurring in the room. I turned my head, to see a young lady collapsed to the ground. By the time the paramedics arrived. She was surrounded by those who went to help. I was feeling worried for her, wondering if there was anything I could do. Then, sadly and just as quickly, I found myself struck with distraction by another woman on the opposite side of the room.

I had trouble not continually looking over to see this woman, who seemed so attractively fake—perfect french mani/pedi to match her shiny white teeth. I knew she could afford it based on the size of her wedding ring (and my own critical judgment). She was blonde (was that fake, too?), and I don’t know how old as she may have been hiding behind a plastic-perfect nose, and not a single wrinkle shown on her forehead. I thought how she must be filled with confidence. She sat so poised and sure.

Is that what I have to become to feel confident and secure? Surely not. I know I must look deeper to wonder what her life is like at home. Perhaps she’s learned this act to hide her pain in public. Or maybe this is the only reality she’s known, never letting the pain of life’s inevitable trials run deep. Is it true that all of L.A. Is like that? If I ever lived there, would that numb me to that image? Somehow I don’t think I could make it there. I’m not sure if it’s because I’d actually compare my own girl-next-door look to them, or if I would look at them and just feel drained.

Perhaps for them it’s relaxing to have all of that work done, or maybe just addicting. But it must be a huge ordeal. Even if I had the money, I’m not sure I’d feel like keeping up. For I truly believe there’s beauty in aging. The marks on a face tell a story that begs to be know. Is plastic just something else to hide behind or is it more about looking beautiful on the outside?

Either way, I couldn’t believe myself for haphazardly going into contemplation mode about this lady a good fifteen years my senior, while the young girl across the way was suffering! What is my problem? My hope and goal is to pay more attention to my inner beauty and letting it shine, so that my outward appearance glows. Then I’ll have no need for pricy medical procedures or to compare myself with other females. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then we ladies can all make that same choice!

There is an expression, “Look at the plank in your own eye before looking at the speck in another’s.” How empowering, freeing, and how much happier we will be if we are fixed on being the treasure we are!

How do you stay grounded in truth when you find yourself playing the comparison game?

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