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Thursday, 16 August 2012

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


beth said...

couldn't agree more, especially with such an amazingly written post! it's definitely way too easy for us to get eaten up by jealousy, which is why i love reading blogs; it kind of turns it into admiration, if that makes any sense! loved this x

WonderfulYou said...

Oh Beth, I'm so glad you enjoyed it (as I'm sure Corin will be too!). Definitely, I think this blogging lark really does bring us all together a little more, though I do hate the bitchiness that crops up from time to time! xx

Katie Frank said...

yeah, you are totally right. you know, i always have many male friends but not girly. because many girls are so jealous and mean... i don't know why it is, but it's true.

Amy said...

This is a fantastic post. I think everything she said is very true, we all get a little jealous from time to time, it is perfectly natural I think. It is how we handle that jealousy that determines if we're little girls or mature women.

Amy xx

WonderfulYou said...

It's very difficult for girls to have a purely happy, jealousy free relationship! Ridiculous, but true. Maybe one day!xx

WonderfulYou said...

Very well put Amy. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm very happy to have Corin on my blog, she's fantastic. xxx

Charlotte said...

My parents had a framed poster in my house growing up, with the poem Desiderata by Max Ehrrmann, which includes the line- " If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself". They weren't religious, and so the poem was pretty much the mantra I was brought up on. I think comparing yourself or others is pretty much an inevitable route to unhappiness.

If we're judging on conventional attractiveness, I can't "compete" lookswise with most of my friends, but luckily attractiveness is a fairly subjective matter (regardless of what society says), so I needn't feel too bad about things. I've found someone who likes six foot tall, pasty, fairly plain-looking, gingers after all. I know I'm not the most attractive of girls, but I also know that I have other redeeming qualities (as do all girls), so it's all good.

charlotte @ charlottenichols.blogspot.co.uk

Krystalklear22 said...

I don't get it, I am always happy to compliment other girls it makes me happy to put a smile on someone else’s face, I can never dislike someone because of their looks. I am human and I do feel insecure sometimes but that is something I deal with not take out on others. This does help explain a lot of behavior I witnessed in highschool/college amongst "friends" though. Great article!

corinleigh said...

Girls I'm so glad you enjoyd my post... and even more glad that you agree. There is nothing quite like the unbiased praise and acceptance of a stranger. 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

WonderfulYou said...

Corin, I think I love you. And you truly deserve all the praise in the world, you're a very talented lady xxx

WonderfulYou said...

Definitely, hopefully we'll be able to redeem our culture as the years progress.xxx

WonderfulYou said...

I absolutely love that poem, how very true. And our wonderfully redeeming characters are what everyone should focus on :)

Thank you for the lovely comment Charlotte xx

Tanice said...

What an amazing post!

Whenever I feel I am jealous of my friends/stranger etc I try and turn it into a compliment e.g. "Oh my god your legs are amazing! I would kill for them!" Therefore you are boosting the other persons confidence!

I have a few friends which are highly competitive as they all do fashion courses. They never praise each other or give each other positive feedback about the work they have done. Instead they bitch about the others and try to put them down. I take the time to tell them individually how well they are doing because they are my friends and I am proud of them!


corinleigh said...

The feeling is mutual, I can assure you xxx

WonderfulYou said...

Tanice that's a lovely way to channel your negative feelings. Especially brave of you to confront friends too. It's always something I try to do as well. There's nothing worse than keeping something held in.


Hannah said...

Such a good post for a number if reasons, two being its well written and very true to boot!

WonderfulYou said...

Corin is a bit brilliant, isn't she?xx

Rural Life in Town said...

Amazing post. I have just spent an hour reading Corin's blog because of this! Brilliant.

It's great to read what I have been thinking. I think we all need to 'big each other up' more. Great post!


daniella-r said...

Really enjoyed reading this post. I love Corin's writing style and it really does bring to light the negativity surrounding girls' (and guys') relationship's with themselves and each other. Shantaram has to be in my 5 favourite books of all time, I never grow bored of reading David Gregory's story. So happy that quote was included; it's perfect for this post.
Some of my favourite quotes (or lyrics) are from Baz Lurhman's 'Everybody's free [to wear sunscreen] (which I saw Zoe included on her blog today- made may day to see this) anyway a quote:
'Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you
succeed in doing this, tell me how'
I love this song, I find it all quite inspiring and this quote seems apt.
Definitely heading over to Corin's blog now :)
Daniella x


InĂªs de Castro said...

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Jen Umm said...

this is incred, love the photos
Great post, thanks for sharing!

if you like we can follow each other on bloglovin :)
let me know!

Emma Louise said...

This is a brilliant post. Agree with all of it and its so well written. Will definetly be reading more of Corin's stuff!


WonderfulYou said...

Thanks Jen x

WonderfulYou said...

This makes me very happy Emma, she's so fabulous!xx

WonderfulYou said...

Ah Daniella, I really love the lyrics from that song :) deifnitely appropriate.

I hope you love her blog as much as I do. xxx

WonderfulYou said...

We definitely do! It makes me sad all the negativity that surrounds girls and their friendships.

So glad you love her blog, she's a babe xxx

corinleigh said...

Thank you everyone! I am quite overwhelmed by all of this positive feedback. What a lovely way to end the week. Time to up my game on the blogging front I think! x

S▲N said...

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xx San

Natalie Harrison said...

This is so relevent to my situation as I don't really get along with the girls i live with.
I try so hard with them as well.
Its nice to know that they might be jealous even though i doubt it very much because they are all gorgeous.

It was lovely to read, and felt like a converstation than a blog post
top banana

If you would ever like to read some of my stuff, head over to


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VioletDaffodils said...

this is a fantastic piece of writing, so truthful and definitely makes you think! xx

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