Why Women Need To Stop Body-Shaming Other Women

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It's safe to say that most of us have a similar routine.

We wake up in the morning — or afternoon, depending on the night prior — shuffle to the bathroom and catch the first glimpse of ourselves: disheveled hair, maybe some leftover makeup and eyebrows spiked in every possible direction (to my fellow thick eye-browed sisters, you know what I'm talking about).

And then, we begin the process of making ourselves look presentable.

If we're lucky, once our face and hair are in order, we upgrade from the bathroom's medicine cabinet mirror to the full-length mirror to get the whole picture, to take a look at what exactly we're dealing with.

This reflection can be the most difficult of all to take in. That is, besides opening your forward-facing camera while lying in bed. That one gets me every time.

For a long time, looking at my skeleton of a body was a tough sight to see. Leave it to the glorious years of middle school to make a girl hyper self-aware and unnecessarily insecure. Or was that just me?

It was in the sixth grade when I first realized just how skinny I was. After several times of being affectionately called “anorexia” instead of my real name, or being snidely asked if I was bulimic, I started to look in that full-length mirror with a whole new attitude.

My legs looked like those of a chicken. My arms were toothpicks. And my ass — well, I wasn't sure I even had one.

Those petty remarks affected me. Was it simply thoughtless words? Or jealousy? Or just your run-of-the-mill middle school BS?

At the time, it didn't concern me; all I wanted was to get some meat on my bones and shut up those people body shaming other girls.

I eventually learned what a high metabolism was, and that sort of alleviated some of my stress. There was only so much I could do about it, and in more recent years I've learned to (cliché alert!) love the skin I'm in.

Nonetheless, I've still dealt with years of backhanded comments about my weight. And get this: Most of them have been from other girls.

I came across an article citing a survey claiming that 89 percent of American women are unhappy with their bodies.

While 84 percent of these women said they want to lose weight, there are a lot of women who want to gain weight, too. I can attest to that, and it isn't as easy as you'd think.

However, this isn't an argument about gaining or losing weight, or whether one is harder than the other. It's about the fact that the majority of women are unhappy with their bodies, and many women are making each other feel like this.

Maybe I'm making a bit of an assumption here (though I'm sure most would agree), while girls generally don't physically bully as much as boys, they make up for it with verbal and, dare I say, sneaky, passive-aggressive attacks on each other.

This goes well beyond middle school.

The fact that I'm skinny, or the fact that I, at one point, hated being skinny isn't what haunts me. What really gets me is the fact that other girls, my fellow females, have influenced the reflection I've seen.

While I've learned to love my skin and bones, I just can't seem to wrap my head around one thing: Women have come so far — we've earned so many rights, broken so many barriers, forged so many frontiers — and yet still, we attack one another?

Women have come so far — we've earned so many rights, broken so many barriers, forged so many frontiers — and yet still, we attack one another?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard guys say that girls are malicious and petty.

And sadly, they're not entirely wrong. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for women to move past these stereotypes.

As social issues like misogyny and patriarchy are being brought into the spotlight, I can't think of a better time for women to support and uplift one another.

So ladies, stop shaming each other. If you want to work toward a cause, unity is the first step.

Citations: Happify.com, Shape