Fitness, Life, Nutrition

Creatures of Comparison

I’ve been trying to pay closer attention to my thoughts. Just this morning I was sitting at a breakfast place waiting for my friend to join me and this young woman, her daughter and what seemed to be her mother walked in. They stood in line, eyes looking up at the menu on the wall. I first noticed the young woman had a great butt and then I noticed she had on a ton of makeup. I thought, “I wonder why such a pretty girl is hiding behind all that make-up?”. When I realized I was enviously staring at her sweet cheeks (butt, not face), I quickly turned my head away in embarrassment, hoping she didn’t see me. Then I proceeded to get upset with myself for judging her both on her nice derriere and her make-up choice. Who am I to put any type of label on this woman. Good or bad. I don’t know her. Even if I did, I have no right to pass any type of judgment on her.

We do this all the time. It’s human nature. We compare ourselves to others and others to ourselves and others to others. We are creatures of comparison. If you think you don’t, I encourage you to go sit in a public place and be present with your thoughts as people pass by. She’s fit. He’s handsome. That family is tall. Why is she scowling? The thoughts will wander!

In the last several years we have seen a massive shift in the focus on body image. We are seeing muscle bound and curvy women in the media replacing the dominance of stick thin women. People are recognizing that “thick thighs” and “tummy rolls” aren’t the end of the world. There’s a voice for women to not be ashamed of their body anymore. I am not saying this is a bad thing… in fact I think it’s a strong step in the right direction. But, I do think that we are still missing the point. We are still comparing and putting emphasis on body image.

Fit. Fat. Skinny. Ugly. Pretty. Strong. It’s all judgment. It’s all labels. It’s all wrong!

Sure, we aren’t expected to starve ourselves to fit into a size 2 jeans and have abs like fitness models anymore. But, we are still focusing on what we look like. Why not instead stop the frickin’ conversation all together and instead talk about how we feel… healthy, high energy, confident, functioning guts/regular poops (you may want to save this one for good friends and your doctors). But for real, let’s stop labeling ourselves and others based on our physical appearance. I try hard to do this with my clientele and myself.

This doesn’t mean it’s bad to have body composition goals or work on losing or gaining weight. In fact, enjoy the process and be proud as hell of yourself when you accomplish either one. And it doesn’t mean that putting on make up or doing your hair is a sin. It doesn’t mean when you enviously look at someone’s body that you’re a bad person. I’m not telling you to “let yourself go” or to stop recognizing other’s beauty, but I am saying for goodness sake, don’t let physical appearance be your primary focus.

I’m not even close to perfect. I’m not pointing fingers. I am guilty of it and I’m in an industry where people focus on it WAY too much. In fact, I opened up my Instagram feed this afternoon and after minutes of mindless scrolling, I came out of my trance and realized I was mostly looking at selfies of people who are focusing on their physical appearance in some way. In fact, I even saw a post where someone was preaching what I am saying in their text, but their photo was quite the opposite. Bare-skinned, pursed lips and sexy eyes.  Mixed message for sure! Help me Rhonda!

Do I have a cure? Nope! It’s so hard because when we see people, we see their physical appearance. But, I truly believe the more we focus on other’s physical appearance, the more we focus on our own and vice versa. It’s a vicious cycle. This is a tough one, but I think it starts with being aware of our thoughts. This morning I was envious of that girl’s fine lookin’ booty. But, I passed judgement. I recognized it, and hopefully if I continue to catch myself in the act, the occurrences will dwindle.

10 thoughts on “Creatures of Comparison

  1. You are so right…….it’s easy to turn people watching into people judging. By the way – your booty could pass for 17 yr old booty any day of the week 😉

  2. Thank you, Jenny, for your frank honesty! I’ve realized that when you compare anything to someone else’s anything you are comparing their strengths with your weaknesses. That doesn’t get us anywhere good.

    In this day and age of social media and all of the broadcasting/bragging people do it is difficult not to compare. I try to limit this myself and love when people post real stuff in their lives and uplifting thoughts and stories. Take what you want from it and leave the rest behind…it doesn’t define us or our “behinds” ????????????❌⭕️

  3. Good post, Jen. I often catch myself in those thoughts. Working on stopping it. Interesting to be on the other side of the pendulum swing, where people are “thin shaming”. As a teen and young adult I was naturally super skinny, and have a very thin daughter. The song “All About That Bass” is a perfect example of that negative comparison. It talks about how bigger is better. I’ve seen so many examples of people saying the lack of curves are unappealing. ☹️ We need to emphasize health, and inner beauty. That women come in lots of (healthy) shapes and sizes that are beautiful! ❤️

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts sweet girl. Bigger, smaller, skinnier, fatter, stronger, weaker… it’s all frickin’ beautiful! 🙂

  4. ❤️❤️❤️ you are so wise and refreshing Jenny- thank you for being unapologetically you – and saying what needs to be heard ❤️❤️❤️

  5. I would also like to add that it is also a no win to compare yourself to who you were however many years ago. Like aging is a bad thing? I only mention it because that is my own struggle. I am getting better but I have my moments. Our strengths change over time and we have to appreciate that right along with everyone else’s strengths. For now my strength is “showing up”. It doesn’t have much to do with my body but it is what I have. 🙂

    1. Love this Teri! And yes! It’s so true! Comparison to ourselves now or to our future selves or to our past selves… none of it will get us where we want to go.

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