We all do it: is she thinner/fatter/fitter/smarter/sexier/prettier/more successful than me??? Does she have more time, more children, a more helpful husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend than me??? Does she read more/watch more crap telly/get out more/go on more holidays than me??? We started comparing and contrasting fictional characters for essays at school, and kept going right up to adulthood with the characters in our own, real-life, day-to-day dramas.
And what purpose does it serve? I don’t know about you, but all it does is make me feel bad. Even when I ‘win’ the comparison, I don’t feel happy for long. Because those feelings of envy, smugness or relief, boil down to either not liking myself or not feeling good enough. Mostly, I would say, the latter; but occasionally, perhaps, the former. It’s not something that many of us would want to admit to, I imagine. But as I’ve been on a fitness kick recently, I’ve had to realise that I’ll be the same person whatever size I am. Which means I have to learn to love the slightly tubby version of myself if I want to love the slimmer one too.
I remember going on a beach holiday with my friend Emma. Emma’s a naturally slim and beautiful (inside and out) woman, who pointed out that every body on the beach was different. There were no two bodies the same: each were unique. So what would be the point of comparing? It would be like expecting an apple to yearn to look like an orange. And that’s the point, isn’t it. That we’re all unique in so many different ways, so why compare ourselves with anyone else? Why not focus on loving ourselves for who we are, as we are. What if we could just be? And accept that we just are. Accept that we are enough, and realise that the rest, as Ashton Kutcher put it in his Teen Choice Awards speech, ‘is just bullshit’!!!