If there is an idea present in the collective imagination, it is this: “women are the first to criticize other women”. Putting all the cards on the table, the first thing that is certain in all this is that women make much more demands on ourselves when it comes to preparing to observe. We do not always excuse a bad hairstyle or a dress that was not according to the occasion. Regardless of the background of it, yes, we are too observant and there is no detail that escapes our hawk’s eye.
Myths and certainties. Is it envy?
We can ask several questions to get to the bottom of this urban legend, such as, for example, if clothes, couples or professional success are envied. All arranged on the table, we will try to unravel the skein and find the correct answer.
In some way, all of these answers may have a grain of truth. The psychologist Cristina Wood, who has devoted herself to studying stress, affirms with certainty that, if a woman meets another, wherever she may be, she automatically makes a tour from head to toe with her eyes, which men would not do. each other. They look at the clothes, the hairstyle, if she has her nails done, if she has been to the hairdresser. All the details are recorded in the retina.
For sample, a button. The professional recalls a very common fact among women. It has happened to you, surely, that you haven’t seen a friend for a long time and in the middle of that coffee that they decided to have together, comments arise about how beautiful each one is or if she is thin or fatter. It is an automatic tendency that we have, almost a code of understanding.
The origin of everything: the cultural question
Who do women dress for? It is a question that is always put on the table and prejudices of all kinds arise: if they dress for men, for themselves or to seek the tacit approval of other women.
According to experts on the treatment of anxiety and stress in Madrid, Spain, the automatic response of women regarding aesthetic issues is a question of cultural origin. We women stay in the details, we can see carefully because it is something we grew up with and that is how we have been raised, these professionals clearly explain. Indeed, as children we admire our mothers, we want to be great to be like them, to dress like them and finally put on their heels. Dr. Wood explains one more detail about it. In the environment in which we live, society itself, everything is always conducive to making value judgments about women, where the physical comes before everything else. She affirms that this critical look affects women a lot to the point that, when opening the closet door, they prefer to choose what looks good, not precisely for them, but for others. She assures that women are afraid of being criticized for it and we end up dressing as we think we like, but maybe we don’t take that new dress out of the closet that we still don’t dare to wear. This fear also ends up anchoring in that desire to dress as other women do, she affirms that more than seeing ourselves in the mirror, we hope to see ourselves similar to other women, to which she decides the great majority that it is correct to dress.
When envy and competition meet
It is a dangerous mixture that usually occurs between women, but it is not recognized as such, but rather an excuse is unconsciously sought to support us or we initiate a psychological process by which we justify that attitude. Thus, the British psychologists Susie Orbach and Luise Eihebam, authors of books such as “Bittersweet”, make a pertinent comment on the matter and it is that for them, in female friends, what affection, love, competition and envy implies dissolves to become something that finds shelter in more psychological aspects, such as self-criticism.
It is likely, as explained by these two professionals, that the success of other women, even if it is someone who has our affection and belongs to our closest circle, generates mixed feelings in us. They agree that if a woman stands out from the rest of the group, it is seen as a fact that involves risk. Other women may feel threatened.
In short, what exists is a cultural background, based on the education received, on what we feed ourselves from when we were very young, preconceptions, assumptions, such as fears and personal insecurities. A woman usually “gets scared” if another could achieve what she did not dare to do, either because of fear or because she has not been able to identify some problem of need or unrealized and repressed desire. In this sense, the specialists, Eichebam and Orbach affirm that many women believe that it is better to stay in their comfort zone, where they feel safest: “we have to stay where we are and continue to be what we are”, they reaffirm.
We do not perceive men in the same way,
neither in the physical nor in the intellectual aspect. Women do not demand so much of them when it comes to observing any detail, either in the labor and professional field or in the physical aspect. What happens is that we level with women, because we are emotionally similar and we assume that they can discover our defects, in any field, much more effectively than men who can be overlooked. This is confirmed by Dr. Wood, when she assures that if we have a female boss, we consider that she would easily find any error, that a male boss would not notice, she assures her.
In short, it is that among women we are more demanding, something that does not happen among men.