As I was reading The Help, I paused as I read " Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I thought." This made me think. I have seen this so many times in my life but yet I have also forgotten this so many times in my life. It is easy to go through life judging others and we forget that we are really all the same.
When I first found out I was moving to Georgia back in 2002, I was told I was going to have to change my California ways. The women in Georgia did not wear jeans, nor did they really wear shorts. Dresses and skirts, at appropriate lengths, of course, were what I would be expected to wear. Make up was minimal and always touched up before the husbands got home. They cooked every night and focused on caring for their men and their homes. When the ladies got together, it was for tea, to share recipes, have lunch and other southern-belle activities.
I was given the impression that Georgia was stuck in the 1950's. I was so relieved when I started making friends, that, for the most part, we were just alike. Styles of clothing were slightly different between Los Angeles and Atlanta suburbs, but after that, my new friends were pretty much exactly the same as my California friends. The only thing that would ever give away that they were from Georgia if they were in California is the southern accent. Everything else is the same. But yet, before I moved here, I believed what I heard and thought the women in Georgia were so foreign from the California ones. We really are the same.
In my adult life, I have lived in a huge house at the beach, a one-bedroom condominium, and several houses differing in size and value in between. There are differences in the cars that women drive, the brands that they wear and the size of the jewelry that they have in these different communities. But, when you really get to know these women, they are all the same. The bank accounts may be different but all of them want the same things in life. Women want a peaceful home, happy and healthy kids, a loving husband, and some fun times to balance out the busyness of being of a mom.
Yet, we all judge each other. Those who have, often look down on those who do not. And those who do not have, often look down on those who do have. People from the North look down on those from the and the people from the South look down on those from the North. We comment on eachother's parenting styles, vacations, cars, houses, husbands, and anything else that comes our way. And, just for the record, when I say "we", I am referring to all women. I have yet to meet one who has not judged another female, ever.
We do it everyday. As women, we judge others but really are just showing off our own insecurities. If we were content and happy with ourselves, we would not be so quick to point out others differences and flaws. Seems like it would make more sense to lift each other up as women rather than constantly tear each other down. But, for some reason we don't do that.
I see the craziness in the girls as young as second grade. The catty looks and attitude from girls to other girls is surprising. But, it really shouldn't be. Maybe they are learning it from their moms, aunts, sisters and all of the female role models they run into everyday. We are teaching our girls to grow up to judge others and be ugly to each other. Strange though, since really, under it all, we really are the same, and none of us likes to be judged.
Whether we shop at Walmart or Neiman Marcus for clothes, drive a Porsche or a bike, live in a trailer or a mansion; underneath it all, we are all the same. We all want the same happiness, health and peace.
It is so easy to forget this and to judge, but the reminders every once in a while are nice.