As a young woman who grew up in America, I can begrudgingly confess that, at one point or another, I was envious of another woman.
Being surrounded by media with near-impossible expectations for a woman in today’s American society is arguably the most challenging aspect of my life.
It is these expectations, which I am unlikely to ever reach, that wake the green-eyed monster within me. And it usually isn’t until years later that I realize how arrogant and unnecessary my own victimization is.
Because I live in this large boiling pot of a nation, I may never meet someone who looks or acts exactly as I do. Sickeningly, instead of being grateful for my unique character, I often find myself upset. While my traits may be undesirable to some (including myself) in particular circumstances, my traits are a mystifying combination of human nature and societal nurture.
Instead of appreciating this one-of-a-kind mixture that is my personality, I am constantly searching for someone who has a seemingly more desirable combination of nature and nurture.
I envy the girl with naturally straight hair, fair skin, big eyes and a small waist, and I blame her for my discontent. I manipulate myself into believing that my lack of confidence and appreciation is a direct reflection of her success. As if all the karmic power that might exist in this world is working negatively upon me in an attempt to balance out her seeming perfection.
Everyone envies some different person or trait of a person because society nurtures us to envy whatever we are not. And this green-eyed monster within is may seem small and insignificant at first, but it will feed on our insecurities and grow until it is bigger than every compliment we’ve ever received, every goal we’ve ever reached, every lesson we’ve ever learned.
It’s our responsibility as a compassionate human race to encourage each other for every seemingly insignificant thing that we are.
Tomorrow morning, when you wake up and remember to brush your teeth, give yourself a pat on the back. Tomorrow afternoon, when you treat yourself to a healthy and tasty lunch, thank yourself with something sweet. Tomorrow night, when you’re tucking yourself into bed, remind yourself that you are one-of-a-kind.
Realize that there is no need to envy another person’s smile, figure or lifestyle. Our differences are the reflections of everything that’s great in our American culture.