I’m 21 years old. I’m in the middle of the millennial generation and I share many traits with the Generation Z kids. As such, I’m very in turned with the techie culture and slang which often includes sayings such as “retweet” or “selfie.” Because of my age and where I live (on campus with other 17-23 year olds) I hear these things being said quite often. But one thing I hear often and just cannot stand is how judgmental girls are of each other.
A girl walks by and her dress is (by some standards) short. “God, she looks like such a slut.”
A girl posts a picture she thinks is flattering of herself on Instagram. “Ugh, did you see her picture? She looks like she lives in the tanning bed.”
A larger lady heads to the ice cream section of the cafeteria. “I think she needs to lay off the sweets and hit the gym instead.”
Now, we’re all guilty of this. I know I am. So many of us judge others and make comments we don’t think are harmful. We justify our harshwords by thinking that the girl we’re judging didn’t hear us. That it’s okay because nobody heard us. But that’s not true. Cause we heard ourselves say it.
A lot of times I’ll say something mean about a girl who’s eating pasta and think, “well that’s why you’re fat.” Then I stop and realize how mean I sound. And I’m ashamed of myself. Embarrassed, really. It’s not my place to say anything about that girl’s eating habits. So where do I get the idea that what I’m saying is okay? Where do any of us get the idea it’s okay?
Why has society taught us to be so quick to judge? There’s an old quote that I love by Ian Maclaren (often wrongly attributed to Plato) “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
See, the girl we saw wearing the short dress has recently gone through a growth spurt and her dresses have gotten shorter. And even if she hadn’t, it’s NOT our place to say anything about how short or long her skirt is. It’s her body and her choice to clothe it. If it bothers you, don’t look.
The girl who posted a picture of herself to Instagram was crying in the bathroom earlier because someone called her ugly. Later, when talking to a friend, they told her to find a picture she loves of herself (self love, ya’ll?) and post it to instagram. So what if she’s tan? That’s none of your dang business. Does it bother you? Okay, examine why it personally offends you.
The overweight girl who is eating pasta is a vegetarian and there’s not a lot of choices in the caf for a veggie-eater. And your condescending look makes her feel worse about her body image. Consequently, she eats more to numb the pain. It’s a never-ending cycle. Your cruel looks do nothing for her.
You NEVER know what someone is going through. He just failed a test. She got fired from her job. His parents are getting divorced. She has to take out more student loans. Yes, people shouldn’t let others get to them, but sometimes when you’re already down, it’s difficult not to. Thus, we really need to be mindful of our words. If the person you are talking anout was standing in front of you, would you still say that? As the old saying goes,