Cathy Holloway Hill

Cathy Holloway Hill

According to a Forbes 2019 survey, there are specific factors that influence how women judge each other. You may be surprised to know what the most influential factors were in the survey. Regardless of the hours spent choosing new clothes, applying makeup and getting your hair just right, nine times out of 10, you will be judged negatively on these and other factors simply because it’s the nature of women to judge each other. According to the Forbes research survey, the first thing your rivals look at when they size you up is your appearance, body image and how proportioned your weight is with your height. For the study, 2,000 women between the ages of 18 to 45 were questioned about how they formed first impressions of females.

Eight in 10 admitted they judged other women when they met them for the first time, although one in six claimed they didn’t mean to.

While 54% said they first looked at the size of a woman’s waist, 45% said they checked whether she wore too much makeup. Other areas women are judged include:

• Weight and body size

• Hair length, style and intense silent observation of whether it’s real or fake

• Smile

• Skin, complexion and manicured nails

• Height and weight in proportion to height (body size)

• Noticeable hair roots (hair colors not matching up)

• Is the “fake” tan overdone

• Shoes

• Jewelry

• The man she’s with (his looks, appearance, notoriety and is he well known)

• Whether or not she has straight white teeth

These factors are critical to our understanding of what contributes to this problem. This is your journey of self-awareness. We can’t fix what we don’t face, and facing it will help us to heal ourselves, which is where the problem is rooted. Early childhood beliefs and behaviors are a pivotal time in our lives when we observe and learn these behaviors from our mothers and other female role models. The goal is to develop relationships that are stronger, more collaborative, more authentically open and less constricted by cultural norms about gender. Girls and women can bond together for the joy these connections will bring and for the social good to which it can lead. My goal is to connect women in nurturing and loving ways — to promote positive changes for girls and women worldwide.

I encourage the women reading this column to have open conversations with your girlfriends, and each other, about your current relationships, especially when hurtful, angry or competitive feelings are involved. This is the catalyst for broaching a challenging issue and for facilitating increasingly honest discussion among women and girls. These columns will serve as a guide for parents and teachers. Also, mothers can help their daughters to think more critically about the societal messages bombarding teen girls regarding how they should think, feel and behave. It will also help them choose gender behaviors and beliefs more aligned with their true selves and decrease hatred and emotional disconnection from their female counterparts. They will learn how to manage their anger toward each other, and more importantly, get to the root of why the anger exists. 

Cathy Holloway Hill is a life design strategist, psychologist and author of “Secret Betrayal — How to Heal Female Rivalries.”

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