Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Trash Talk

I don't watch a lot of TV unless I'm working out in my basement on the elliptical machine, which could quite possibly be the most boring piece of workout equipment (aside from your standard treadmill) on the face of the planet. I'd love to say that I spend my time while I'm working out catching up on some sort of edifying spiritual DVD or meditating on Scripture, or even to listening to uplifting music. Instead, I watch my favorite trash TV channel, E! Entertainment News (and Gossip, of course). And no other show quite holds my attention like my favorite (for the fourth year running), Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I often question why I am so fascinated by Kim, Khloe and Kourtney and their outrageous behavior (and you might be questioning me at this point, too...).

Yesterday (sadly, yes), my favorite show wasn't on and I was forced to resort to flipping either one channel up or one channel down, which gave me (surprise!) two equally charming (please hear the sarcastic tone here) options: Big, Rich Texas and Real Housewives: New York City. Instead of picking one, I just flipped between the two. Both shows feature women (where are the men in these shows? Apparently not quite as entertaining as the back-stabbing, hissy-fit-throwing, sassy-mouthed women) who, in a nut-shell, were mean girls who grew up to be mean women (just my opinion you understand). I was a little aghast (and also admittedly a little {gasp!} entertained) at the behavior of these women. As I watched, I started thinking about how absurd the whole concept of these two shows actually is.

I also started thinking about how we as women can be so unpleasant and mean sometimes (I'm not leaving out men here, simply focusing on my own gender). There are, of course, mean people everywhere, but instead of being part of the solution I sometimes find myself as part of the problem. Listening or taking part in gossip, making snide or disparaging comments about someone, or even just making unnecessary facial expressions {insert eye roll and deeeeeep sigh} are all ways that my mean girl comes out in me sometimes. No one is innocent; we all at some point or another have done something that would have really hurt another person's feelings if they knew what we had said or done. The difference with these shows is that these women seem to take pride in the fact that they are mean, and they only try to one-up the other as they try to claw their way to the top.

Unfortunately, because these women are in the position of being watched by millions on national television, it puts them in the situation of being somewhat of a "role-model" for those of us who choose to watch and for the younger girls in their lives.

I don't have to let that get me down, though. We, as women, can (and should) come together and stop the hatefulness. We do not have to take part in what our culture is promoting as common and acceptable behavior. We can take a stand and say "NO MORE", but we have to make the effort to start in our own homes and neighborhoods. So there is no Real Housewives: SW Virginia or Keeping Up With Heather (although I might take E! up on the offer...just kidding ;)), we can still make an impact in the areas where we live, and we can be a positive role model for those around us and for those coming up behind us. We do not have to claw each other to pieces on our way to the top (understanding that the top is a lonely place to be). The relationships we form with other women can be some of the sweetest, most fulfilling ones we have, but we have to value the other person instead of using and abusing her. We can promote love and acceptance in our actions and attitudes, looking to our ultimate Role Model for direction and guidance.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

1 comment:

  1. I think we have this fundamental problem of women being pitted against each other. Society practically encourages it with the whole cat fight fixation. What kills me are the horrifying dating so-called reality shows. You will never see women acting worse than when they are facing off over a man!! And I think men egg it on because it feeds their egos. Beyond that, every magazine encourages you to compare yourself to their cover girls...

    So we are surrounded by this idea that every other woman in the world is our competition whom we either defeat or are defeated by. It's exhausting! If someone else is prettier than me, why do I have to let it lessen my value, my worth? If someone is smarter, why can't that be okay? Why does it have to reflect on me at all? I'm guilty of acting sometimes like I believe there is only so much beauty or intelligence or worth to go around, so if you have some, there might not be enough left for me. How selfish and childish is that??

    Why can't it be like the bread and the fish? Christ kept passing it out and didn't let it run out. Surely our value to him is like that. Everyone got their fill. And he isn't passing out youth, beauty, smarts and money like that because despite our willful belief otherwise, those things are gifts and are good, but we don't *need * them, really, do we?? And no one is getting a better seat in Heaven because she is just soooo cute.

    The thing to is that I feel sorry for these women who get off on these epic cat fights and either have no female friends or only superficial ones. My girl friends are a blessing to me. I have no blood sisters, but a few great sisters of the heart. The romantic relationship of a man and a woman is a beautiful mystery. But the friendship of a fellow woman, going through all the same fears and doubts as you? That is no small thing, either.

    We have to stop cutting each other down to size! It's too easy. I've got my inner mean girl, too!! And sometimes she wants to come out and play.