‘But thanks anyway…’


I am a judgmental bastard.

I look at people on the train and wonder what they were thinking that morning when they chose that outfit, or those shoes, or that insane purple eyeshadow that should be left for pre-teen girls as a free gift with their latest pre-teen magazine.

The thing is, I HATE to be judged. I am acutely aware that I am a fatty, with lardy thighs and hair that is inexplicable. I have no bite, a weird smile, and bingo wings that flap of their own volition, and to top it all off I manage to cultivate a weird face garden of wiry black hairs which require plucking on a regular basis. So who the hell am I to judge you?!

Yet I do it. And I can guarantee I’m not the only one.

I bet everyone reading this now has judged someone. Think back to the last time you were on a bus, a train, even walking up the street. Did you notice something that made you think ‘Oh love, you didn’t think that choice through did you?’ or ‘Oh dear, must be no mirrors in that house’.

It doesn’t even have to be someone you see in the flesh. I read an article this afternoon about a girls experience when she had to go for the morning after pill. Before I even read the rest of the article my thought process went like this:

  1. Oh let me guess, one night stand and doesn’t want Mr Tequila slammer guy to be a dad, primarily because you have no idea who Mr Tequila slammer guy is…
  2. Irresponsibility should not be paid for by the NHS

Those two snap judgments were made before I read the rest of the story. It wasn’t until I learned that this girl had been sexually assaulted and didn’t want to report it for fear of being disbelieved, that she took herself to the pharmacy, and got herself the morning after pill, knowing the horror of the assault was enough to deal with, never mind a pregnancy following the attack.

In that moment I stopped reading and promptly reprimanded myself for 2 things:

  1. Judging so quickly without knowing any facts
  2. So easily judging another woman

Women judging women has become something of a pandemic. We don’t seem to champion each other anymore. Why not? We don’t seem to support each others dreams and ambitions. Why not?  Is it not hard enough to be female without all of the associated negative energy that comes from having other women hate on you, or belittle you because of what? Anger? Jealousy? Fear? What is it that drives women to the point where our snap judgments are based on a stereotype, or a bias, or a story we heard about ‘Lucy the slut’ from a friend of a friend. We call the ex partners of our boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives ‘bitches’ or ‘evil’ or ‘bad mothers’, and we don’t think twice about it, despite in most cases we hate her because she had sex with your current partner first, and actually this just makes you mad, but hey if you can throw some shade for other potential shortcomings then why the hell not?

So why write this and then openly admit I judge people? Surely I am opening myself up to being judged in return?

The truth is, I can’t help what other people will say about me. I know that tonight when I go to Aquafit that no one will be judging me as harshly in my swim suit as I judge myself. And that’s also a problem. Where does it end? Even tomorrow, if the whole world stopped focusing on everyone else, stopped the bitching and belittling, we will never stop judging ourselves. I have never come across anyone who doesn’t have at least one thing they would change about themselves. I have never spoken to another woman who hasn’t had a negative opinion in one way or another, about herself. I told my partner the other night that she was the most beautiful person I have ever known, inside and out, and she returned with ‘No i’m hideous, but thanks anyway…’. No pause before ‘I’m hideous’, but a definite pause before ‘but thanks anyway…’

As women we need to start embracing ourselves. If we can never get over the things we dislike about ourselves, then how can we make steps to stopping judging others? How can we expect to walk into a room and other women to genuinely say ‘Wow, you look great’ without following it with an afterthought of ‘if everyone was blind.’

So tonight at Aquafit,  I am 100% going to get in the water and curse the instructor when she makes me do these crazy underwater exercises that are apparently ‘good for me’ and probably call her a bitch tomorrow when I ache all over, cause lets face it, having to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle is shit. But that’s not all.

I am going to walk tall into that class, cellulite and all with my head held high. I am going to TRY not to think about my wobbly belly, boobs and bingo wings and just get on with it.  I am going to refrain as much as possible from judging any other woman in attendance in her swimwear, and I am going to tell my girl that she is super sexy fine in her cozzie. Because she is, despite what she thinks about herself.

As for continuing the trend of judging other women so shamelessly, we need to just stop it. So the challenge is on. Next time a negative thought about a friend, a stranger or a colleague enters your mind, remind yourself that on your way to work this morning at least 10 people will have thought ‘bloody hell Mrs, get dressed in the dark did we?’ about you. And it sucks. So stop. Think about why that woman might be wearing what shes wearing. Champion her bravery for her bold print trousers and clashing jacket, cause hell, she might think shes the motherfucking shiz and who are you to ruin that?!

Women judging women. I’m just not having it…anymore.