“Why don’t I look like her?” The Trap of Comparison and How to Escape It

2017-01-19

Image: Vin Ganapathy

For years, I used to look at other girls and compare myself to them. I would become envious of the nice booties, the busts, the flat bellies, etc. I would strive to try to achieve these features and, when starving myself and over exercising weren’t working, I would become frustrated and angry.

Feeling defeated, I would look at myself in the mirror in disgust. I would think about those girls and those features I didn’t have, asking, “Why don’t I look like her?”

Comparing myself to other girls fueled my eating disorder and made recovery extremely difficult. Weight gain and exercise restriction would never make me look like those other girls, right?

But then I realized something.

It wasn’t a quick enlightenment. I went through two relapses over the course of four years until I finally realized why I don’t look like those other girls. And do you know why that is?

I don’t look like her because I’m NOT her. In fact, I never will be. I am me. I am my own person. I am unique and beautiful, as is every other girl.

No girl is perfect. We all have features that we are unhappy about, and just because another girl has a feature we want doesn’t mean we can even physically attain it.

This is why it is so important to accept ourselves and learn to love our imperfections. They make us who we are and make us all different.

So, next time you see another girl and start comparing yourself, asking that question – “Why don’t I look like her?” – remember that it is because you are not her, you are YOU! And I hope you know that you are beautiful; because you are in every single way!

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2 Comments

  • I’m so proud and honored to know this wonderful human being. She is one of the smartest, funniest, brightest, most beautiful young ladies that I have had the gift of knowing. I wish her much success in her future and her continued path to wellness. She’s the real deal, people!

  • Resonates…this…quite deeply. Yet riddle me this….WHAT do or think when one has an identical twin which COMMANDS comparison and contrast from DAY ONE?!…Eating Disorders are so incredibly difficult when while the average person can avoid mirrors…a twin sees their desired (or undesired) evolutions in the flesh?! So…so…difficult! I never wanted to be construed ‘the fat twin’…so I have tortured myself physically and mentally for the past 14 years…to have the ‘leanest twin’ crap-banner. I want, desperately…to get over this destructive mind-set.

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