Pretty Friend Envy


I have a beautiful friend named Shayna*. Ok, I have many beautiful friends, but Shayna is like – really stunning.

We are close friends and we try to help each other out when we can – by lending a supportive ear to one another, by commiserating on the challenges of parenting and by being available to share some great conversation over a glass of wine when we are so lucky.

Whenever people find out I am friends with Shayna, I will usually hear something like the following:

“Oh my God, she is so beautiful.”

“She is one of the most naturally pretty people I know.”

“Come on, she’s had some work done, right? Nobody’s just that pretty.”

I would be lying if I said that there wasn’t a little part of me that’s just the teensiest bit jealous over the magnitude with which people wax lyrical over Shayna’s beauty. But I also fully acknowledge that they are right. And she’s an incredible person to boot.

It’s what I heard the other day that bothered me the most. An acquaintance asked me if I was friends with Shayna after she saw us talking to each other. She said somewhat begrudgingly that Shayna is quite pretty and then smirked (most unbecomingly, may I add). What came out of her mouth next surprised me.

“Yeah, but she certainly knows it.”

I don’t know why, but that comment really bothered me. Here is Shayna – this amazing woman – a wife, a mother, a friend – so much more than even those labels. And sure, standing next to her makes the rest of us look like Hobbits, but still, she has never been anything but modest, humble and friendly to this woman who made the comment.

Some people wear insecurity really, really poorly. This woman is one of them. And in making that kind of assumption about my friend’s character, she also showed that she’s perhaps just a little ugly.

I realize that there is a reason why Shayna is so beautiful. It’s not just because she is physically pretty, it’s because she radiates something that extends beyond her looks. She is kind, she is generous, she is loving, she is charismatic. I can count the number of times I have seen her NOT smiling on one hand. All those things come through in her beauty – she is not just a summation of her genes.

I also realize that there are some people who will always be a little ugly. They will be ugly in the things they say, especially when it comes at the expense of others. I don’t care if your skin is perfect, you have the body of a supermodel and shampoo commercial hair - if you have to step on others to make yourself stand up taller, than you are far from beautiful.

Jealousy plays a part in many aspects of life – whether it’s with looks, intelligence, success, fame – that green eyed monster is something we are all familiar with on some level. I think it’s when that jealousy causes you to denigrate someone else to make yourself feel better that perhaps you should admit that you’re the one with the problem.

Next time that green wave of jealousy starts to take over, check yourself. Acknowledge it, process it but ultimately release it. When you act on it, you reduce yourself to levels that are not flattering. And for the record, it’s pretty transparent to most people around you.

Jealousy is, I think, the worst of all faults because it makes a victim of both parties.” – Gene Tierney

* Names have been changed. My friend doesn’t really have a porn star name.

7 Comments on Pretty Friend Envy

  1. Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense
    March 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm (1 year ago)

    And you’re a beautiful person for standing up to that woman – even if it’s just in your own way through the virtual world. I know sometimes it’s impossible to speak up in that way, because of extended social circles, but still… by writing this, you probably saved at least a few people from impulsively uttering some ugly words. <3
    Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense recently posted…I’ve Got Balls of SteelMy Profile

  2. Kristin Shaw
    March 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm (1 year ago)

    Amen, Kiran. You’re so right on target here! I can’t stand it when people are petty, and especially to other women, and especially out of jealousy.
    Kristin Shaw recently posted…I SurrenderMy Profile

  3. Alison
    March 13, 2014 at 1:20 am (1 year ago)

    I want to say that I think YOU are beautiful. Yes, physically, you are stunning (and I am not blowing smoke up your ass). But your heart is golden, you are generous and loving, and like Shayna, you are beautiful inside out.
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #11: DarkMy Profile

  4. Arnebya
    March 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm (1 year ago)

    I love this because when I look at you, Kiran, your natural beauty is positively stunning. The way you’ve described your non-porn name having friend is how I would describe you. I had a conversation with a friend recently about how we see ourselves. I described her as put together. She said she was surprised because she never feels that way, yet that’s what she thinks of me. Hm. I NEVER feel that way. But I guess I do a good job at just being me. And that comes through with you just as much as it does on you from your friend.
    Arnebya recently posted…Saying Thank You for Not Killing Me Might Keep an Otherwise Murderous Person from Murdering. Or, How Not to Die When Visiting a Craigslist SellerMy Profile

  5. Andrea
    March 24, 2014 at 5:30 am (1 year ago)

    When I see beautiful people, I frequently hear someone denigrate them in some way: “Oh, she has a pretty face, but her body…” “She wears too much make-up” “She must have had some work done.” And often, “What a bitch.” I used to have a friend who said that as a follow-up to every compliment she delivered.

    Women are so petty. Why can’t we be more complimentary in general? Jealousy is so ugly.
    Andrea recently posted…Plugged InMy Profile


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