Do beautiful women get treated worse because of the envy and insecurity of others? Or do they merely perceive this bad treatment due to their own pride and vanity? (Or is it something else altogether?)
Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking through on these questions…
(For this post, I will be referring only to physical, outward beauty. I think in younger women, physical and inner beauty are two completely separate things. As I’ve discussed before, outer beauty is a gift from God to be enjoyed, but inner beauty is far more important.)
Firstly , there are beautiful women who are very down-to-earth. They don’t spend time dwelling on their beauty or drawing the attention of others to it. They simply get on with life.
My good friends in real life are all beautiful women. Do I feel threatened by them, or treat them with disdain out of envy? I don’t think so. I notice and appreciate their beauty, and I may even ask their advice on make-up or fashion from time to time, but it is not a major factor in our relationship.
Is this just because I have a secure heart, and I would never feel threatened by a beautiful woman?
Well, I do feel secure and confident in myself and my marriage, but I don’t think that’s the full picture.
You see, I have felt threatened by beautiful women before. I have secretly thought, “I hope my husband doesn’t notice her. ” I have even desired to distract him somehow at times.
What was the difference between my reaction in that situation, and my reaction to the many beautiful women in my life daily?
Well, I think there are other beautiful women who put a lot of effort into attracting male sexual attention. They know they are beautiful, they know the response they can get from men, and they actively seek it out. Even (especially?) married men. For these women, there is a special thrill in knowing they took a man’s attentions away from his wife, even if only for a moment.
So when a wife notices and feels threatened by this kind of beautiful woman, is it a sign of her inner struggle with envy? I don’t think so.
Earlier this year, my neighbour’s three large dogs broke through the fence, cornered me against a wall and stood there barking at me for five minutes or so. (I am so thankful the kids were inside sleeping, it was terrifying enough with just me out there!)
Did I feel threatened because of some deep seated insecurity about dogs? Or did I feel threatened because the dogs were threatening me?
My point is this: a woman feeling threatened by the presence of a beautiful woman is not evidence of an envy problem in her heart. There are women out there who misuse their beauty and whose intentions are not good and we are wise to notice when this is going on.
I am certain there are some women for whom envy and insecurity are a deep struggle in their hearts. These women may very well feel threatened and behave rudely to any woman they perceive as more beautiful than them, regardless of whether the threat is real or not.
So what is the best way to handle this in real life?
If you notice a woman who seems to be seeking inappropriate sexual attention, my recommendation is to befriend her. She might not have any really good female friends, and only knows how to attract men for attention. If you are her friend, you may be able to confront her about her inappropriate behaviour one day. Or you may realise that you had the wrong impression of her altogether.
If you feel like you get a lot of cattiness from other women due to your own beauty, you might like to have a good look at your behaviour, particularly around men. Do you feel a thrill when a man appreciates your beauty? Is it possible you are acting in certain ways to chase that thrill? There is no excuse for other women to treat you rudely, but it’s important to take responsibility for yourself and change any inappropriate behaviour.
I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this! What have been your experiences?