Photo © 2013 Marla Carlton
All women judge. Even when we try not to, we judge.
It’s in our nature. To watch, to stare, to report, to one up, to measure.
We judge the way women wear their hair.
Frizzy, tame, long, short, curls, no curls, layered, roots, highlights, bad red.
We judge the way women wear their makeup.
Black eyeliner, blue eyeshadow, pink blush, Oooh I can see the makeup line, should have blended.
We judge the way women dress.
The socks, the shoes, the tops, the pants, the skirts, the boobs, the lack of boobs, the fake boobs, the sagging boobs.
The way they talk. The way they walk.
The way they drive. The way they laugh.
We judge the way their kids look.
Does she ever comb her hair? Is that makeup already? Heels? Really?
We judge the way their kids dress.
Why does she let her daughter dress that way? She looks like a skank.
The way they act. The way they behave. The way they misbehave.
OMG those kids have no manners. They are a nightmare. I wouldn’t want to be in their house. Did you see that?
We judge choices.
Oh, she is a single mom. She doesn’t work. She is a lawyer. She is never at school. She is depressed. She dropped out of high school. She never went to college. She is unhappy. Why does she like him/her? Why does she stay with him/her? Why does she?
Deliberately, unwittingly, relentlessly, we judge.
I’m not afraid to admit it. Are you?
I judge myself too. I don’t discriminate.
I judge my hair, my face, my body, my wrinkles, my house, my car, my kids, my husband, my mom, my dad, my friends, my choices, my mistakes, my marriage.
I judge.Wild, unadulterated, judging.
I’ve tried to break the habit.
I’ve tried to be accepting of other people’s choices.
I’ve tried to stop.
I’ve made strides, but trivial always triumphs. Just give me the wrong day, the wrong driver, the wrong you name it, and I’m judging anew.
But then, I exhale.
And I catch myself
for a moment
and I remember
that humans are innately flawed
that we are sinners, all of us,
that we can live and let live.
I remember that we have the freedom of choice
that we have the wonderful ability to live how we want
and the freedom to express ourselves.
to do whatever the hell we want because
we live in a free country, after all.
not without judgment.