Some competition is definitely a good thing. Competition gives birth to a lot of success, and if no one ever challenged you, you wouldn’t go anywhere. It makes sense to compete with others for a promotion at work. But so many women take it a step further and won’t even support other women. They end up competing over things that don’t make sense—like how we look.
That’s why I’ve started my #GirlLove campaign. I want to make it cool to compliment other women rather than compete with them. You start by going on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever, and complimenting another woman—ideally one in your same field to truly attack that idea of senseless competition.
When I first started the campaign, I tweeted at women like Mindy Kaling and fellow entertainers to show that I can be supportive of women I admire. I got so many influential women to take part in #GirlLove, too, like Shay Mitchell and Hannah Hart. It was so amazing to see women publicly sending others compliments and building each other up.
But #GirlLove isn’t just a tweet. It’s about being proactive to catch yourself in all those moments where you feel unnecessary pressure to compete with another woman. I recently caught myself giving a pretty girl the cold shoulder because I felt intimidated. She was so gorgeous, and it made me feel insecure. I wasn’t even aware until someone pointed it out to me. I was so embarrassed! I recognized those thoughts and made a point to be more friendly to her because there was no reason to be cold.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to build up other women rather than tear them down. Be self-aware and proactive. It’s not wrong to have those thoughts, but you can change how you respond to those feelings. Take a mental step back, and think about why you’re feeling that way. And combat the negativity by sharing some #GirlLove.
Lilly Singh is the creator of the YouTube channel IISuperwomanII. Her documentary, A Trip to Unicorn Island, premiered on YouTube Red on Feb. 10.