“Guerrilla” warfare: how women compete with clothes


Men and women have different attitudes towards members of their sex camp. The former compete with other men through direct aggression, the latter through intrigue. But psychologists have discovered another “hidden weapon” that women use against each other.

Low self-esteem as an incentive to fight

Women compete more sophisticatedly than men. They advertise themselves to colleagues and bosses through makeup and clothing, try to compete, devalue competitors and deprive themselves of self-confidence.

It is nothing new that women in companies often oppose hiring other women. Almost everyone has experienced the power of this hatred: lies, ridicule, rumors, harsh comments. And “victims of female competition” have to either retreat or fight. It turns out that women are less loyal to each other, because they are fighting for men? Why fight each other?

Women gossip, denigrate others instead of developing and growing themselves

In a 2012 study, scholar Abraham Bunk addressed the issues of rivalry in professional relationships. As a result, he found that sexual competition has a greater impact on women’s work. Research has shown that they react negatively to attractive female colleagues and feel that they should be eliminated.

According to psychologists, envy of appearance often turns women into rivals. Psychologist Sandra Jankowski from Berlin says: “We always pay attention to beautiful people. If we are doing well with self-esteem, someone else’s attractiveness will spur us to work on ourselves, and if self-esteem suffers, we declare war on others. “

And then, as the saying goes, all means are good: women gossip, denigrate others instead of developing and growing themselves. Moreover, the level of education and intelligence of the combatants does not matter at all. Smart women can also fight beauties. In response, someone takes the blow and adapts to the eternal struggle. And someone finds an antidote.

Discreet outfit – for female society

If the team is mainly female, then the employees will most likely wear more conservative, solid outfits for work. Psychologists Jamie Krems and Ashley Rankin of the University of Oklahoma published a study that examined women’s ways of defending against aggressive behavior in other women.

It turned out that women deliberately dress modestly when dealing with other women – especially if they have not yet found their place in the office hierarchy. According to psychologists, beauties often resort to this technique. Because they know: they will first be perceived as competitors in the struggle for male attention, and only then – as specialists and good people.

“Many studies show that female intolerance is primarily aimed at attractive women. They feel more covert aggression against them than less attractive ones, ”confirms Canadian psychologist Tracy Weylancourt.

Researchers agree that since time immemorial, it is women who suppress the sexuality of other women.

Krems and Rankin studied how a woman’s dress style changes depending on the situation and environment. So far, research has only focused on how women’s clothing styles affect male audiences. But the “fashion signals” are also for the eyes of other women. They communicate status, position, which plays an essential role in building a group hierarchy.

The researchers asked the participants in the experiment to choose clothes for meeting with the group. If it included both men and women, the outfit was more frank, open, bright. If there were only women in the composition, dresses and suits were chosen modest, strict, closed, even conservative.

The more beautiful a colleague, the worse the attitude towards her among female employees. Clothes that are too provocative makes them think the new girl is a sexual rival, Weylancourt argues, citing research work by psychologist Jean Twenge and his colleague Roy Baumeister. Researchers agree that since time immemorial, it is women who suppress the sexuality of other women.

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