Writer, Hope Bonarcher looks at female rivalry and why it seems so prevalent in our culture, but says, since becoming a Christian, thankfully she has not experienced it in church.
The Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan and Kate, are in the press again, all speculation on what they may have said or not said about each other.
The world stage has pitted one against the other, almost willing them to be rivals and enemies. Are you team Kate or Meghan? Hopefully we have not bought into this competitveness and conflict, but sadly female rivalry is very common.
Are you team Kate or Megan?
I experienced it back in my early modeling days. I’d just moved to the city (Jersey. I was far from a NYC pay grade). I was new to my agency, and hungry to secure placement after months of rejection. I even shaved off my beautiful dreadlocks for a sleek, “bookable” image. Week after week, I’d dutifully pound pavement on castings, without success. The Australian owner of my agency, Joanie, was mean spirited and condescending. Self doubt haunted me.
Into this pitiable state walked Danika. Everything I wasn’t; statuesque, blonde, eastern European, in expensive jeans. She had a reputation for fierce cat-walking. We’d met on one of my ‘once in a blue moon’ jobs for a zany, Korean fashion designer whose signature piece was a flowy, satin dress named for a private female body part. Amidst the crazy, Danika and I became model-friends.
One day, on the cold, NYC streets, Danika called to me. “Hello, darling!!! Let’s have coffee! I have one more casting! Come up with me, quickly!”
I made myself comfortable next to her in the unfamiliar audition space. The casting director came out, looking both of us over carefully. Perusing the sign-in sheet, she asked, quizzically. “You both auditioning”?
“No! I’m just here waiting for my friend,” I beamed!
Her look lingering awkwardly, she took Danika in to audition. Soon walking out, the casting director asked warmly, ”Would you mind having a read?”
Thinking nothing of it, I followed into my biggest ever audition; a deodorant commercial, shot at Giants stadium with an unbeknownst to me, American football player adored by everyone in the country. I know these details because I booked it! No one was more surprised than me (my agent and Danika). I mean, shaved head, black girl, green as a clover, competing next to Danika as an athlete’s adoring fan? Even I wouldn’t have chosen me! My agent later quipped, “Dani is REALLY upset with you! This was a big opportunity you stole out from under her! Don’t impede on other model’s go-sees!” Click!
Rivalry like this is rampant in the world; in the workplace, between new mums, Hollywood ingenues and even royalty.
This was my entry into the competitive world of womanhood… Looking back I see clearly. Danika was older than me. She’d worked up a reputation in the industry because she’d been there so long. My promising up-and-up threatened her like a swinging door to the backside! My lucky break was her ‘hate to break it to you.’
Rivalry like this is rampant in the world; in the workplace, between new mums, Hollywood ingenues and even, as I said earlier, royalty. Kate and Megan. The gorgeous, capable, classic, reportedly stoic, future Queen, or the gorgeous, capable, exotic, reportedly temperamental, American pop-culture princess? One must lose, one must win! It is knock-down, drag-out, media cage-match until it happens.
Read more on royalty
What about church? Becoming a Christian somewhat coincided with my exit from the modelling world. Did I encounter the same cut-throat attitudes? Quite the opposite! My husband was a much beloved member of a large, Manhattan congregation, and I swept in from nowhere, scooping the most eligible bachelor off the market. I do recall one awkward moment, post engagement. An unknown woman appeared in a crowd after service, handing him a lone card in a flimsy, bag, the cryptic message reading ‘I have feelings for you.’
Inappropriately timed professions of affection aside, my experience in the sisterhood of Christ has been almost entirely idyllic. I inherited all my husband’s female friends, a new, exciting family of sisters, the deepest roots of our hearts all connected by the same heavenly Father and love for Jesus. If the rivalry and competitiveness between Meghan and Kate is true, I pray that they too would come to know the God who can unite them by something so much deeper than profession, life stages, or a temporal royal family; the same Holy Spirit.