We are going to address the topic of creeping, it is a subject certainly, very little known but that concerns more than a good handful of people and can have many repercussions, which explains the fact that it is important to address this topic today !  

  • What is “creeping”

Creeping, or ” intra-sexual competition ” as Darwin named it, is a phenomenon of social comparison that is based on essentially physical criteria that can take place completely unconsciously. This phenomenon is particularly present since the emergence of certain social networks.

To illustrate this mechanism, let’s take as an example a situation that could take place on a daily basis and what we have already exposed ourselves to at least once : in the morning, you get up, you take your smartphone and you check Instagram, suddenly, you see a picture of someone you find very pretty pass by and you start to look at all of his photos on his profile, and then you catch yourself thinking that this person is damn beautiful, more beautiful than you. This is when the comparison begins, the famous creeping, which arises almost instinctively. The creeping can therefore be the reason why you never feel beautiful. In addition, low self-esteem can be a direct consequence.

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  • Intra-sex rivalry from an experimental perspective

Social psychology researchers conducted an experiment highlighting the fact that testosterone levels increase in women who were made to smell another woman’s shirt during her ovulation period, which would then generate an increase in dominance and competitive behaviors. We can therefore hypothesize that this competitive tendency would result from a biological functioning.

Also, many studies in social psychology or conducted by gender studies show that women would tend to undermine themselves within our society. For example, during a banal conversation where several women compare each other in order to devalue themselves. At that moment, creeping comes to mind in a fully conscious way. For example, when you ladies are talking to a friend who tells you that she thinks her legs are rather fat, to which you reply “but you’re kidding, if yours are fat, what should I say.”

  • How can you resist it?

It would be wrong to think that creeping would only have biological causes, it is a phenomenon that is constantly fed by our social environment and has been for a long time in history. However, it is possible, (and strongly advised) not to fall into the trap of physical comparison as this is a source of frustration.

Creeping amounts to passing off the physiques you see on the web as normal, when in reality, it’s a very large minority. My advice to avoid entering the vicious circle of social comparison, and especially the temptation to compare physically through social networks are :

  • Build your self-esteem: Your looks and personality traits make you unique. You don’t have to look like everyone else to be beautiful. You need to be aware of your assets to not focus only on your own flaws,
  • Don’t make Instagram a reality: because what is beautiful is diversity, cultural and body,
  • Spend less time on social networks,
  • Resorting to self-enhancement techniques by looking for compliments instead of flaws in others,
  • And finally, the most important in my opinion: learn to love yourself.

Social comparison is not something serious in itself, but we would gain a lot by being aware of it and avoiding being controlled by this phenomenon; Let’s be in solidarity with each other, there is room for everyone