Jealousy in Aerial Arts: Introducing "Shine Theory"

Shining shining shining shining ahhh- All of this Winnin’
— Rihana
Photos provided by the Lovely Troupe "Tons of Sense" 

Photos provided by the Lovely Troupe "Tons of Sense" 


Have you ever had a friend get a gig you wanted? A teammate nail a move you’ve worked on for months? Take a stretching class only to see the newest person complete a back bend and grab their ankles in the first class?

And in these scenarios, did you feel Jealous. As. FucK?

You try to form a compliment, but it squeaks out in this high pitch blurb covered in deceit and the remnants of foam from your mouth…

All the while going over just what they did right and how it pales in comparison to the hours of work you’ve put in. And then, you dive head first into the brain wash pool of self doubt and spend the next 15 minutes (at least) drowning in feeling like a Piece. Of. Shit. ?

Well, I have. And let me tell you something else about myself. I’m a Type A, Go Go Gadget person who can get hyper focused on the tasks I put on myself (emphasis on myself). I can get down in the ditches, working weeks on projects before popping my head up and think “oh shit, I forgot to have fun”, so when I tell you that if I’m working on something so hard and I see someone work “far less” than me accomplish what I’m doing… let’s just say it takes me back a beat. And while you may not feel it so strongly, I’m sure a ping of jealousy has struck in your id somewhere, sometime. And because I don’t want to be an utter bitch monster to do aerials with, when I’m feeling Level 3000 of Jelly I like to reflect on my feelings with Shine Theory.

Created by one of my fave journalists, Ann Freidman, Shine Theory works to dismantle female to female competition by recognizing it A) Exist and B) your amazing talented friends succeeding doesn’t mean you’re less valuable but in fact MORE Valuable.

Here’s a Quote:

Approaching and befriending women who I identify as smart and powerful (sometimes actively pursuing them, as with any other crush) has been a major revelation of my adult life. First, there’s the associative property of awesomeness: People know you by the company you keep. I like knowing that my friends are so professionally supportive that when they get a promotion, it’s like a boost for my résumé, too, because we share a network and don’t compete for contacts. Also, it’s just plain tough out there — for all the aforementioned reasons about the economy and the dating scene and body-image pressures. I want the strongest, happiest, smartest women in my corner, pushing me to negotiate for more money, telling me to drop men who make me feel bad about myself, and responding to my outfit selfies from a place of love and stylishness, not competition and body-snarking.
— Ann Freidman

American Women are conditioned from the jump that there can only be ONE. And in order to be great, our childhood pubescent self comes in and says “you can’t be excellent if someone else is.” I mean, that’s literally a quote from the Hormone Monster. 

The Hormone Monster from Netflix's "Big Mouth". Also, It Me. 

The Hormone Monster from Netflix's "Big Mouth". Also, It Me. 

As we age, there are times which tear that belief down, for example, a back salto can be done by more than 1 person. It also reifies the beliefs like there’s only one role for a “beefy bodied female” or “only 1 female rope artists for this show” and your training buddy or dance partner gets the gig. Feeling vulnerable and reprobated is real and it’s okay to be upset. I would even beg to say it’s okay to feel frustrated at your friend because if you don’t at least recognize those feelings, you’ll hold the toxicity in your body as stress.

Recognizing emotions and allowing them to have space within you is a technique used in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. You work through your emotions and create a safe space for them to process. The key word here is YOU. YOU work on them by YOURSELF or with a therapist. Yelling at your friend, ignoring your friend or holding that contempt around all while saying you’re “fine” is NOT what I’m saying to do. Women are literally THE BEST at picking up on faux- motions, or fake- ass emotions.

True confidence is infectious. In my experience, if a woman seems confident but mostly has the effect of making others feel bad about themselves, you can rest assured she’s faking it. The most toxic female relationships of my life have been with women who were deeply unhappy with their lives, and frequently compared them to mine. Contrary to deep-seated theories of female competition, I don’t think that competition made either of us any better or happier.
— Anne Freidman
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When I started working with a therapists, the notion of looking back on emotions and reflecting on them almost churned my stomach. As a southern woman, I’ve always been told to not show any sign of myself other than happy. Introspection is considered “weak” in the south, and I’ve always fighted against being called weak. But I’ve learned that the people you love deserve your authentic self, and sometimes your authentic self is petty.

It’s a crazy concept for “emotionally established” women and men to grasp, but a win for your friends isn’t a loss for you. It’s a WIN for you. You are the company you keep, and the people around you doing great things is only going to show you how to do great things as well. If anything, jealousy is merely a radar for how much you want something. Use it as a guide instead of feeling embarrassed and use your emotions to your advantage.

When it comes to your friends kicking ass; take notes, be supportive and take care of yourself.


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A big Thank You to the beautiful troupe Tons Of Sense, located in Melbourne, Australia who provided the photos on this weeks post. You should totally follow them in all their bad assery on Instagram @tonsofsense and on their website. 

All of my Non-Jelly Love,