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Why Women Commenting On Each Other's Selfies Is Both Funny And Cute

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I am not generally a massive fan of comment sections.

As a journalist, I often see them as the home of the world wide web’s worst. Brimming with derogatory remarks, and with much misuse of the term ‘ad hominem’, comment sections remain a nursery for baby Twitter eggs before they hatch into fully fledged trolls.

Underneath womens’ photos however, they become something magical. Once you've trudged through the thick fog of internet toxicity, comments under girls’ pictures from friends are generally a breath of much-needed fresh air. The internet would probably be a far nicer place if the only people who were allowed to comment on things were women - and only on each other's pictures.

Sure, it's an arena that can induce a few eye rolls too. Far too many 'a's in a ‘yaaaasss’, seven consecutive cats-with-heart-eyes where one would suffice, an embarrassingly excessive row of fire emojis: none of us are too cool to get slightly cringe in the name of paying a compliment. The more understated opt for a simple ‘perf’ or ‘omg can I be you?’, each option equally as nauseating to the uninitiated.

Whether it be on Facebook or Instagram, under a selfie or hand-on hip full body shot, the amount of sheer adoration under posts is simply unprecedented. Each new upload brings out a legion of stans, comprised primarily of our own online or IRL friends. It's the online embodiment of Tokyo Vanity’s "That's My Best Friend" and it is, quite frankly, everything.

Compliments are nice, and even nicer when it's not someone attempting to slide unwanted into your DMs and, eventually, you. When your girl posts the words ‘slaaaay’ accompanied by several crying faces and prayer hands, there are no motives, no underlying agenda - just pure unadulterated fangirling among friends.

“It’s important for us to appreciate beauty among ourselves” says Rosina, a student with a penchant for sisterly praise. “A lot of people only want to sexualise us, but friends tend to appreciate other aspects of our aesthetic.”‏

But, of course, like Beyoncé album drops, beauty vlogs and basically any Snapchat filter, girls can’t enjoy anything without it being decided en-masse that we shouldn’t. If you search 'girls commenting on each others pictures' on Twitter you get this: thousands of people pissing on our universal virtual parade. The excitable nature of young women's comments has become a meme in itself (see these Vines) and the source of much derision on social media.

The backlash is hardly surprising; in a world where we are mercilessly and aggressively pitted against one another, choosing to uplift each other is a wonderful thing for women - which can sometimes antagonise patriarchy.

“Patriarchy succeeds when women are fighting against each other; so when we’re not, I think it’s a confusing thing for men.” says Danielle, a journalist and dedicated hype woman from South Africa.

“When you big up women, you’re subverting the status quo; sometimes men want to pick apart women’s features and when another girl is like 'I won’t partake in that', it undermines the system. Society thrives off the idea that things like beauty and success are scarce, so women are always pitted against each other.”

Irene S. Levine, a friendship and relationship expert, agrees. “It's always nice when our friends cheer our successes,” she tells me. “It helps dispel the myth that women are always competing rather than supporting each other.”

It's also about celebrating a whole of beauty standards, even if some are less "typical'.

“I do it as an act of resistance to singular moulds of beauty, but also as a way of saying ‘Hey, I see you.’” says Danielle. “I see your brilliance and your beauty and your success and your slay. That point of recognition is really important because, fundamentally, everybody just wants to be visible.”

Examples of positive commentary concerning real life women are not all that common. And despite attempts to silence, young women remain more intent on letting each other know they're more fabulous than ever. The internet is generally a snarky at best, abusive at worst, place for women - it's a welcome pit-stop on platforms that often seem intent on making women feel as shit about themselves as possible.

The post-upload love-in among us is something of a marvel. It may be somewhat OTT, but it’s certainly counteracting its fair share of BS. And in all honesty, we could learn a thing or two from girls’ gushing. As one Twitter user wistfully wondered, "Why can't the rest of the world be as nice as girls commenting on each other's Instagram pictures?"
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