Why Powerful Women Make the Best Friends

If Kelly Rowland can come around to the idea that she shines more (not less) because of her proximity to Beyoncé, there's hope for the rest of us, Ann Friedman writes at New York Magazine in a piece explaining "shine theory." 

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Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

If Kelly Rowland can come around to the idea that she shines more (not less) because of her proximity to Beyoncé, there's hope for the rest of us, Ann Friedman writes at New York magazine in a piece explaining "shine theory."

Kelly Rowland has done okay for herself since her days with Destiny's Child. More than okay, really. She's had a handful of solo hits, is embarking on a short tour this summer, and has just signed on to be a judge on The X Factor. But all of this only looks good until you compare Rowland to her former bandmate Beyoncé — which, apparently, Rowland has been doing for quite awhile. Rowland's new single, "Dirty Laundry," is about how she was resentful of Beyoncé's success in the wake of Destiny's Child. "When my sister was onstage killin' it like a motherf---er," Rowland sings, "I was enraged, feelin' it like a motherf---er." She recently had an emotional breakdown onstage in D.C. when she performed the song.

Few women are unlucky enough to have their successes measured against Beyoncé's. But that feeling of resentment rather than joy at the personal and professional achievements of another woman is something most of us can relate to. The economy sucks, and awesome jobs are in short supply ...

But in reality, we've all been both of the women in this scenario, the idealizer and the idealized, often simultaneously.  Foregoing the internal ranking system in favor of being your best self and helping your girlfriends do the same was a revelation to me. And also, apparently, to Rowland. Beyoncé listened to  "Dirty Laundry" and, Rowland says, "She heard how real I was and was like 'I'm so proud of you.' " If Kelly Rowland can come around to the idea that she shines more (not less) because of her proximity to Beyoncé, there's hope for the rest of us.

Read Ann Friedman's entire piece at New York magazine.

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