I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard the phrase, “You’re so skinny, I hate you.” It’s an especially difficult phrase for me to hear, since I was once so fat that I felt nothing but hugely unlovable.
What does it mean when we utter that phrase to slender women – sometimes even total strangers? Does it mean we hate them? Is it supposed to be a compliment?
How could “hate” ever be considered a compliment?
What it really tries to impart, of course, is the idea of appreciation wrapped up in something FAR less attractive: envy. Make no mistake, envy is NOT a compliment. It is not “appreciative.” If we apply the most basic spiritual law that all things divide into either love or fear, then it is pretty easy to see that envy simply isn’t love. “You’re so skinny I hate you” makes that message abundantly clear.
Envy is fear. In this case, it is the fear that next to a slender woman, we simply do not measure up.
The most enlightening realization about this statement is when we open our hearts to see that the “hatred” is really directed inward – toward ourselves. It would be far more accurate to say, “You’re so skinny that it makes me hate myself.”
A couple of years ago, I went to see Deepak Chopra. The message he delivered still stands out in my heart and mind. Deepak talked about creating a global space to commit to nonviolence. Now if that leaves you thinking, “Sure, I won’t kick any old ladies or get into a back-alley knife fight,” then you need an education in what violence really is. What Deepak explains so beautifully is that violence toward ourselves is not okay either. Not at all. Here is a short excerpt from his message:
Q. What does nonviolence in thought and speech mean in everyday situations?
A. It means simply reminding yourself that you have made a commitment and that you have taken this vow. When the situation arises and your tendency is to be reactive, a simple reminder will often prevent you from generating a hostile reaction, and by and by, you will find yourself creating a calmer more creative response in subsequent situations.
If we commit to a truly nonviolent life (or even try), we have to think about everything differently: how we eat, how we drive, what we think, and how we speak – especially to ourselves. Our language becomes SO much more honest when emotions like envy must be examined and omitted. And as Chopra expertly explains in the loving vow he extends to all of us, once we go to this committed place, we can never go back. It isn’t that we wouldn’t “slip” or re-engage in negative-self talk or envy - simply out of habit at first - but there is a simple law that things truly, inevitably, only move forward. Once the decision toward LOVE has been made, it cannot be unmade. The rest is just the journey to explore what the decision - in this case self-love - means to us, body and soul.
So what are we to say when we find ourselves standing next to a beautiful, slender woman, perhaps in what some think of as the scariest place in the world - a dressing room?
Perhaps we simply smile and say hello.
What is holding you back from showing you and your body a little bit more love and appreciation?
I welcome your thoughts and feedback (and I send you a big, juicy PINK hug)!
Yours in love,
When you comment on an Owning Pink blog post, we invite you to be authentic and loving, to say what you feel, to hold sacred space so others feel heard, and to refrain from using hurtful or offensive language. Differing opinions are welcomed, but if you cannot express yourself in a respectful, caring manner, your comments will be deleted by the Owning Pink staff.