Monday, February 19, 2007
We hate her...
Women in America, (and maybe in some other places, but I live in America so I can only speak from that perspective) have a saying to express how they feel about their bodies.

The saying is “We hate her…”

It is shorthand for “I’m not beautiful like her and therefore, I am against her.” The facts are exactly the opposite. We don’t hate her, we idolize her, adore her, and worship her.

You don’t hate her for being thin, you hate you for not being what you think she is. You are angry with yourself because you can’t wear the cute clothes that she is wearing – that you can’t actualize yourself because the you that you see in your mind’s eye is not the you that stares back at you, angrily, from the bathroom mirror, when you’re brave enough to look into it.

The cutest shoes cut into your feet and the straps cut your skin into bloody ribbons, the vintage clothes that you want to wear don’t fit because women in the 40’s had a different shape and it’s not yours.

I grew up in a community where women talked behind each other’s backs. Who had gained weight, who had lost weight, who looked old, tired, fat, too thin…and if she was thin, how was she doing it? Was she starving, surgery, Atkins, Weight Watchers, diet pills? If she had gained a few pounds, was she getting a divorce, did her husband get laid off, were her children on drugs?

Anyone who seemed perfect though, I heard over and over again…"we hate her." And the white Mercedes-Benz she rode in on.

What they never seemed to think about when they said, “We hate her.” is her.

She is a human being. She may have grown up in our culture. Maybe she was raised by wonderful parents who taught her that she was beautiful no matter what and that caused her to become exactly who she was meant to be. In that case, do we hate her or do we wish we had been raised by her parents. Maybe we’re a little jealous of her because we could have been beautiful if we had only been told that we were beautiful unconditionally and they meant it.

Perhaps she was raised by a mother who constantly looked in her bathroom mirror, with daughter looking on, pinching her thighs and bemoaning the reason her husband left. She might have been treated as a substitute wife by her father who brought her rings and rubies and made his daughter into his perfect wifey. She may be throwing up her 400 calorie lunch because her mother let her know that she would never, ever get a man if she was fat. She may run 10 miles a day to silence the voices in her head that remind her that she was treated like a punching bag instead of a child.

Based on this, do we hate her, or do we want to take her in our arms and let her know that she’s beautiful no matter what?

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10 Comments:

Blogger Psychomom said...

I do not hate her for her looks but I am jealous of the love others show for her. When she isn't perfectly beautiful, I really wonder what the hell is wrong with me that nobody wants to know me, let alone love me?

Blogger Allison said...

Sometimes the Main Line outside Philly also was like this (depended who you hung around with.) Where can I go to get away from this?

Blogger Laurie Ann said...

How do you do it, Faith. You always make me see the other side without being preachy. I love you.

Blogger L7 said...

this is what is really important, to see behind the illusion. such a generous post.

Blogger Susan said...

I don't know what to say. We so need to be kind to one another.

Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

And you know what's worse? When "she" has a GREAT personality. Then she's a beeyotch.

But not so much any more. When I was in my 20's and full of (misplaced) rage and anger there were lots of women (and men) I hated. Now that I've actually come to know a few of 'em, I find I don't hate y'all so much.

Blogger miss kendra said...

i still hate everyone.

just kidding. just hate myself.

kidding again.

maybe.

Blogger Frank said...

Wow, that was really profound, but as Laurie Ann said, in a non-threatening, preachy way.

Bravo!

Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

good post - makes me want to work harder to silence the voices in my own head. Can I at least hate the stores and designers (like espirit, you know who you are) that give women size zero to six all the choices in using fashion to express themselves?

Blogger K8 said...

Well put.

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