Starve it baby….

This week has been a week for discussing body image! I have had the same discussion with more than three people in separate conversations in separate contexts: How do I learn to like myself when I feel like such a waste of space/learn to accept myself when I look like a science experiment gone wrong/when I feel like Snow White in a house full of dwarves/ when I feel like a dwarf in a house of Snow Whites…und so wiete….

I don’t have the answer to this or, trust me, I would be making millions teaching people how to do it. This has been my learning so far….

A Native American was speaking with his grandson outside the teepee one day. “Son, there are two wolves that live inside each of us: love and hatred. They are constantly at war within us to see who will be the victor in our lives.”

Concerned the boy asked his grandfather: “Which one will win?”

The grandfather answered: “The one that you feed.”

I read this on a blog a few months ago now and it has stuck with me. The wolves inside of us are many and fierce. It would be fair to say that self-hatred and self-acceptance war within us; that self-loathing and self-love fight side by side with them. The point is this: THE WOLF THAT WILL WIN IS THE ONE WE FEED. Any woman who is honest will say that there have been (and possibly still are) times when she looks at herself in the mirror and thinks “I hate you. You’re too fat/tall/thin/short/ugly/full-lipped/blotchy/pale/clumsy/stupid/barren/Ethnic/plain…” We all have those moments! I bet Angelina Jolie has those moments…and Jennifer Hawkins…and Kylie…and michelle Obama…and me. The secret to be had is this, that the women who overcome the criticisms and the self-hatred are the women who STARVE it. Not starve their bodies, but the thoughts that are looking for a home to nest in, for a life to feed off of.

The little acknowledged fact about self-hatred is that it is a parasite that breeds prolifically once it has found a safe place to call home. Like yeast it creeps from the mirror into your head and makes it yeasty way into your heart where it poisons every belief you hold about yourself and feasts on your self worth and dignity until you have nothing to hold onto but the vague hope that, with enough anti-ageing cream and enough hours at the gym and the right man on your arm or the right Gucci on your feet, that you will feel good about yourself again. And then, to quote a friend, “you are schlonkered” because the advertising world gets on the bandwagon and hammers home truth from the outside. They are quite happy to partner with the self-hatred and sell you a life-time of products that will help  you buy back your dignity. The problem is this: NO ONE CAN SELL YOU SOMETHING THAT IS ALREADY YOURS. Not unless you are really gullible…which most of us are! DIGNITY IS NOT A COMMODITY, IT IS A GIFT.

So evict the parasite, stop the thought in the mirror, before it gets into your head, scream your worth at the top of your lungs until you start to believe it….

Starve the self-hatred. Feed the healthy me. Its what’s written on my window this week!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kenny
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 01:18:08

    This is pure gold and so appropriate for me right now! I’m writing a little reminder of this on my mirror with the lipstick that I frankly don’t need.



  2. Ross
    May 20, 2011 @ 20:40:46

    I hope you don’t mind that I’m nicking the quote about the wolves 🙂



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