Self-Hatred is Stupid
I have a little boy named Henery. He was born a baby and now he is a child. One day he will be a grown-up, and I am teaching him all I know.
As soon as he wakes up, I step into the room and tell him he is in trouble. I tell him he’s already behind, and that he is going to get in even more trouble in preschool. I reminded him about how he colored outside of the lines the day before. I remind him that he is chubby and that he will look all wrong no matter what clothes he picks out to wear.
When he comes into the kitchen for breakfast, I ask him if he will always be this needy. I tell him that in his world it’s clearly all about me, me, me as he asks for a bowl of cereal. I tell him the world won’t possibly be able to meet his needs in the future for bowls of cereals don’t grow on trees and the chances of getting what you need are slim to none around here, on planet Earth, in America, in California, where we have so much food the trash bins overflow with leftovers.
I tell him it’s only going to get worse.
When he leaves for school, I am going to remind him that his teacher and his classmates hate him. I am going to remind him that he is average, and average is C, and C is just not good enough.
I am going to encourage him to pick at his skin, to pull at his own hair, to turn away from his reflection in disgust. I am going to encourage him to believe he will never do anything meaningful with his life because he is not an attractive little boy. I will tell him that it doesn’t matter how much other people tell him he is cute and nice and funny and sweet. He is garbage and we both know it.
I will aim to ruin his life because then we will be forever bonded together in this agreement to hate him. We will never lose each other and we will be safe because we will always know where we stand.
If he were to turn around and to say, Hey! I’m a fucking ray of sunshine and I GOT THIS, the world would become dangerous, unknown. Who knows what would happen if he loved his body, his mind, his habits. He would quickly outgrow me and we would no longer see eye to eye. I would lose him and he would lose me, and he would be alone in his loving acceptance of himself, and this fear of being alone keeps him agreeing with me, keeps him small, obedient, depressed.
Because, if you love yourself, love your place in the world, love everyone around you, you’re going to be alone, right? Life’s going to be terrible, right? When you walk past your reflection and you stop to dance with your wide-hipped, messy-haired, pug-nosed self, the world is going to echo with despair, right?
It’s so much better to hammer yourself into silence with the belief in perfection or self-hatred. It’s so much better to stay small and hide under the table of festivities than have the world witness the belly of you spill over your bikini bottom.
I mean, we got this. We are living life. Let’s keep hating ourselves into subservience. It’s so cool. It’s so fun. It’s so rewarding. Let’s make the most of the life we have on this mortal coil and beat the shit out of it and tell our legs how much we hate them for being short and stocky. I’ve got Henery doing it, and he’s only four.
I am so proud of him. He’s going to grind himself down every day of his life just like we do, his loving parents. We did it. We raised a good kid.