WHY YOU HATE YOURSELF
I am not a nudist. There. I said it. To steal a
little something from Robert's
Denial of Nudism, "For me to regard myself as a nudist, I would
also have to be a breathist, walkist, eatist, blue-eyesist for while a
motorist is someone who does driving, being without clothes is not
something I do. It is my supposed natural state. So I am not a
nudist. I do not do taking clothes off. Putting on clothes is what I do.
If anything I am a clothesist."
I suppose that if I must be labeled as being one thing or another, I am
perhaps a naturist. I like to be a natural person in my natural
habitat. That means going to nature. I don't really need
a club for that.
I just don't think of the human body as something terribly
shocking. To be honest, I have often wondered that people make such
a very big deal over either being naked, or seeing another person
naked. It's a little strange to me that most people seem to think
that seeing the natural state of another member of their own species is
somehow harmful, immoral, wrong, perverted, or in some other way bad. I've
never had anybody actually explain to me why it was harmful, but
there seem to be a lot of people willing to insist that it is. They
even pass laws to protect us from seeing another member of our own species
in a natural state.
I think, though, that I've got it worked out now. It isn't about
the nudity at all. Even if everybody stopped wearing clothes this
very afternoon, the world wouldn't really change. Why? Because
the vast majority of humanity - including a lot of nudists, I think - is caught in a
cycle of self loathing that is
so completely invisible that we welcome it as part of our modern
For the most part, we're all ashamed to be human. That's easy
enough to say, but self loathing isn't something that's easy to pin down.
To draw it in very simple terms is difficult and often garish, and to draw
it out with explanations isn't really any easier because it gets tedious. I'll give it
a fair shot, though, and let the reader decide if I have made the
From the time you're a baby, and you soil your diaper, your parents are
going, "OH! Nasty! Stinky! Peeee-Uuuuu!", and making with the
body language to teach you that poop is disgusting. Poop isn't something
we talk about, think about, or want to know about. If you have to poop, go
hide in the bathroom and pretend that you don't do it. We don't want to
see. We don't want to smell. We don't want to hear. We
don't want to know. You can't run to mom and say, "You have GOT to
come see the most INCREDIBLE turd I just pinched off! It's amazing! It
must be a foot long!" That's just not going to wash. Poop isn't
something of which you can be proud. Same way with urinating.
Farting is out. Puking is bad enough by itself, but then they react
badly... Don't pick your nose where I can see you. Don't scratch yourself.
Brush your nasty teeth before they rot out of your head. Bathe and deodorize your stinky self. Next comes
clothing. You need to HIDE yourself! "Jesus, son! Nobody wants to see that!"
You don't run to your dad and say, "Man! Check out my nuts! They've
got hair on them!" Nope. Not going to go over too well. You
can't even say 'nuts' in the presence of your parents, not to
mention 'polite' company these days.
If you swear, they wash your mouth out with soap. If you break a lamp,
they spank your butt. The body gets punished for crimes of the mind. Then
you get a little older, and one day your sex turns on. Your body says,
"Hey! Let's have a little feel good down here, eh?" Then your
parents find out, and depending on their world view you either get the
'hairy palms' lecture or the 'scourge of the devil' lecture which may or
may not be packaged with a nice beating - or something in the middle. Even
if you get the, "Yeah, that's wonderful and everybody does it.",
response, you still get the, "If you're going to do that go hide in
your room where nobody can see you." Through past experience, you
know that if you have to hide it, it must be wrong... There is NOTHING
that your body does that anybody likes. Not even crying. You can't even
cry. If you do, we'll give you something to cry about.
Eating is perfectly OK, but there are rules. No desert until AFTER
dinner. EAT THE SPINACH! EAT IT! EAT IT! IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!
YOU WILL EAT
IT OR I WILL BEAT YOU TO WITHIN AN INCH OF YOUR UNGRATEFUL LIFE! So the
body gets the short stick no matter what you decide. You can choke down
the yucky spinach or take the licks. Either way your lovely, wonderful
mind gets away with all of this, but your body takes the pain because it's
So, slowly by slowly, your body is nothing but an evil, loathsome
thing. You hate it. You hate it and you don't even know you hate it. You
hate it so much that you try to kill it. You eat too much, drink too much,
drive too fast, smoke, take illegal drugs, and abuse your body in every
way. You don't let it get enough rest, but you drag it out of bed and send
it along to work. When it gets hungry, you stuff it with another
junk food lunch and drag it along until the end of the day, then you make
it sit still so that your big brain can watch television until you
grudgingly give in to your worn out body's request for some rest.
You hate your body. You wish that it would go away. You wish you didn't have one. Because
your body isn't you after all, and you aren't your body. You are a Higher
Being. Chosen by God maybe. The body doesn't get to go to heaven, so who
needs it? God will give you a nice spirit body when you get there,
So you disassociate from your body as much as
possible. You keep punishing that body long after mom and dad are dead and
gone because they taught you real good. They taught you to hate it. Most
people don't even want to look at it in the mirror anymore. You cry, and
you hate your body for crying. You eat the g*d d*mn*d spinach off the
cafeteria tray even when nobody is looking because it's 'good for you'.
Your body deserves to eat disgusting things. It's just a disgusting thing
So you hide your body, and hide everything it does. You put on
your pretty clothes and become nothing but a talking head that goes out
and interacts with other talking heads who are also trying to pretend that
they don't have bodies.
If the job is done right, and everything goes according to plan, you
will hate yourself so much that one day you will put a shotgun in your
mouth like a big black phallus of death and blow your miserable brains out
all over the bathroom wall. You were good enough to do it in the bathroom.
That's where you're supposed to go when you're doing something wrong...
Ironically, the brain finally takes the hit. There's some subtle irony in
the shotgun-in-the-mouth thing.
If you managed to escape the suicide thing, and don't wind up in a
mental institution with an eating disorder, self mutilation, gender
confusion, or worse, then you find a mate and maybe get married. Then you
have sex. Some people are evidently taught that sex is so wrong that most people hate that too. They hate their
own bodies so much that they become dysfunctional, and then they hate
their bodies for that too. The self loathing is complete. The body is just
a $h1t machine. Worthless life support for the Master Brain. You keep
punishing it and punishing it and punishing it and you hate it, hate it,
HATE IT. You keep beating the little boy or girl inside you because he or
she is WRONG. There is something very wrong with you because you have a
body; and it's disgusting. When the little boy or girl inside you cries
you hate that too.
But it's very subtle. It's not something most people are consciously
aware of. They just go through life walking through broken glass on their
knees to punish their evil, sinful, vile bodies and hope that they can
attain enough purity to satisfy the Ultimate Punisher. They are Sinners in
the hands of an Angry God.
Now maybe I mean that metaphorically, and maybe
I mean that literally. It depends on the person...
Of course, if the numbers work out right, sex leads to a child. You
have to go to the Lamaze class as a couple because you've tried to pretend
that you don't have a body for so long that the miracle of child birth
isn't something you have ever heard that much about. The baby comes,
everybody is happy, you take some pictures, and finally get to take the kid
home. For a few days the diapers don't stink, but then they
do. At some point you start saying, "OH! Nasty! Stinky!
Peeee-Uuuuu!", and making with the
body language to teach your child that poop is disgusting.
If you do your job as a parent well, your child will grow up to be just
as horrified by their body as you are with yours, and the cycle of self
loathing will be complete.
Now I know that's all very graphic and outlandishly brutal and almost
everyone is saying, 'It wasn't like that for me. It is NOT like that for
me now!', but on some level it was and it is for most people. If you're wearing clothes in
the comfort of your own home, then this is probably a clue. "But I'm
more comfortable in clothes." No doubt you are - but why? It
isn't about the clothes at all...
Like I said, all of this is very subtle. It all culminates in the
subconscious opinion that you are a bad person. You are a sinner, if you
want to take the religious bent. At some point you may even come to believe
that your body itself is a
sin. Personally, I refuse to subscribe to
that. I am not a sinner. I am a good person. I like my body. I fart
proudly. I belch at the table. I am not ashamed of what I am. That isn't a place I arrived at over night,
There is a little book called Shambhala:
The Sacred Path of the Warrior that I like to invite people to
read. It talks about basic human goodness. It helps you
understand that you have
to arrive at a place where you have some tender affection for yourself. It
isn't really enough to stop hating yourself - to stop hating your body and
just make peace with it. You have to go all the way to the other side.
You have to love yourself.
Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
There are two teachings there. The one everyone teaches while ignoring the
second. In order to love your neighbor, you must first love yourself. I've
never heard of a Church that teaches you to love yourself - and you must.
It is extremely important to exercise loving kindness towards yourself.
How can you do that if you think that your body is a
So, all of this comes down to self loathing that was taught to you at
an extremely early age without your awareness and without your consent.
The only way to beat it is to come to terms with it and start treating
yourself with a little tenderness. You have to make that brain work for
your body. You have to listen to your body and find out what it needs. Not
just the 'I'm hungry' or 'I'm thirsty' messages. You have to sit down one
day and take a whole body day. You actually have to ASK your body what IT wants. What does it
feel like doing? Does it want to lay in bed all day? Does it want to soak
in a nice hot tub of water until it gets all pruny? Does it want to dance
naked in the rain? Put that big brain aside for a little while and do what
the body wants.
Sometimes the body comes up with strange ideas: "Shave
"The whole thing?"
"Yep. Head to toe. Shave
"You have got to be kidding."
"No, really. Shave
Sometimes it'll get really far out, and sometimes you have to say
no. My body seems to like to
roll in the grass a lot lately. This has a double benefit. It makes
you itchy and scratches you all over at the same time. Big fun.
So, stop, right now and ask your body what it wants to do. I'd be
curious at your body's response. Feel free to use the form below and
let me know what your body thinks of the idea.
In the end you'll learn to listen to your body, and that big brain of
yours will start respecting it too. There is some danger in this, so be
careful. "NO, MOM! I AM NOT GOING TO EAT THE SPINACH! IT IS
***NOT*** GOOD FOR ME. IT'S DISGUSTING.", isn't something you
really want to shout at a family reunion. Trust me. Your relatives think
that you're weird enough as it is.
Anyway, I think that covers it briefly. If you want some more then I
would invite you to read Are