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 was so fat that I felt nothing, if not 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 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. @laurafenamore (Click to Tweet!)

It is not “appreciative.” If we take the greatest clarifying step, and apply the basic spiritual law that all things divide into either love or fear, then it is pretty easy to see that it simply isn’t love. “You’re so skinny I hate you,” says that loud and clear.   

So envy, thus, 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 a far more useful discussion to say, “You’re so skinny that it makes me hate myself.”

Years ago Deepak Chopra posted an opportunity to commit to non-violence. 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. (Below is a short excerpt from the website.)

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 and calmer more creative response in subsequent situations.

If we commit to a truly non-violent life (or even try), we have to think about everything differently – how we eat, how we drive, what our thoughts are, and especially 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 this 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 the decision, and in this case, what self-love would mean 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.

I welcome your comments below with a smile and an open heart. 

Laura Fenamore, Body Image Expert, Coach and acclaimed Author is on a mission to help women around the world end the constant battle with their bodies and start adoring who they see in the mirror. Her approach walks students and readers through the heartfelt journey to self-love at any size or age by unlocking the secrets to a lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual health. After overcoming a lifelong battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds – keeping it off for more than 28 years. She chronicles this journey to self-love and health in her widely acclaimed book, Skinny, Fat, Perfect: Love Who You See in the Mirror. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting SkinnyFatPertect.com.