Ah ColorsWolf my friend, it is certainly true that humanity's history is filled with an overabundance of hatred, not the least considering the latest conflicts been Islam and Christianity, or between the Middle East and the United States. Either way, I consider it a "re-run of the Crusades." Does it take us so many hundreds of years to start to see each other as members of the same species (Homo sapiens), with wives and innocent children -- and as President Kennedy said, the shared weakness of mortality?
But let us not carry that concern so far that we consider people "self-haters" who desire to groom or modify themselves in a certain way. Isn't the whole point of inheriting one's own body the privelage of owning that body and expressing oneself through that body in one's own way? I rather rejoice in the wide diversity of ways that people express themselves "through their bodies."
Many people express themselves as "mainstream" by grooming their bodies in the "standardly-accepted fashion," and that's fine. Let them do so. It's an honest statement about how they view themselves.
How do you feel about people who pierce their ears? Mother Nature did not birth them with holes in their ears; they put them there in an artificial fashion. Doesn't that express a hatred toward one's ears? "Stupid ears: daring to cling to the sides of my head with no holes for earrings."
What about "bod-mod" people, those who pierce anything and everything and stick all kinds of painful-looking stuff through the resulting holes? Do they hate their bodies? or do they just want to express themselves through their bodies as a kind of art form?
What about people who get tattoos? Mother Nature didn't birth them with colors inserted all over their bodies. What right do they have to walk into a tattoo shop and say, "Here, print a word or a picture into my body?" Isn't that a way of saying, "I hate my plain body with its lack of messages and art forms." Or is it a way of saying, "I love my body as a canvass on which I can print the words and images that express myself?"
Of course I disagree with institutions (e.g. churches) that say, "You *have* to shave yourself. You have to represent yourself as a conformist and a part of me, your parent organization." But once all the parent organizations are removed, doesn't each person have as much a right to express themselves through their bodies as a woman has a right to choose an abortion (reasonably early in the pregnancy term)?
I have always strongly favored diversity in all its manifested forms, including the wide and creative array people display in how they groom and modify themselves. One guy conservatively shaves and trims himself. That says something about him and his personality. Another guy lets his hair grow as long as Nature intended. He, too, says something about his beliefs, ideals, and dreams. Why can't I appreciate both kinds of bodies?
Is it wrong anytime humans do anything to alter the given course of Nature? Is it wrong when we fight cancer cells, or look for ways to eliminate AIDS? Nature never told us to do that. Do we hate the course that Nature laid out for us?
Humans do so many things that are harmful to each other. It seems to me that an individual's "style of grooming" is one of the few ways we can express ourselves that is ultimately harmless. Does every African American have to let their hair grow out and become an afro? Does every Caucasian need to grow their hair to their buttocks? Is there an important social statement that needs to be made by giving Mother Nature free reign over how we look? Is every modification to our natural bodies a way of saying, "I hate Nature and my body, I want to conquer Nature, and destroy this planet?"
Humans are so prone towards hatred towards so many things. Shouldn't we concentrate on the bigger things, the things that result in the loss of human (and animal) life? Can't I "hate my body a little," and have no one else be harmed by it? Can't that be my way of coping with living in a messed-up world?
I say we let ourselves prune ourselves, and color ourselves, and alter ourselves as long as we can do so in the spirit of creativity and love. If we force each other to groom our bodies in a certain way, then I agree that we are manifesting a social disorder. But what an individual chooses, independent of any institution, is an entirely different thing.
And for that matter, why not cut one's hair if it makes one's loved one happy? It's only hair, for crying out loud. I'd be much more concerned if someone adopted a "right-wing view of politics" in order to please their right-wing partner.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"