The other day, I was waiting in the drive-thru for an iced tea to quench my thirst. Delirious with the 100+ degree heat, I had to look twice when I saw the license plate on the car directly in front of me. I even took a picture (see below). I won’t give you the exact spelling or lettering on the plate, but I will tell you that the basic meaning of the letters on the plate was unmistakeably “You Are Ugly.”
I have to admit, this gave me pause. I mean, clearly there was no reason for me to take this personally. Everyone who gazed upon this license plate saw the same message. Even supermodels would see the message that they are ugly. This message was broadcast to men and women, and even children. And I had to wonder–what kind of person orders a vanity plate that puts down everybody in the world who looks at it?
I’m sure the woman driving the car thought she was pretty cool and pretty funny behind her mirrored sunglasses. I suppose it is possible that she was simply borrowing somebody else’s car, and was feeling humiliated. But somehow, I don’t think that was the case here. I imagine that she thought she was being ironic. But I really wonder if it made her feel any better. Did it make her feel superior? Did it make her feel important? Did it make her feel a little bit more pretty?
Or was she acting out of some sort of deep pain?
And I really started thinking about how many of us are sending and receiving messages like this every day? Is putting everybody else in the world down the only way we feel able to lift ourselves up? Are we so injured by the daily barrage of messages telling us that we are unworthy, that we feel the need to lash out at the world? Have we been so indoctrinated by the world of haters that we feel like we need to become one of them simply to survive?
I don’t know. I do know it put my right off my unsweetened iced-tea (xtra ice). I felt more than a little sick to my stomach. But in the end, I think we each have to make a choice. We can continue the anger and dish back the hate. Or, as Harry Belafonte put it, we can turn the world around.
So in response to the H8tr plate, I’d like to offer this:
You and me and everyone we see, we’re ALL hot! And speaking of hot, I’d like to remind you that the second annual Hot Flash Mob is just one week away in San Francisco. Interested in joining the fun? Of course you are! So CLICK HERE!
In the meantime, don’t be a h8tr, be a “hot plater”.
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