Girl, Your Mirror is Lying to Ya
The post below is from a group I am working with and covers a topic that I struggle with. Body image, dysmorphia, eating struggles are all topics that I have lightly touched on in the last. Right now I am really struggling and in a sense it’s because of the holiday season. I don’t think I am alone in this and I wanted to give some hope and resources that maybe might help others out there. Wherever you are today, please take care of yourself.
Do you ever wake up in the morning and dread the very idea of getting ready for the day? Getting ready means standing in front of the mirror and that means yet another appraisal of your body and how you look. It’s not something that you look forward to, so where possible, you avoid the mirror. Why? Because the mirror is showing you a person that you don’t recognize. It’s showing you extra weight and stretch marks in dark purple, mapping a path across your skin and making you look worse than you ever knew. And the mirror wouldn't lie to you, because the mirror is something that you have relied on for your whole life.
Except, girl, the mirror is lying to you, more than you know. There is a condition called body dysmorphic disorder, where you will look into the mirror and see a you that isn’t real. When you are reliant on the magazines that you read every day to tell you what ‘beautiful’ is, you believe that you need to mirror the women in the photos. The photoshopped, elongated, touched-up women in the magazines are every bit as lying to you as the mirror. Those days you are starving yourself to fit into the model of what society believes is beautiful are the days your mirror is going to show you that you look fat - and this is where your mirror is lying to you.
Basing every feeling you have about your body on what you see in the mirror is going to damage the way that you feel about the body that is living and pulsing and breathing for you. Copying unattainable body goals - unattainable because the women are doctored by computers - to fit a beauty standard is going to damage you physically and mentally for the rest of your life. But you already know that. You already know that you are heading down the road to seeking anorexia treatment and getting psychiatric help. You know, in your heart of hearts, that you have a standard of beauty that you are attaining all on your own - with your own body and your own look. The mirror doesn't always tell you the truth, and the faster you learn this, the happier you will feel.
Don't feel bad for believing in the mirror, though. It’s important that you realise that if your bedroom mirror suddenly turns into a funhouse mirror, it’s definitely not you that’s the problem. Speaking to the professionals about the way that you see yourself in the mirror is going to help you to get to the root of the problem and give you the chance to learn to love yourself without the need for a mirror to validate all the negativity that you feel about yourself. Realise that you are a perfectly imperfect, normal human being who radiates beauty on the inside and it shines on the outside.
You do not need a mirror to tell you how you look - you just need to believe that you are worth everything.