In my living room, right outside my bedroom, is a full length mirror with white, wooden trim. Out of the dozen or so times I pass it I take a glance at it 99% of the time. About twice a day I stop in front of it for a long period of time and analyze what I see. This is not a new practice of mine. For as long as I can remember I’ve been glancing at myself in the mirror whenever there has been a mirror around.
Mirrors are powerful things. I used to think that mirrors were something that showed a true representation of yourself, but recently I’ve been learning that mirrors actually reflect back a true representation of how you see yourself. They are powerful because we give them the power to dictate our self-image. When you look into the mirror and the first thing you look for are all of the flaws you have, you will see a flawed person staring back at you. If you see yourself as fat, then the person staring back at you will scream in your face, “Fatty!”. For years that’s what my reflection was screaming at me. I hated mirrors mostly because I associated them with negative feelings of myself and they exaggerated my poor self-image. I was obsessed at looking at myself in mirrors desperate to see if I was more beautiful or if I magically lost five pounds.
My obsession with looking in the mirror hasn’t ceased, but recently it’s for a different reason. I can’t stop glancing at myself in the mirror because the girl I see staring back at me is a dancer who is graceful and fit. I stand in front of the mirror and I dance only to be filled with joy and satisfaction. The full length mirror outside of my bedroom has become a tool of reassurance instead of distress. I’ll might feel gross about myself throughout my day until I look in the mirror, when I see a true representation of how I see myself. I don’t think this obsession is necessarily healthy to continue on forever, but for now I use it to my advantage to keep my spirits high and my self-esteem in check. I am more of a dancer than I think I am and the mirror is reflecting that back to me. I would be lying if I said when I look in the mirror I never see myself as ugly or fat, but my old, negative reflection is slowly moving on to bigger and better things.