Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”
Today I put on a cute shirt and a new pair of jeans. I straightened my hair and added a little make-up. What I hoped to accomplish was to squash this depressive mood in the bud. But how could I forget how much I hate looking in the mirror?
I can still remember the first time I looked in the mirror and smiled. Sadly, it wasn’t all that long ago. Mostly, looking in the mirror has led to criticizing every part of myself. It leads to a longing to be prettier. Prettier meant skinnier and tanner. I always considered myself the ugly friend, and the mirror always agreed.
I stopped looking in the mirror and started covering all reflective surfaces with cheesy quotes about self-love. This really was only putting a band-aid on the problem. I read the quotes and laughed about them, but when I did look in the mirror I still hear that inner critic. The quotes only made her louder and gave her more material to work with.
Mirrors are not the only time this critic comes out. Stepping on the scale, seeing other girls, and scrolling through social media. My critic thrives in these environments. I, on the other hand, only feel worse.
The church thinks responding to issues like this by telling people that their bodies are a temple and they should cherish it. They tell people we aren’t to be envious of others. They tell us we all have been created by God. What they don’t understand is all these “solutions” only transfer one problem into another.
Now not only do we not appreciate ourselves, but we also realize how we are failing in our faith. No, I don’t think the church realizes this is happening. In fact, I know they have well meant intentions, but we are struggling. We don’t need reasons why we should love ourselves. Most of us know that we should. What we need is someone willing to walk alongside us while we struggle with learning to love ourselves.
Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
© 2020 Kay Smeal