For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a mirror in my bedroom. When I was little it was one of those tall, dress up mirrors. I felt like a princess when I stood in front of it and twirled.
When I got a little older, it was the mirror on top of my dresser. I used it to examine my changing frame, to dissect my pubescent face, to mourn over my budding breasts and bulging hips.
Now, we have mirrors in the attached master bathroom. It’s right there, first thing.
It’s always been there. As long as I can remember. First thing in the morning. Staring back at me. My own reflection.
When was it exactly I started dissecting? When did it start, the mourning of my various parts? Why was it that I began this daily ritual of wishing my reflection were different, even just slightly? A little less full in the hips and thighs. A little more smooth around the forehead, cheeks and chin. A little flatter in the middle. A little tanner, a little taller, a little different.
Good morning, ugly.
That’s what I should have said all those days.
But we don’t, do we? We aren’t usually that blunt. We just sigh, pinch, push up, pull down, flatten out, plump up, grimace and wince and sigh. Every morning, we study and we wish. We memorize the outside, the tiniest imperfections, and we wish.
How many days, weeks, years have I wasted wondering? Wishing? Wanting? All for nothing.
Every morning, the same routine. Get up, use the toilet, brush my teeth, and dissect. Every single morning.
Good morning, ugly. Good morning, too-large-thighs, too-plump-belly-pooch, too-saggy-breasts, too-fat-everything.
Maybe you’re like me. Somewhere in the middle ground of the body image spectrum. Dwelling in the culturally acceptable range of self-loathing and body hatred. In fact, hatred and loathing are too strong. More like, dislike, dissatisfaction, discontent, distaste, and sometimes, on really bad days, disgust.
Everyday. Good morning, fill-in-the-blank. Good morning, ever-faithful, neverending imperfections.
When did this Mean Girl morning ritual start? And why? And how do we make it stop?
Is this just how it is? Is this just how everyone thinks? How we are destined to live? Or is there another way? Were we intended for something else?
Ask yourself what the areas you focus on when you look in the mirror. What “flaws” or “imperfections” bother you most?