In a first person article on PopSugar, one writer decided to share her story about overcoming her fear and hatred of full-length mirrors. I found this story particularly interesting because there’s been a lot of discussion about mirrors hurting or helping the curve community. Blink Fitness decided to take down mirrors one day of the week to encourage a message of overall wellness instead of obsession of size and vanity, but then mirrors are also used to post powerful selfies of women celebrating their bodies, even if it gets censored and taken down on social media.
It’s an interesting paradox, particularly in this writer’s story who starts out saying that she changed from a small mirror to a big full-length mirror after she moved, and for the first time in a long time got a full view of her body, her stomach and was displeased. And while she mostly used mirrors for quick things like applying makeup or brushing her teeth, the reality of looking at a full-length mirror and having to stare at your body everyday when that hasn’t been your normal routine, could be a daunting experience for anyone.
To sum up her story, she decides to, “The first thing I did wasn’t to run to the grocery store to buy my weight in veggies, or to sweat for an hour straight at the gym. No, I got in my car, went back to that home store, and bought three more big-ass mirrors. I hung one at the top of our stairs, one in the main hallway, and one in our living room. I needed to see myself, to help keep me in check.” So yes, she did the thing I feared this article would turn into: abusing mirrors as a tool to control body confidence.
She ends the article by suggesting that you need to find what works for you, maybe eat a salad at lunch, or have reminders like full-length mirrors to check yourself. What the writer completely misses is that this is exactly why wellness is the goal–women should not put pressure on themselves to see a certain body aesthetic in the reflection of the mirror. There is no check that women need to have other than being hypercritical of themselves, and being a slave to society’s standards.