A Year Without Beauty Magazines, Beauty

Mirror, mirror on the wall, I cannot walk but I can crawl…


This blog lets me down on a daily basis.

She lets me down in the same way that not-so-BFFish friend from the ninth grade, who promised to set me up with the cute boy at the all guys high school but then decided to date him herself, let me down.

Every day I come to this blog disappointed. She will never be what I want her to be.

I get it. I understand.

I’d need to attend Hogwarts or some ridiculous magic school where boys prance around with lightning bolts on their heads to gather up the spells necessary to morph this blog into what I really wish it could be: a table and two chairs. The backseat of a car. A window seat for two. A place where we could sit & talk and really learn one another beyond screens and Twitter handles.

If that were the case, then today, my blog would be a stage. And I would stand triumphantly upon my blog-like stage, tap the microphone twice and welcome all of you into the Season of Body Hating. Yes, you read that right (and if this blog were a stage then you would have heard it right), we have entered the Season of Body Hating.

Are there any newcomers to the crowd? Anyone who just realized their thighs touch or that their nose is too big? Welcome, welcome. We will be sure to set you up with a seasoned Body Hater at the end of this meeting.

You might think me strange, as Body Hating Season is normally believed to be the love child of Spring Break’s too tiny bikinis and Summer’s realization that yes, we’ve got a great deal of “Love” to “Handle” before we hit the waves and feel comfortable enough to do all that Baywatch slow-mo running.

BUT, BUT, I’ve had my ears open for the last few weeks, enough to know that plenty of us are growling at the mirror. Hating the fit of our jeans. We are Wanting to lose the weight. Needing to the lose the weight. Only to tumble & tear under the pressure of Want & Need while turning to the nachos to make this feeling of inadequacy Just Go Away.

We are Body Haters. And maybe you are like me, falling into the “I’d rather not hate anyone one, let’s braid flowers into our hair and love up on one another in a Woodstock fashion” category, but I will admit that there are some types of people that I strongly dislike… the kind who cut others down. The kind that belittle for no reason. The Negative & the Naysayers.  You know them. You surely know them. I give you full permission to say them in a really dramatic way; slather repulsion and a tone of annoyance all over that “them.”

But while we are on the topic of “them” though, let’s take a short field trip.

Unplug your laptop from the wall and bring it to a place where you can sit before a mirror and ask yourself a question.  I am willing to believe you might have never asked this question before: What have your thighs done wrong? What has your stomach done wrong? What have your arms done wrong?

They’ve never teased. Never taunted. Never told you that were not good enough.  They’ve just been there, as parts of you & I, and yet they never get praise. Only our Buckets Full of Negativity, our Self-Loathing, our Frustration.

You. Me. We’ve been the bullies this whole time. We’ve been the naysayers and the negative ones, tearing ourselves down in the mirror. Leg by Leg. Calorie by Calorie.

We’ve been the ones to cut ourselves at the knees and take to crawling. We’ve belittled our inner thighs. Trash talked our body fat. We’ve called ourselves Fat, Ugly, Disgusting, Pathetic before we ever thought to give ourselves a sentence of love. Or even just a word. Heck, a letter. A Single Stroke of Ink on a page that affirms the fact that we love the person reflected before us each day.

I don’t know what you’ve realized lately, but I am finding that it makes living hard. It makes day to day life hard when the one who never wronged us, sitting in the mirror, takes all the blame for something that sits within us. An Ugliness perched within our own hearts that comes out in all sorts of Fat Talk & Ridicule.

If it is not our love handles then it will be our butt, if its not our butt then it will be our shoulders… some kind of “Imperfect” will always rub against our skin if we keep it this way. If we keep ourselves in the role of bullying our bodies instead of ever declaring, enough to truly believe it, that we deserve more.

We Need More. More than 100 calories that never satisfied us anyway. More than an hour long boot camp session that will hopefully leave us smaller in this world.

We need more. We need more.

To Be Continued…

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5 thoughts on “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I cannot walk but I can crawl…

  1. I love this. So much. Putting it like that, like our bodies have been the ones (sometimes, I feel like the only ones) who have NOT wronged us, makes it seem ridiculous to actually feel like we should take it out on them. Hannah Hannah Hannah. I need to start printing your words out and pasting them onto my wall.

  2. alyssa says:

    Love. Even when we don’t like to Blame Ourselves for the fatal flaws of reality, we tend to assign flaws to the Mirror. The Mirror who does nothing but reflect whatever we project, be it beauty or belittlement. We say “This is a dirty mirror.” or that the shape is unflattering. And if not the mirror, then the Lights. Lights shedding a glow upon our inherently beautiful selves, not meaning to highlight something for the Harsh words of Self-Depreciation to latch onto and feed.

    Ladies, Hannah has it. We’ve put ourselves here. Not your arms, not your thighs, not your mirror and not your lights. Mothers and Seasame Street have told us the Golden Rule of social interactions…”If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Why abandon this when we step in front of the unassuming Mirror? We speak to ourselves, so speak kindly.

    (Also, check out this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30/kjerstin-gruys-year-without-mirrors_n_935229.html)

  3. Albs says:

    “It makes day to day life hard when the one who never wronged us, sitting in the mirror, takes all the blame for something that sits within us.”

    Sure does. Looking forward to the next part of this post 🙂

  4. Really like this post. First of all, everyone, any I mean everyone questions their appearance (and how others perceive them). That is human.

    I can also say, or at least personally, while when I was younger I used to go for skinny bodies – I will not give a skinny body a second look if she cannot keep me entertained with witty conversation. Women who are themselves, are women who men want to be around.

  5. Pingback: Define “Beauty” | Beyond Waiting

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