Updated: Aug 6
Reflections. Reflections are everywhere. What does your reflection in the mirror think about you? But most importantly, what do you think about your reflection?
When I was younger, I used to misjudge my reflection. I kept seeing myself as bigger than I was, and I kept thinking I should lose some weight. But I would continue to think the same thing, even when I did lose some. After all those years, thoughts from that period of time still haunt me, telling me I shouldn’t hear those tiny voices my mirror was making. Maybe these voices keep existing, only because people make them louder. Each and every one of us are judged for our appearance, our whole body.
I kept listening to people and what they had to say about me. Until one day, I met a girl at work. We chatted a bit while I was serving her a sandwich. She made a comment about her weight, and although she did, she didn’t seem insecure at all. I made a comment about mine as well, as I felt a bit uncomfortable, and she then asked me something that I will never forget: “Do you like food?” I replied yes. “Do you enjoy eating food?” I, again, replied yes. “Then why don’t you like it when it shows?”
I had never thought about it that way. Up until then, I saw my body as something that had tortured me for decades. But she helped me. She helped me to understand her point of view, to see my body as a container. You fill up your container with everything you want. What does a human body need in order to live properly? Water. Food. Energy.
Sometimes, it gets hard for people to understand that the ideal body that society has made to seem normal does not exist. And even though it really sounds cliché, all of us have different bodies, that need something different. Not every body is made for abs, or huge muscles. Every body has a different need, and this is what your tiny voice in the mirror should tell you.
What’s hard for many to understand is the pain a minor comment could cause to one. Comments like “you’ve gained weight” or “you should lose some weight, you were cuter before” made me not want to look at myself in the mirror. It is hard to accept your body the way it is, and I always had a different thought in mind for my body and how it should look.
Time sometimes makes it easier. I don’t know why, but some nights, when I’m hyperactive, I look at myself in the mirror and I tend to like what looks back a bit more. You see, when I started coming out to people, the hardest thing for me to do was to stare back at my reflection and say “I’M GAY”. I couldn’t do it at first. I was judging myself more than other people did. I was crying every time. It usually takes a while to accept you for you and not for what others see you as.
My mirror nowadays does not talk much. Its voice doesn’t have the same power it did before. It doesn’t say any negative comments. Sometimes it just says hi, and I reply. I just hope in the near future for it to say something nice, or a compliment. It might take a while, but surely, I know that I’m closer than before.
Now, I’m on a tiny island in Greece, and I’m going to work here in the summer, alongside my boyfriend. We just renovated the house that we’re going to stay in for the next couple of months. While writing this, I just hung a mirror in my bedroom. My mirror says hi. My reflection thanks me for all the hard work and thanks me for not being toxic to myself once again. My reflection thanks me for all the good things I kept providing to myself. And my body thanks me as well, for listening to my container, for not pushing it hard to be or look differently. My container will thank me later, when and if it needs to go to the gym. I try to listen to my container more than I do to my mirror.
So, to finally answer my question, yes. Sometimes it is hard to look at myself in the mirror. Sometimes it isn’t. And that is still ok. We are pressured by so many different aspects in life. We need to stop being our worst critic and start loving ourselves more.