Feminism | Posted by Morgan SW on 05/12/2010

A Good Look In The Mirror

Looking in the Mirror: not as easy as you think

Looking in the Mirror: not as easy as you think

Big. Small. Fat. Ugly. Moles. Flat. Round. Mediocre.Voluptuous.

I’d say I think about my body and my body size at least 10 times a day. After all, any time I go out (or stay in my house) I see images, ideas, slogan, diet commercials. Every one is telling me what I am doing wrong, or what I should be doing to improve my weight, body, looks.

Now, this is not going to be a rant about how society and media are ruining our lives by bombarding us with images and ideas that we (I’m going to focus on women for this piece, not that this isn’t happening to men) need to be skinnier. Because the thing is I truly believe we can TAKE CONTROL of this, of ourselves, of our image. Sure, people are always going to be telling you to be someone different, but that won’t help you. Will changing yourself and what you look like really help you? In my opinion, not at all. So once we accept this, that by changing ourselves we won’t be doing anything better, what now?

This morning I got out of the shower, walked to my room naked and stood for a solid 15 minutes looking in my long mirror at my naked body. It’s really amazing what I noticed. I have kinda flabby arms, I never noticed that I had some muscle in there. I found a big freckle on my right breast and a birth mark on my left thigh, things I never knew I had.

Why did I never know? I’ve never really stared at my body before. I don’t have terrible self-esteem, but I don’t have great self-esteem either, so why have I never done this before?

While looking at myself, completely exposed I thought “I love my body.” I really do. Yeah, I have a stomach, bigger thighs, my legs aren’t shaved and always have some sort of bruise or scratch on them and my arms are big and my nails are bitten, and I could think of many other things that are wrong with me but so what? By thinking of all these things am I really helping myself? Is my image really that important?

So then I just had this extreme loving thought towards myself. That I love my body, I DO love my curves and my back spots and my bigger arms and my freckles. This was then slammed down a second later by another voice in my head asking why? Why should I love this? There was so much disgust in this voice, I was shocked. How could I have such a loving moment to myself then followed immediately asking myself why I should ever feel such love towards myself when I look this way?

I think that I am always thinking, because others are thinking the same, that there is something wrong with me. I can never be perfect (and I’m not saying that by accepting my physical aspects I am perfect) so why try to attempt such an impossibility?

I’m not trying to preach saying, “Ohh you are perfect as you are, don’t change yourself blahblahblah.” Mostly I want to send out this message and ask you all, if you haven’t already, to look at yourself in the mirror. Fully exposed. See what you notice about yourself, what you never knew. We hardly ever do this, I find. We are always so discouraged by others that its hard to do this. We are afraid at what we will find, because what if we don’t like what we find?

But my challenge to you is to see what you see, and look at yourself with love, kindness and no judgement. It’s hard, really, I don’t even think I am there yet. But I feel it’s something we all need to do.

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  • Zoe Y. @ at 7:26 pm, May 13th, 2010

    Try doing this.

    Break down your body into all of it’s separate parts (thighs, nose, feet, stomach, etc.) and write one positive thing that you like about it. There may be a million things that you don’t like about yourself, but there’s also good things as well.

    For example, my stomach is my least favorite part of my body but it is still a pretty cuddly part to hug :)

  • alexia @ at 11:42 pm, May 15th, 2010

    Love it, this body, It´s the only one we´ll ever have. I choose to forget all the bullshit of the world and just love it – all of it – all of me.

  • body loving blogosphere 05.16.10 | medicinal marzipan @ at 7:25 am, May 16th, 2010

    [...] SW from the fbomb  wrote a great post this week about taking A Good Look in the Mirror, and it is all manner of teen-feminist-body-positive awesome. [And honest, to boot.] [Yes, to boot, [...]

  • Grey @ at 2:58 am, July 5th, 2010

    I actually done this already once. Just like all other women I’ve bullied myself into becoming skinnier. For two straight years I tried to lose 20 pounds, but I’m still at the same weight I’ve always been. Then I looked at myself and realized my stomach really isn’t as big as I always think it to be. I do have big thighs, but it’s because I have pretty awesome hips. And my arms aren’t as horrible as I thought it to be. Of course I’m not always going to love my body, but I like it more now.

  • stellaluna @ at 12:55 am, August 13th, 2010

    This is a beautiful article. I have an eating disorder, so looking at myself in the mirror can bring me to tears on most days. But on a day like today, I feel okay, and when I look in the mirror I try to look at myself as another person, not as myself. If you see yourself as just another human being, someone who has a soul and a brain, you can detach yourself from your mind’s habitual “ugly, fat, flabby” name calling. When I look at myself as another person, I think; she’s pretty. It’s so hard to do! But would you call another girl “ugly, fat, flabby”? Well, I wouldn’t, so I need to keep this in mind when I see myself in the mirror too.

  • blakerivers @ at 4:51 am, August 19th, 2010

    -stellaluna – ‘Do unto yourself as you would do unto others.’ A good lesson there.

  • Danielle @ at 10:20 am, September 10th, 2010

    I started doing this during college. Every single day I stare at my naked body in the mirror until I am comfortable and at peace with it.

  • Ciel @ at 9:29 pm, September 10th, 2010

    Your web site report is incredibly intersting and fanstic,at the identical time the webpage topic is distinctive and perfect,fantastic position.For your success.

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