If your mirror started talking to you, what would it say about your body? While it might seem silly to attribute a human-like voice to an inanimate object, the question is serious. I doubt your answers would be truthful, though.
You grab at your too-thick thighs and that flat strand of hair, whispering to yourself as you do, and a thousand inaccuracies are reflected right back at you. Overweight. Underweight. Dull eyes. The way your nose crinkles during the sorry attempt at a grin.
You find flaws in everything, but they are all lies.
I know exactly how you feel. Just like you, I stand alone in my room, victim to the same arbitrary judgments. The mirror highlights my worst vulnerabilities. I stand there in disgust as each mindless, negative comment from the past resurfaces, drowning me in the process. Perhaps you also yearn to swim despite the turbulent waves of insecurity.
A yo-yoing physique, ashen complexion, and an eight-inch incision down my middle incessantly remind me what I am missing. Twenty-five pounds of fat and a few organs are not the only thing I lack due to my genetic condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. My body is imperfect, and so is yours. Even the movie stars you idolize on the big screen aren’t without blemishes.
Nobody survives life unscathed, yet poor body image is an epidemic in today’s society. We’re always on an impossible quest for the perfect body, even though it doesn’t exist.
The journey to love my body has been long and arduous, but regardless of outsiders’ many opinions, I have learned that my unique “imperfections” are not really imperfections at all. They set me apart, forming a significant part of who I currently am and who I wish to be in the future.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have moments when I am desperate to don an Instagram filter before walking out the door into this photoshopped world, nor am I never guilty of changing my outfit umpteen times while spending hours applying makeup. However, those material cover-ups are not equivalent to self-acceptance. They enhance beauty, not comprise it entirely.
To truly spread love and kindness, we must first love ourselves—lest we become the epitome of our former hurts and risk casting them on others, just as others have cast them on us time and time again.
So, if your mirror started talking to you, I hope it says this: You are worthy. You are loved. You are beautiful.