What happens when the Real Life You meets the Mirror You?
You get to see what everybody else is lookin' at. The crooked nose. The rounded tummy. The cellulite-laden thighs. That zit on your chin looking like Mount Vesuvias.
But contrary to popular belief, mirriors don't offer us perfect reflections of ourselves. There is a disconnect between our actual image and our perception of that image. That disconnect is why I can see a girl nearly identical to me in stature and I can consider her absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, while my opinions about my own body are less than favorable.
That's what I've been trying to explain to my friends all these years... It's not the weight. It's not the size, or the shape. It's how it all looks on me. How it feels to me.
For girls who struggle with body image, looking at our bodies in a bathroom mirror can be like looking at them in a fun house mirror: everything you're seeing does exist in the Real World, but the proportions are inaccurate.
It's that distorted perception that can keep us from being completely happy with ourselves.
I know some people are going to read this and think, Okay, easy fix. So you and like, 90% of the female population see yourselves as bigger/shorter/taller/smaller than you really are. Just alter your perceptions. Beauty is relative.
It's so much harder than that. It's hard to let go of a self-perception that, while maybe inaccurate now, was so prominent for so long.
In fourth grade science, we learned about adipose tissue. Fat cells, obviously, store fat. We learned that although one can lose that stored fat, those fat cells never go away. They just empty out. A male classmate of mine turned to me and said, "That's too bad for you, Grace. Did you hear that? Fat cells never go away."
I feel like an overweight body sometimes doesn't go away. It just empties out. And it leaves behind this imprinted memory of what you've looked like. What you've felt like.
And - it is true, you know. Beauty is relative. So what if your standard of beauty isn't matching up with your physical appearance? What do you do then? I guess you change. You change either your appearance, or your mindset. And I'd prefer a little of both, to be completely candid.
Sometimes I read what I write here and I want to delete it and shrug it off like it never mattered to me. But I just want to be honest with myself and express myself somehow. A lot of what I'm sharing here I've never shared with anyone but my closest friends. And, I want to make it clear that I'm not just writing about this because I need to be flattered with compliments about my body. I don't need that. That Mirror Me needs self-approval, and no one but Real Life Me can give that.