Mirror, Mirror

As young children we are taught to say “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” As if wishing on a star isn’t enough to make us feel inadequate because our wishes don’t come true. So we ask ourselves this question because Snow White’s Wicked Stepmother was too concerned with her own beauty to teach us any real lessons, like how not to compare ourselves with others 101, true beauty is on the inside not the outside—you know, the things that count.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Not me. Not me. Anyone else but me. The answer is always the same: someone else.

So we stand in front of the mirror, listing off our imperfections as if it’s a list of things to pick up at the new body store:  Hair (check), nose (check), smile (check), but wait. There’s more.

And we hide these imperfections behind layers and layers of make-up and clothes, afraid to show who we really are. Because if we are not good enough for ourselves, who else would we be good enough for?

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Not me. Not me.

So we compare and we compare. If I had this one’s nose, and this one’s smile, this one’s hair, and this one’s personality, I could build myself a castle and call me Cinderella, because this is a rags to riches story. But this is not a fairy tale. There are no fairy Godmothers, and even if there were, they wouldn’t waste their magic on something petty like beauty.

So we sit in silence. Struggling with the fact that we are not good enough. Struggling with the fact that the pretty girl always gets the guy. And we are so far from beautiful that we don’t even see the light from the sun.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

Like some twisted lullaby it repeats in our heads until we become our own worst enemy. It engrains itself into the recesses of our soul, and its cruel words are pumped through our blood until we can’t even look at ourselves without the concealing shade of darkness.

 

 

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

You are. You are. Because I Am. I Am.

You are beautiful because you are made in My image, and you are continually made beautiful because of the washing in My blood.

You are beautiful because I made you.

Move over Cinderella, because I have been built a Castle. My body is a Castle. My body is a temple. I am a Princess. I am a Daughter of the King. This is my rags to riches story.

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When I was Young

When I was young, I would curl up on my Grandma’s lap and read books for hours. By the time I had grown up, I had memorized 4 joke books and had read enough books to open a library. I believed that friends would last forever and that my reflection in the mirror would always be on my side. I believed that Super Man chose to exist in the form of my Dad, and that Band-Aids could fix everything. I believed that life was all rainbows and unicorns, and that life would last forever. I believed that if I tried hard enough, I could be anything and do everything. I believed that magic made the world go round.

It’s funny how time changes a person. It’s funny how mean words are remembered more than kind words, and how people have the ability to destroy others. It’s funny how people are so willing to change themselves to please others—they give pieces of themselves away until nothing but a small fragment remains, and then they spend years trying to get them all back; once they do, they are all misshapen and don’t fit together anymore.

I remember waking up one morning and hating the face in the mirror. Five years later, I am still trying to love it again. When I was little, I would pretend to be a princess, until I found guys that told me I was, but then treated me like the stepsisters treated Cinderella—as if everything I wore, my body and clothes, was made from their unwanted scraps. Five years later, I am still polishing off my tiara and mending my tattered Cinderella gown.

I remember waking up one morning and believing that my identity was found in a boy who was not yet a man: A boy who treated me as if I were property, like someone who didn’t need friends besides him. I remember waking up one morning and realizing that I didn’t need a guy to make me complete. I didn’t need a guy to make me special and worthwhile. I didn’t want to be Bella from Twilight, who relied so heavily on a guy that when he left she threw herself off a cliff.

I’m stronger than I think and braver than I believe. When I was little, I would run around the house in my Superhero cape pretending that I could save the world. Sometimes, I believe that I still can. When I was little, I believed that if I jumped high enough and flapped my arms hard enough, I could fly. Sometimes, I still try.

Sometimes, right after I wake up, in that moment between awake and asleep, I believe that I can be anybody and do anything that I want.

I am strong.

I am single. (you’d have to be pretty awesome to change that).

I am independent.

I am woman.

Hear me roar. *

 

 

*And by roar I mean laugh like a little kid in a candy store.