Mirror Image

Body image is a huge deal in our culture. The current expectation is that women should be tall,beautiful,slender creatures. After all you don’t see short ordinary looking women on runways and in print ads. Men don’t escape cultural expectations either. They are supposed to be tall with well defined muscles and a commanding presence.

Educated adults are buying into the myth of perfection. Anything less simply won’t do. Cosmetic surgeons have a revolving door of new clients wanting to look like the latest popular celebrity. People literally starve themselves just to fit into a smaller dress or suit size. There is bulimia and anorexic,along with a host of other medical conditions,that find their origins in our body image.

Is what we see in the mirror, just a reflection or an altered reality? Although I am clearly fitter than any time in recent memory, I still see an awkward person that should lose weight. Someone with balance issues and medical concerns when I pass the mirror.

Have I missed the last 18 months entirely?The logical me,says I am doing well. Other people see the differences. I don’t suddenly think they are lying when they give me a compliment. The thing is,my brain hasn’t caught up with my body image.Why is that? Will I always be,in my eyes,the uncoordinated girl with balance issues that just can’t get the body to do anything?

I remember visiting a popular seaside resort in England. Along the pier there was an attraction which was a mirror gallery. For a few pennies you could walk through and see yourself taller,twisted,fatter,leaner,you get the idea. Any shape imaginable as a young girl,I could find within those walls. I haven’t recalled that memory in decades.

It is relevant today at this moment. It reminds me that the image in the mirror isn’t always correct. In our vehicles how often do we read that the object in the mirror may be closer than it appears

When corrected ,I immediately come to my senses and wonder what the heck I was thinking. At this point I just try to reprogram each morning and check in with reality. If I lose focus though I am right back there at the beginning in an instant. This is more proof to me that the body and mind work best together. When they separate,even if I have caused the separation myself,they appear to gang up on one another. The mind attacks my bodies success and the body has stopped paying attention to my minds contribution. I am a masterpiece in progess.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? If it is a slightly distorted view it just might be the mirror you are looking into. One thing is certain,if the image staring back is a stranger,there are millions of people world wide that experience the same thing.

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