I saw you on Twitter last night, asking if you were the only one. I can’t be the only one who looks in the mirror and hates what they see? That was what you asked, and that was how you broke my heart. Whilst you may not be the only one, that does not make what you are feeling right. Whilst you may not be the only one, that does not make what you are feeling okay. There are people like you everywhere, what you are feeling is normal. But it’s so, so wrong.
Because the girl that you are looking at in the mirror is incredible and I’m just sorry that you can’t see that right now. The girl in the mirror is a friend, she is a daughter, she is a woman. The girl in the mirror is strong, she is talented, and she deserves so much better than this. The girl in the mirror needs kindness, she needs support, she needs to be loved. And she needs that from you.
The body that you are looking at, that you hate so much, is doing incredible things every day. You take them from granted and for that you are forgiven. As you swing your legs out of bed in the morning you catch sight of the cellulite you wish would go, you’re distracted by that and you fail to appreciate the amazing strength it takes for your muscles to move you to the standing position. The stomach that you are all too aware of as you look down in the shower disgusts you, it wobbles, and you fail to remember that the fat there is serving a purpose, it is protecting the organs that you rely on to keep you alive. The breasts, maybe scarred with stretch marks that you catch a glimpse of as you dry yourself make you embarrassed, and you fail to remember that one day, they may be the thing you rely on to feed your child with.
You go to brush your teeth and as you see them looking back at you, you wish they were straighter or whiter, of course you fail to remember how crucial they will be in a few minutes time when you use them to chew your breakfast. As you apply foundation to your face you are all too aware of the blemishes that you wish weren’t there, you hide them, bury them underneath your warpaint and you fail to remember, as the last one is hidden, how your skin is the most impressive, beautiful and complicated organ on your body. As you pull out your mascara wand and begin to elongate your eyelashes you wish your eyes were bigger, you hate them for their shape and their size and you forget the gift that they give you every day; the gift of sight, the gift that allows you independence, the chance to SEE incredible things, the opportunity, ironically, to look yourself up and down and hate what is staring back at you.
And that brain of yours? What a waste of it’s amazing potential. To be filled with thoughts of self loathing and disgust when it could be used for so much better. It could be filled with love and laughter and joy, with self belief. The belief that you are worthy of love and in turn, able to give love. The belief that you are important and in turn, able to be important to somebody, to everybody. The belief that you are good enough and in turn, able to make others feel good enough too.
The person in the mirror is everybody. And everybody is worthy of love.
We have been taught to believe that we are not enough. The society that we have grown up in has instilled in us this belief that perfection is out there, and we are not it. It has told us time and time again that we are getting it wrong, it has shown us what is possible if only we were a bit better. It says we should be thinner or whiter or blonder and have small waists and white teeth and long hair. It has left us striving for something that does not exist. Society is wrong.
Because you, my friend, are perfect.
And you have one body, and one life. This is your one chance here. That mind of yours has been gifted this body, the body that will see you through your entire life, the body that is your home, it is where you live. The body that you need to embrace and love and protect.
When you look in the mirror you see somebody you don’t like. You see a girl staring back at you that doesn’t look like she’s supposed to. You see her and you compare her to all the other girls, the better girls. The girls who are also staring in the mirror and seeing the same thing: someone that isn’t good enough.
But please believe me when I tell you that you ARE good enough. You are more than good enough, you are perfect.
You need to look in that mirror and open your eyes and for the first time and you need to see what is really there. You need to look at the woman staring back at you and drink her in. Her laughter lines, each one, a memory. Her blemishes, proof that she is alive and evidence of the passing of time. Her eyes, glistening with potential of sights yet to be seen.
Her body, perfect, because it is hers.
So what, you feel a bit fat? So what, you feel a bit spotty? So what, you feel that you’re not quite symmetrical? In the grand scheme of your life so far, has that ever truly mattered? Did that stop you from cry laughing last week when one of your friends told you a terrible joke? Did that stop you from cuddling your mum last time you saw her? Did that stop you from being there for somebody that needed you?
There is so much more to your life than what you look like and to waste your time hating yourself is the biggest travesty of all. You are surrounded by laughter and love and light, absorb it, embrace it and remember this: you are beautiful, you are perfect, you are enough.