Mirror, Mirror

body image

Why does the evil queen even trust that mirror in Snow White? I can’t fucking trust mine. Lately, my mirror has been doing this weird funhouse thing when I step in front of it like it’s squashing me slightly. I honestly don’t know if it’s the mirror or if it’s me and that’s just what I look like now.


“Well, what does your scale say?” you may ask. I don’t trust that traitor. For an instrument that is reportedly scientific, no one can explain to me how after 6 weeks of strict dieting I manage to lose at the most five pounds, and in fact, usually fluctuate up most days, while after 10 days in Italy doing a faceplant in pasta and gelato, I come home to find I weigh a pound less than my lowest diet weight. No, fuck the scale, too.


“So how do you feel in your clothes?” Well, that’s easy, I feel lousy. But I always feel lousy. Jeans always make me feel fat, no matter what size they are. If they fit me they feel like sausage skins, and if they’re too relaxed I feel like some doughy middle-aged man. I’ve had shirts no longer fit me after I’ve gained absolutely no weight whatsoever like they just shrink after 47 uses or something. Maybe they always fit like that and I never noticed. What do I know? I’ve got no answers, only questions.


There’s one mirror I like. It’s the one in the office lady’s room, third panel on the left. When I walk in to see myself in that third panel, my clothes look great, my outfit is cute, and I look thin. The two next to it, I don’t care for at all. They are as unreliable as the one at home and its fucking useless friend, the scale.


I often wonder which mirror is correct or if any of them are? Does any mirror accurately reflect your reflection back to you? Or are they all flawed and can easily be distorted by humidity or cold or whether or not Mars is in retrograde or who currently has more electoral votes in the Republican primary? Maybe scientists could study my beloved “Third Pane in the Lady’s Restroom,” to uncover if it has magical properties or if I really actually look like that. That would be nice to know.


Because unless I can get CERN to study the physics of the Lady’s Loo mirror, I am left to wonder what I look like. I am forced to go out in the world and interact with people without knowing what they see back. But, also, I am forced to eventually wonder if I need to know what I look like. Why is it so important for us to know what other people see when they look at us and does a mirror even accurately portray that even if it’s the “Third Pane on the Left in the Second Floor Bathroom?”


If I were to pose the same question to my mirror that the Queen does to hers – “Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” – my mirror would respond, “Well, you could be…if you were a few inches taller and you did a few more triceps curls and take off that dress, it cuts across your hips all wrong and did you really go another day without washing your hair?!” So really, why don’t I throw that bitch out? She’s about as useful to me as that twat friend who likes to talk about how she can’t believe she fit into a size 0 pair of jeans while she’s chugging down a milkshake.


But I can’t throw away the mirror anymore than I can do anything but smile and nod and make my sympathetic face while this skinny bitch orders a plate of cheese fries. Because as many times as I don’t like what I see in the mirror, sometimes I do. And I like to think that’s the me that people see.

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