Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

What is it about us that make us feel insecure? I’ve had my share of bad hair days and tossing those old jeans aside to sliding into a pair of my ‘fat jeans’ to feel more at ease. Besides, I don’t want to pop a button into someone’s eye. Better safe than sorry. But what happens to our brain when we have this negative dialog with ourselves discussing our need to be beautiful? And when we’re less than what our brain ‘thinks’ should be beautiful—we end up in a depressive state of mind.

Now each morning when I get out of the shower, I have this awful full length mirror. Oh yeah—that thing needs to go ASAP! This thing has been up on that wall for years. I don’t know why I don’t get rid of it; maybe it prevents me from grabbing just one more bite of that delicious pasta. Who knows. Anyway, this mirror must have been stolen from a circus because it literally shrinks and widens your body. Then again, maybe I’m the one with the distorted body image and I really look like that. (I’m starting to depress myself now.) I know when I walk into the bedroom mirror, it’s back to normal. Or is it?

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you completely happy gazing into that reflective wall? Or do you say to yourself, “Hmm, probably need to dye the hair tomorrow and use some more anti-aging cream?” Think about this, what makes us have ‘fat days’ and ‘skinny days’? Leave out the retaining water issue ladies—believe me, no stranger to that concept!

I have friends who are no more than 115 lbs complaining about their weight. They complain that they’re too fat. God forbid if they jump into an extra size which would knock them up into a size four! Seriously, this is how people get anorexic; a distorted image that they create themselves.

And yes, you can say that the media has something to do with it and that they only focus on women who are size five and below. Fine. Do that. But even if the media decided to focus on heavier women---our brains still go into a conflicting dialog mode. “Well her face is so pretty.” Then it’ll be the face and hair. It never ever ends. I think some of us love the self-torture we put ourselves through. I do it all the time. I see my beautiful friends struggle with this issue as well, and I’m like, “Why???” I have three beautiful sisters that are all considered ‘model beautiful’---and no---I’m not being bias because they’re my sisters---they are that beautiful. They all complain about weight and what color to dye their hair next.

The other day I was in serious PMS mode. My lower stomach looked as though I had a bun in the oven. Oh my sweet Lord—I’m going to be buying moo moos on my next shopping spree! I felt depressed and anxious about it and went into a diet frenzy which consisted of beer and pizza. Lovely. After my huge PMS depression and raging outbursts, the next day I discovered that all that water retention had gone down. (Well somewhat.) And then the worst thing for me to watch is those diet commercials. How awful are they? They first show a girl in a bikini in her ‘before picture’ where cellulite is hanging off every inch of her---to her ‘after picture’ where she has a toned body with six pack abs. I immediately look at my keg—and think, “Oh my God, I need to call Jenny Craig!”

The best is that one commercial advertising their weight loss pill-- “Are you trying to get rid of stubborn belly fat? Studies show that it’s not your fault for gaining weight. It’s the excess cortisol that keeps you overweight, tired and thick around the middle.”

No---it can’t be the extra slice of pizza and Ben & Jerry’s every evening—can it?

But seriously, I think the sexiest quality of a woman is how she carries herself. Just look at Mandisa from American Idol. Even though she’s plus size woman, she carries herself so beautifully. Her face is amazing and her attitude and demeanor is absolutely stunning. Paula Abdul told her she had the perfect face. Of course Simon made that awful remark that she needed a bigger stage—but in my opinion, that alone stems from insecurity.

When someone puts you down, or tries to make you feel bad about yourself—whether it’s looks or anything regarding your life; that all stems from a self-esteem problem on their part. It can get really ugly if someone is really insecure, because they’ll take it out on someone else; whether it be putting someone else down or insulting them to no end. It’s sad to see that, because not only does the person who’s getting hurt feel bad, but usually the one who dishes out the insulting words feels the impact and regret later on.

Do we need to put others down in order to make ourselves feel good? No. Can we uplift someone else’s spirits with positive words and reinforcement? It can’t hurt.

Do this little test and be honest with yourself. Picture yourself walking into a crowded room full of people you know and love. But---picture yourself being one of your friends & loved ones watching you walk in. What thoughts go through your mind as you see yourself walking through the door? Do you think, “Oh wow, she looks great in that dress”, or “Oh wow he looks great in that suit?” Do you find yourself admiring your own appearance? Or do you pick out every little unseen flaw? Out of curiosity, I would love to know what your dialog in your head is like. Be honest though!