I hated mirrors.
My mum loves mirrors. So growing up, we had over five mirrors in my house. Everywhere I turned, I saw a reflection I didn’t want to see. I picked at my every imperfection, and when I was done with what I could see. I picked on those that existed only in my mind. It’s really astounding how glancing at a mirror can highlight all your flaws.
I wonder how my mind didn’t succumb under all the negativity. I must be a very strong girl. I am a very strong woman. But I didn’t know this back then.
Every glance at the mirror reflected every pound I’d added. Mirrors told me when I was fat. They showed me the folds and the excesses. They told me I could never be good enough. It was worse in the bathroom, I had no covering. I was not able to hide behind the clothes so I nitpicked at myself until I was bold enough to turn away.
Turning away didn’t help. It just relieved me for a while. The images still haunted me, no matter how many times I tried to blank them out.
Mirrors told me how ill-fitting my clothes were. I hated wearing dresses. Dresses highlighted the masculinity in me. Trousers made me fit in somehow. My trousers and my Converses were always a win win for me. I was one of the boys when I wore those. I fit right in with the guys.
My mum was always angry whenever I decided to stay at home instead of go out. She thought I was a home buddy. Little did she know I was too afraid to dress up. Too afraid to go over the process of trying to look good. You see, no matter how good they told me I looked, I never believed them. Anyone could give a compliment but that is all it was to me. Only a compliment which I didn’t have to believe – wash! The worst part about getting dressed and eventually leaving the house was seeing someone that wore the same thing. The person always wore it better.
My mum still loves mirrors so we still have a good number of them around the house. I stop and stare at myself anytime I see one be it in the mall or at home. My ex called me vain once. Vain! I thought it was ridiculous then. Now I see it has a compliment. I have a mirror in my room and I always make sure to dance in front of it – always without clothes. When the voices try to overshadow me, I begin to smile. I smile to myself and tell myself how wonderful I am. I even twerk just to annoy whatever plan the thoughts come up with. This is something I wouldn’t have dared a couple of years ago.
I love mirrors now.