Eye in the mirror. The one that sees all the flaws, all the fat, all the fear.
Is it your eye? Do you look in the mirror and see flaws? Do you look in the mirror and see fat? What about fear? Is it in your eyes?
As I was sitting at the orthodontist’s office today during Tayler’s appointment, there was a little boy sitting in the chair near me. He was probably about 8. He wasn’t right beside me, but another chair over and beside him on his right was his mom. It was silent for a minute and I heard her say, “I love you.” He responded, “I love you too.” So sweet. It made me tear up and think of my own boys when they were little. Such unconditional love. Unspoiled love.
Such unconditional love before we are told not to love ourselves unconditionally. Such unconditional love before things get spoiled. Before we are told that there are conditions. Before we are told that fat is ugly. Before we are told to see every single flaw with our appearance. Whatever happened to unconditional love with ourselves? Why do we find the worst things we can about ourselves and then hone in on that and focus on that and let that occupy our thoughts? Does that eye in the mirror reflect back at you and tell you that you are fat? Does it tell you that you are ugly? Does it look back at you with fear?
Let’s take it a little bit further. Do you have daughters? Do you have sons? Do your kids know what you think about those perceived flaws. Do you ever say out loud in front of your kids that you are fat? Do you ever put yourself down in front of your kids?
Because of my issues with body image and issues with food, I have made it a point to never say anything negative about my body in front of Tayler. I don’t want her to become obsessed with food or obsessed with some cellulite on her legs or obsessed with anything else about her appearance. I want her to be comfortable, no matter what she looks like. I don’t want to teach her that anything other than “Barbie” appearance is ugly. That is society talking.
If our kids are seeing us do these things and if they see us treating ourselves negatively and with self-hate, they are going to do the same thing. If we are constantly showing our kids that we hate our bodies by constantly being on a “diet,” how do we think they are going to start looking at themselves? They are going to start obsessing over their weight, over their looks and over everything about their appearance. We need to teach our kids to love themselves unconditionally. Our kids notice and hear way more than we think they do. It’s time we gave them some positive things to hone in on. Teach them to respect their bodies and themselves.
Next time that eye in the mirror is looking for flaws, think about how lucky you are to have a body that has a purpose. A body that can walk and run and breathe and function. Our bodies do a lot for us. Focus on the good. Let’s start loving ourselves unconditionally and teach our daughters (and sons) to do the same.