Mirror, Mirror


Photo by L. Leisure

An example of a student leaving a kind note to others

Lexi Leisure, Features Editor

Very few people can say they are comfortable in their own skin. Some people today believe in certain standards that need to be met in order to be considered beautiful. Not everyone is naturally beautiful though and the people who don’t meet those standards are looked at differently and judged.
Now, in the prime of prom season, girls undergo the pressures of trying on dresses and being criticized, or criticizing themselves over their bodies. I know girls who look in the mirror, but even worse, say something along the lines of “This dress is pretty, but look at my stomach. I look huge in this dress” or “Why can’t I have a smaller figure? I’d look so much better.” We can never seem to accept ourselves. Whether you’re considered “bigger” or “too skinny,” don’t buy into the lies that society feeds to us on a daily basis. No perfect dress size exists that everyone should strive to fit into.
Pressure is put on both genders. I found it interesting when a male friend stated how society places more pressure on women. He said that since men aren’t supposed to be insecure, when they have insecurities, it’s a bigger impact.
Body image for men is not typically brought up in the conversation, because most times, women are seen as the ones who struggle. The top concerns for men consist of height and masculinity. Men are naturally taller compared to woman. Many guys will lie about their height to seem taller because, in a way, height is a sign of authority. Looking down upon someone can be used as an advantage and for intimidation. There is also a competition between men about their masculinity and strength. The short and the weak are seen as outsiders. Not every man is the same as the other, and these stereotypes don’t have to define how they live their lives.
We all have insecurities. There are things we wish we could fix or alter, and with technology today, some people have that ability to make their bodies look how they please. I believe God made us perfect exactly the way we are and maybe we don’t need to change our looks. Maybe it is our mindsets that need to change.
In the new movie “I Feel Pretty” that came out April 20th, the main character is insecure about her looks and body. After an accident where she hits her head, she wakes up and now believes she is gorgeous. Nothing has changed about her physically, and yet she has all the confidence in the world when her mindset is changed. As the saying goes, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,” and I think we ourselves are our biggest critics. To look beautiful, we have to feel beautiful.
While women want to be smaller, men want to be bigger. Woman see small and curvy as beauty. Men don’t want to be scrawny or fat, but muscular and in shape. It’s an unspoken rule to not ask a woman her weight because it is seen as offensive. What if women were comfortable with their size and felt accepted no matter the number? What if we could look in the mirror and not go straight to our flaws?
We don’t acknowledge our own beauty, or the beauty of others, as much as we should. In a program called Operation Beautiful, kind words are spread to others through sticky notes. The group’s mission is “to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!” Anyone can participate in Operation Beautiful and it helps build self-esteem for yourself and those around you. Try posting “You are beautiful” on a mirror sometime, because maybe the next person who walks up to that mirror may actually believe it about themselves.