I wake up quickly. I’m not a morning person in the slightest, but once I’m awake, I’m awake. So I get out of bed and I do my morning routine things and I begin my day.

And in these moments, usually, it is determined what sort of day I am going to have.

In the bathroom, there is a full-length mirror.

My day starts with me, confronting myself in that mirror.

Confronting is too strong a word, really. It implies that a battle of some sort is going on. And really, it is nothing so contentious, though it was in the beginning. Now it’s not even a particularly long and drawn-out study most mornings. Just a glance, a quick to to remind me that this is my body and it is awesome.

Do you own a full-length mirror?

It’s hard to look into it at first, when you still aren’t down with your own body. But familiarity, in this case, does NOT breed contempt. Not when you are looking with a kind eye, with an eye toward getting to know yourself. Don’t stand there and analyze what you perceive as your flaws. Don’t tear yourself apart because your boobs sag or your thighs are dimply or for any reason. Take a quick look, find something you like, and move on.

And hold on to that thing that you like, that mental image, as the day progresses.  Remind yourself, if you start to feel that old body-hate creeping up on you, that you love whatever feature popped out at you in the morning.

And do it again the next day. And the next day. And the next day. Challenge yourself to find something different that you love about your body, if you’ve been picking the same feature for several days in a row.

It’ll become a habit. And it’ll slowly start to change the way you think about your body. And the mirror will be your friend and not your enemy. And your BODY will be your friend and not your enemy.

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  1. Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I certainly do own a full-length mirror. Sometimes I gaze into it and think, “well, hellllleeeeow!”; other times I think, “Woah! Cover that up right now before anybody else sees it!” but, be that as it may, I’m far too vain not to have one and, besides, they’re practical. Sometimes I’ll be convinced a certain top will go brilliantly with a certain skirt, only to discover they’re a disaster proportion-wise.

    It’s only in recent years I’ve realised I have friends who don’t have full-length mirrors. On purpose. Because they have a palpable dread of seeing themselves. My best friend, (who is not fat), won’t even take photos of her new hairdo and groovy glasses on auto-timer for me because she hates seeing herself. This makes me incredibly sad as she lives elsewhere and I only get to see her a couple of times a year.

  2. Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    This is one area I’ll cop to having a real problem. We have a full-length mirror in our new house only because it was left by the previous owners. What’s more, every single time I walk past it I cast my eyes downward so I don’t have to look at myself. About the only mirror I can really handle is my bathroom vanity (neck up) and my makeup compact.

    It’s an issue. I like your idea of how to work on it, although I don’t know how soon I’ll be as brave as you are. All I ever see when I look at my body in the mirror is yuck. Sad.

  3. Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    In our apartment, there’s a half-bathroom with a BIGGEST MIRROR EVER. It’s got a row of makeup-mirror-type lights above it (not sure what those are really called) and they’re so bright the bathroom has a dimmer instead of a light switch. We’re calling it the Rockstar Bathroom. It’s as close as we get to a full-length mirror – you can see from the thighs up. It doesn’t particularly bother me to see myself in it, but I really, really hate dressing room mirrors in clothing stores.

  4. Dorianne
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Been lurking on this blog for a few weeks, but I feel the urge to delurk for this post!

    I used to rely on nothing but the tiny bathroom cabinet mirror. Whenever I found myself face-to-face with a full-length mirror, I always did that trick people (of all sizes) often do, of twisting and turning my (fully-clothed) body to get the most flattering view. Within the last few years, however, I have serendipitously managed to acquire, not one, but FOUR full length mirrors in my apartment – including one in the bedroom so large as to allow two of me to stand side-by-side, with a little viewing room to spare!

    I have come to believe that the home is a reflection of, and a metaphor for, the self. I suppose the acquisition of these mirrors meant I was finally ready to face my true self, in more ways than just the physical. The surprising thing is, I have become pretty content with what I see in those mirrors…and pretty content with my life as well!

    I wonder how that cute young man who just moved in across the hall would look, standing next to me in front of that rather large bedroom mirror….

  5. Violet
    Posted September 3, 2007 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I just moved into a new townhouse, and my room has an alcove that has my closet and two 7′ mirrors for doors. My bathroom has a 5′x5′ mirror in it. The one in the bathroom just looks excessive and huge. The smallness of the alcove forces me to stand 3″ from the mirror, where I am forced to look at every nook and cranny (notice I did not say good or bad features).

    I’m not afraid of looking at myself in the mirror. I admit everything looks better with my glasses off. ^_^; But I can strip, do a shimmy, poke and prod, and not feel anything when I look into to it. But I still have a ways to go, as I don’t feel anything, good or bad.

  6. Posted September 12, 2007 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Yay for nekkidity!

    On a side note, for women it’s really, really important to be comfortable looking at your naked breasts in the mirror. Noticing visual changes is a key part of doing breast self exams, and it’s far easier to tell what’s normal if you’re familiar with your breasts.

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