Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I’ll never forget the day my brother brought home one of his buddies when I was probably around 12 or 13. It was a summer day and I was wearing shorts. My brother said, "That’s my kid sister, Karen." The boy looked me up and down several times and then said, "hmm, you have knobby knees…" and then he went off to play with my brother.

I was mortified! I never actually gave my knees a second thought. So, because I didn’t have a full length mirror in my room, I jumped up on my bed to have a better look. "Knobby knees! Really? They just look like regular ol’ knees to me!"

The next time I saw him, I said, "I had a closer look at my knees and they look like knees." He looked again and said, "You have weird spaces between your legs when you stand too."
SPACES! Yup, the air between my knees was no good either…air that I couldn’t even claim to be mine.

I ran into my room and jumped on the bed and had a look again. I decided that I needed a better mirror so I dismantled the mirror from the dresser and put it down on the floor sideways. I started finding all sorts of problems. The problems were everything from the texture of my hair down to my feet that seemed too flat. I began to cry.

I look back at that as absolutely ridiculous. I was doing ok until this boy started in on my knees. The mirror is a very dangerous place that I think we spend too much time in front of. I know it’s fun to grab a hairbrush and sing into it pretending you are singing to someone, but when you start using the mirror for inspection like that, you are tripping down a very slippery slope. Top models find flaws too. You can actually talk yourself into thinking something is there that isn’t. But so what if it is?

The problem with mirror-inspecting is it can’t possible set the mood right for the day. If you require it for a task like putting on mascara, flossing or doing your hair, it’s fine. But when you strip down and stare wishing something could be flatter, bigger, smaller, smoother… then it’s a train wreck waiting to happen. I think people should throw out their bathroom scales too. Losing weight and building muscle probably won’t budge the scales anyways so why have them? You retain water a few days and gain a few pounds and then starve yourself from guilt. They are just bad.

What happened to me as a young teen was an unhealthy obsession with body image. It didn’t even come from magazines back then. It came from a boy. That really sucks too because that particular boy would have made a horrible boyfriend. If you think about it, would you want a guy who would point that out? Perhaps it isn’t that I wanted him as a boyfriend, but his comment may have made me think I could never have anybody with my knobby knees. You know what the problem is there? I can’t exactly cosmetically make my knees look less knobby. So, I live with my knees. Why? Because they are mine. Every part of the body is given to us…the body IS a temple. If we don’t protect it, who will? I understand people wanting to feel better. So if we want to do something GOOD for our body, I am all for it IF the motivation is to feel better. But if we need to change something to win someone else, we’ve lost ourselves in the process.
Is that a good trade-off?

We don’t really seem to be too concerned with what we put in our body either. What if the mirror showed what was going on in there? Talk about horrifying.

Much love on ya!
Karen :)

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority." ~E.B White

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