Submitted by Halie Langanki
Upon walking into the fitness club I attend, I was faced with a poster with the image of a trim woman looking into a room full of mirrors with the words “Fear No Mirror” jumping out in large font. The ad was for Coolsculpting, a new fat reduction procedure. Complete with before and after pictures, this ad seemed to promise me that this procedure would give me a tighter, more slender body and, therefore, improved self-esteem (“Fear No Mirror”).
This poster was not only clear to me as I walked in for my workout, but it was also there for the numerous children, teenagers, and adults that walk in. Later on I discovered that this new “Fear No Mirror” campaign is not only present at this fitness club but has made its mark through media 3.4 billion times since its launch (Jafarzadeh).
But as broadly-marketed as this idea is, would this procedure actually enable a person to truly “Fear No Mirror”? Sure I could get this procedure if I am self conscious about say, my stomach area, but then what? What if I still “fear the mirror”? Then I’ll get it on my thighs. Nope, still fear the mirror. Then I’ll just get a little bit off this part of my arm… But what if I’m still self conscious? Unfortunately, it would be pretty easy for me to find parts of my appearance that I am unsatisfied with. But do I really have to keep chiseling away at my outer self in order to make my inner self finally whole?
This procedure doesn’t seem like self worth booster to me, but just a step on the endless Ferris wheel of feelings of inadequacy and self-contempt. Who are they to tell me that they way to self-appreciation comes through the refashioning my waistline? No matter what body shape, size, color, gender one is, the secret to no longer fearing the mirror doesn’t depend on appearance but on an inner, personal decision that one makes to makes to decide that she is enough.
The funny thing about the mirror is, it really just shows a sliver of us. The mirror doesn’t know your hopes, whom you love and who you are loved by, that you can play a wicked game of croquet, or that you just earned a new promotion. It doesn’t show the beautiful child that was birthed through those stretch marks, the years of love and laughter behind those laugh lines around your face, the countless swimming practices that sculpted your broad shoulders.
So, mirror, I’m making a conscious decision to not fear your reflection of me. Being okay with what I see in the mirror is not easy, and I’m still working at it. I have as many self-esteem hang ups as the next girl. But I can say that I don’t fear you, mirror, because you’re just a part of my picture.