Friday, December 9, 2016

Mirror, Mirror

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

The mirror never lies. Or does it?

It was submitted by:


Does the mirror lie? Scientifically speaking, that depends on several factors. The quality of the glass, whether it’s concave, straight, or convex, and the type of lighting can all have an effect on the image you see in the looking glass. But there’s more to what you see than science can least not that kind of science.... Of course people make it a little more complicated.

Our own self perceptions play a role in what the mirror shows or at least in how we interpret it.

The narcissist, with his grandiose sense of self, may see his physical image far more favorably than anyone else. Donald Trump is a great example. He complained directly to the press about photos that were taken of him straight on with a smile on his face and how those photos weren’t flattering. Now, I will admit several news sources do intentionally post unflattering photos of every politician Trump included, but the photo he chose to complain about is exactly how the man looks. To him, the mirror shows something a bit more positive, and when he sees photos of himself, he balks. He can’t believe that’s the real him. The trouble comes from the “media” like with every other problem he has and not with his own thinking or actions.

It’s the complete opposite for me, and it’s something that requires a lot of hard work to overcome. And to be honest, I am nowhere near overcoming it fully. Body dysmorphia and self image issues play a large role in how I see myself. I do have good days and feel cute as fuck, but a lot of the time when I look in the mirror I see someone who is a hundred pounds heavier with a face too big for her features, ridiculous hair, and zero makeup skills. There’s a disconnect some days between reality and what my own self-image causes me to see. And that’s not to say that I’m not a chubby girl or that I don’t have bad hair days or bad makeup days, but it’s not the same as that. Some days it’s absolute despair to look into a mirror and see what I see which is nothing like what other people see…or so they say. I don’t really trust compliments either for fuck’s sake. It’s a tough road.

Somewhere in the back of my head even on bad days I know it’s what I’m seeing not necessarily what’s there, but it’s a powerful thing, that distorted image in the mirror in front of me. I fight it some days hoping to come out on top and others it’s just too much and I sink back into old habits of crying and avoiding and hiding out in the house instead of going to do the things I need to do.

But is that the mirror or me?

The mirror being an object based on a bit of science should be absolutely objective in the image it projects back to you, but life isn’t ever really so simple. Humans are so adept at fucking up objectivity. I mean, let’s be honest we’re adept at fucking up just about everything we touch, but that would take us down a rabbit hole none of us have the time to really explore. The mirror does lie to some of us, but that’s because we lie to ourselves. What we see is something we’ve created in our own minds shaped by experience, loss, trauma, abuse, resonating voices from the past, love, hope, the fight in us, and sometimes mental illness. It’s more complex that the pathway of light and color playing on our eyes from a straight cut of reflective glass that science would have us believe.

Maybe one day I’ll see exactly what’s there without all the baggage I’ve accumulated over the years, but as long as I have more good days than bad, I’ll take it.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Not That Sarah Michelle

The Bergham Chronicles

Spatulas on Parade

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

The Lieber Family Blog

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Simply Shannon

A Little Piece of Peace
Confessions of a part time working mom

The Angrivated Mom Blog


  1. Whether we see what's there, what we want to see or what we think we see, that mirror is a look into what's going on in our minds and our hearts at any given time. I've seen pictures of you, Jenniy, you're beautiful. I hope you spend less time letting you tell you otherwise.

  2. I have my own love/hate relationship with the mirror, hence the topic. I feel the same way about my bathroom scale. I love what you said about the mirror lying to us because we lie to ourselves. I've been reading this book, "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. It's really good, and she devotes several chapters to this topic. It's really made me look closely about what I believe about myself and why. Great job with my prompt, thank you <3

    1. I might have to check that out. It certainly can't help to add something else to my reading material. The thing that has helped me most are body acceptance blogs--The Militant Baker is a good one to follow. Tess Holiday, the plus size model and her effyourbeautystandards is also good.

  3. I like some mirrors in fitting rooms that make you look skinnier. Of course in the back of my mind I know it's a lie, and as soon as I look at myself wearing those very same jeans at home, the truth will come out ;-)
    I admit I kind of love the Donald's double chin pictures - only because I know they annoy him, haha!
    Generally I try not to consult scales and mirrors too often because I'm usually not happy about what I see, however I try to live my life in a way I get to look at myself in the mirror and be happy - I hope that saying even exists in English!?

  4. But the mirror only shows a physical reflection. It can't see inside you to the person you really are. In that way, it's not completely accurate; or else it's not accurate about the things that matter.

  5. I have the same problems. I grew up with with four brothers who were taught from an early age how to put someone down. I've heard "you're so fat" "you're so ugly" my whole life. It's hard to not believe what was drilled into your head for so very long. I say we shatter the mirrors and just be who we are. Fuck the rest of it!

    1. That's part of my problem. My dad's side of the family was always super critical of my appearance and my size, and it has really messed with my head all throughout my life. And as hard as I try, I just can't completely erase those haunting voices. It's tough growing up without unconditional acceptance and love.