Mirror Mirror On The Wall!

Friday, February 24, 2017



“It is only when the mirror has not spoken to Chimpanzee in a plain language that it thinks it looks more better than the Gorilla”
― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Children's fairytales often provide the best insights into the meaning and the realities of life. The imagery used in the fairytales present archetypes that reveal important life lessons. The image of the evil stepmother in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' seeking validation for her beauty from the mirror is one very true example of this. It so happens that some mirrors give us the validation we are seeking, while others make us look hideous and we keep wondering if the mirror is warped! 'Oh my Lord! Look at the thinness of my hair, my freckles look bigger than usual, and those dark circles... damn!!' Mirror, mirror, am I the fairest one of all? Asking wrong questions makes us as delusional as the Snow White's stepmother. Sadly we keep posing the same question and keep hunting for the right mirror in the hope that it would ultimately declare us the fairest of all!! 

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall! Who is the fairest of them all?
Mirror: You're fatty! You're skinny! You've a million zits on those pale cheeks of yours! I don't like your curly hair! I so hate your square face! Please consider chopping up your potato-thick lips!

Throughout our lives, the society works like a mirror, dictating us how we should change our looks to be more acceptable and awakes us to our physical flaws. Ever wondered what truly makes someone attractive?

We cannot deny the fact that we often (very often) judge people based on their physical beauty. Especially, our first impressions about people are majorly an outcome of our opinion of their looks. More meaningful aspects come in later – such as their intelligence, character, nature, any talents and overall personality. We judge people and are judged ourselves every single second of everyday based on how we look – tall or short, dark or fair, underweight or overweight. All these judgments passed on us throughout the years result in shaping our self-image. Our self-image could be positive or negative based on people’s general opinion of us. Our view of ourselves affects our self-esteem and confidence - it can either make us or break us!

In our beauty-obsessed culture, where media runs advertisement campaigns with messages that convey how dark-skinned girls should use whitening creams if they wanted to get good marriage proposals, chances are most of us have grown up obsessing over fairer skin, taller height, thinner physique etc. We all have, at least once in a lifetime, been hit by low self-esteem due to beauty standards defined by the culture we live in. So, you'll let the beauty-conscious messages portrayed in fashion magazines, movies or on TV to get the best of you? Do you seriously think your self-worth will decline when you grow older, as wrinkles cover your face and your head goes bald or your hair gray? Is that more powerful than the experience and maturity you will hold in your heart, and the love you will feel for life? When the mirror tells you that you aren’t relevant in terms of beauty, stare back at it and yell out 'I AM MY KIND OF BEAUTIFUL!'

This is not strictly a she-related issue. Even men have self-image issues based on their bodies and looks. I know men who resorted to nerve-wracking workouts, strict dietary plans, and laxatives in an effort to shed weight or get toned. Same story, different characters - Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the handsomest of all!! 

How about a revolt against this mentality? A beauty revolution! Let’s change the definition of ‘beauty’! Let’s not rely on the definition that media, showbiz or any mirror projects. What if true beauty comes to mean who we are rather than how we look? What if the society alters its standards to measure beauty? What if beauty starts to mean you, with the face and the body you own? What if embracing our looks becomes our most attractive feature? What if the society starts to accept us with our flaws – our crooked teeth, small eyes, pimpled faces, bald heads and flat noses? What if this is not only embraced but also celebrated?

We have spent a great number of years dwelling on our physical imperfections and it certainly will take a serious mental shift to see beyond that. If you are successful in understanding the fact that a model-perfect appearance does not define the real you, you’ll begin to shape your mind and ignite your heart with the enlightenment of true beauty that exists within 'you'. 

Our desire to look perfect roots from our wish to be liked and accepted by others! It is quite likely that people who love you, love you for who you are. Your parents, your spouses, your children, your true friends – for them your physical beauty is irrelevant, maybe non-existent, almost meaningless. Their love is not based on your possibility to make it to a beauty pageant! For those, who would only love you for your perfect flawless skin, Barbie-like figure and looks, you really need not to pay any heed. Those warm familiar faces, those eyes that twinkle out of love for you, those joyful genuine smiles passed at you, and those comforting arms that hug you need no gate-pass of your beauty to love you. We all have our own natural scent, inner beauty, light and a very unique character that makes us who we are!

Stop wearing heels if they bite your feet (even if you’re a human midget like my very own cute little charming self), stop using fairness creams; you look great in your natural tan skin, stop starving yourself to low energy level; eat good and healthy! Relax into your imperfections and accept them with love and kindness.

With each passing day, I have started to redirect my focus away from dwelling too much on my appearance. I do try to look attractive and presentable every time I step out, but I am least obsessed with what people think of me. Instead I have shifted my focus on my passions that help me and others grow. Know that no oils and face masks will light up your face as much as the glow of your confidence and the knowledge of your self-worth.

Take a good care of yourself, and look your natural best!! 

We are beautiful, we need no mirrors!! Here is to our true authentic beautiful selves!! 

P.S My beautiful friend, the one who often occupies some space in my blogposts (Let's name her Miss X) sent me the following link, which became my inspiration for this post. I'm in no way endorsing the brand (obviously they didn't pay me, so why would I?)...but I do appreciate the thought behind this - the first step toward the beauty revolution!


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Amna's Goodreads Bookshelf

To Kill a Mockingbird
Animal Farm
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Romeo and Juliet
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Odyssey
A Tale of Two Cities
Frankenstein
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
Les Misérables
Eat, Pray, Love
The Poisonwood Bible
The Joy Luck Club
Middlesex
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Lolita
Under the Tuscan Sun


Amna Tariq Shah's favorite books »