Distorted Reflections

There is a box that sits in the corner of the smallest room in the house. Some days it offers me kindness, and validation; others, it’s my worst enemy.

Some days the validation is a double edged sword. Validation can mean good things, or that my fears are coming to fruition. There is no in between.

On a wall beside the dreaded box, a moon like object hangs. It provides me with an image of what I supposedly look like. This distorted reflection taunts me. Some days it shows me beauty, others, not so.

In a drawer overflowing with mystery, I keep a bag of disguises; colourful powders, and potions can be applied to hide, or alter my moods.

Well chosen fabrics, and styles conform my body to social norms. Fashion, or function can be selected for the day’s events. Comfort is secondary depending on the situation, and my mood.

I’ve lived most of my life this way. I know I’m not alone in my struggles. Most of my friends, regardless of gender identity have felt these insecurities at some point in their lives. Many of us are programmed to not only feel them, but to take them to heart, and believe them with every blink of our eyes. Blinking only pauses the view distortion for a brief moment.

Why though? Why do we live in a cloud of self-doubt, and self-inflicted emotional punishment? One could “blame the media” for thrusting seemingly perfect bodies in our faces; teasing us with unattainable body standards, and fashion sensations that require contortionist level flexibility to wear, but the media is changing towards body positivity, and fashions are changing towards inclusivity, yet still no one is satisfied.

Why not? Basically, we’ve been so programmed to believe a specific body type is perfection that we are now fighting other people’s happiness, and validation in order to continue oppressing ourselves. We sell ourselves so short in life that we can’t fathom anyone possibly being happy with themselves.

The coin has to sides. In a circle of friends, everyone boosts each other up, cheering for happiness, and self-acceptance, yet if one were to listen closely, each person cheers for their friends while diminishing, and dismissing their own value, and beauty. No-one wants to be perceived as being overly confident because that in turn invalidates boosting someone else’s ego.

Many of us are so accustomed to self-deprecation that when we are complimented, we take it as surface deep, and never truly feel the beauty that others see in us.

We often wish that people could see themselves through our eyes so that they could truly believe how beautiful, and amazing they are. I wonder though, if we could see ourselves through the eyes of the people who truly see us, would we still only believe in our faults?

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