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Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

Author's note:

The girls I interviewed asked for their names to be changed. 

Author's note:

The girls I interviewed asked for their names to be changed. 

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Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 14 Next »

Chapter One

Mirrors are notorious liars.
Mirrors suck in light, twist it and contort it, then whip it back out with all the gentleness of a heavyweight boxing champ. They shout:
“This is you! This is all you’re worth!”
At least, that’s what I sometimes hear. That’s what a lot of girls hear, and often, we believe it.

 

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In Claire’s living room, there is one wall that is a floor to ceiling, wall to wall mirror. Every day she passed it and everyday it would tell her how fat she was.
“You’re going out? But you can’t! You look like a blimp!”
The mirror was Claire’s worst enemy.
“I avoided mirrors,” she said. “I felt like I was trapped in my own body and I hated it so much. I couldn’t deal with it.”
Claire is a beautiful young woman. She has just come from work where she mops down bathrooms, vacuums crumb infested floors, and cleans up after careless college students. She sits back in the dark striped armchair and crosses her long legs.
“I wanted to be a model. I looked at models and was like, ‘Well, I’m not that size.’ So sometimes I would purposefully look in the mirror to remind myself why I couldn’t eat.”
“Before I went through puberty, I was very, very thin. I’ve just always been thin. I’ve always been able to eat whatever I want and not have it make a difference. Then I went through puberty and that’s when everything changed. I got hips and a butt, just what a normal woman gets. But I couldn’t fit into a lot of my old clothes. I used to go back and look at old pictures, look at how thin I used to be, comparing myself to the body I had before puberty.”

“I had already been in patterns of not eating because of my health, so I was like, ‘Why not?’ That was when it was a conscious decision to not eat because of my own body image.”
Claire laughs as though she wishes it were funny but she knows it isn’t. She holds her hand to her face and shakes her head. “Stupid. So stupid.”

 

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“I was always a fat child,” Jane says. “My mother would say, ‘No, you’re cute.’ But I wasn’t.”
She sits on the bed Indian-style and tucks a piece of her short brown hair behind her ear. Raised Italian, she talks to with her hands, enhancing every spoken word. She wears a white t-shirt and jeans and a saint medal on a chain around her neck.
“I was cute to a point. But then people tease you about your weight, and sometimes you know they’re joking because they don’t actually think those things about you. But someone who is obviously overweight takes it the wrong way, even though you may not see anything wrong with them. They know they’re overweight for whatever reason, and they take the comment differently than it was meant to be taken.”
“It was years of that, years of knowing I was heavier than all the other girls. Sometimes people would say, ‘Maybe you should exercise a little more,’ or ‘Maybe you should do this.’ It got to me. So in the beginning of high school, I decided that I was going to try to lose some weight.”
“I had this unrealistic standard that I felt I needed to be from people I had met online, from older sisters who had completely different body types than me and more mature. And then there was all the porn and media that was filtering in and it was just unrealistic.”
“I started running and that helped me lose weight faster than just dieting, and it was good for a while, until I got to the point where it was an insatiable hunger. When you’re not doing it for your health, when you’re doing it for your body image or a desire to feel love where you don’t feel love, in areas where people don’t know that you need love, when that’s your motivation, you will never be satisfied because the real problems aren’t actually being handled.”
“But in my mind, because I didn’t feel loved, whatever I saw in the mirror wasn’t going to be good enough for me.”

Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 14 Next »


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