Why Don’t I Look Like Her?
I used to want to be Belle—you know the leading role in Disney’s “Beauty & The Beast?”
Then, Kelly Kapowski—what girl, who watched Saved By the Bell in the 90’s didn’t?
And, of course, I wanted to look like Mary Kate and Ashley Olson—adorable, fashionable, put-together.
And Jennifer Aniston.
Then it was, the covergirl on the cover of Oxygen Magazine.
And Cindy Crawford.
And Blake Lively.
And even quirky Taylor Swift.
For many many (many) years, I’ve wanted to be—rather, I wanted to look like—“her,” that girl—anyone else, BUT me.
Looking in the mirror most days, I only saw one thing:
A piece of work.
At one time, “thunder thighs” and “my father’s nose.”
Then, “too thin,” “small-chested,” “too pale,” “disproportionate.”
“Frumpy.” “It will never happen (for me).” “Not pretty (enough).” “Not good enough.”
And on and on…
“Not good enough”—The dominating message that’s rung in my ears since, well, seemingly the beginning of (my time).
For as LONG as I can remember, I’ve been my own worst critic—constantly “all up in my head”—throwing sucker punches at my looks, my smarts, my abilities, my successes (or lack thereof).
Working harder, being smarter, more put-together and prettier have always been goals in the back of my mind—even though I didn’t ever voice these aloud or write them on paper.
They were aspirations and goals that became a PART of me—so much so that I NEVER ever questioned them—at all.
And a leading insecurity underlying them all?
The question: “WHY don’t I look like her?”
We can waste minutes, hours, years, of our lives hating on ourselves—even if we don’t fully recognize it.
For some of us, that constant self-beat down, or simple belief of not being “good enough” has become such a “norm” that we rarely—if ever—question it, or even try to stop it—dead in its tracks.
Did you know that, statistically, 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection every time they look in the mirror, and more than half may see a distorted image (with upwards of 80% of women typically OVERestimating their size).
Ha. Probably not
Why is this?
It’s no secret that we women are highly judged (AND JUDGE OTHERS) based on their appearance—way more than men, and our “standards” of female beauty are considerably higher and more inflexible.
Gone are the days though of simply comparing ourselves to “that girl” on the cover of a magazine or actress on our favorite sitcom.
Now, more than ever, we are comparing ourselves to EACH OTHER. (Hello: Social media).
Constant exposure to idealized (and often fake) images of beauty on TV, magazines and Facebook and Instagram makes exceptional good looks seem like the norm and anything short of perfection seem abnormal and ugly.
In fact, get this:
A recent study on the effects of our Facebook usage and self-esteem, researchers out of MIT Universtiy, found that individuals who viewed other people’s profiles on Facebook—experienced a significant decrease in self-esteem—compared to those who just looked at their own profile.
In addition, did you know that the MORE we look in the mirror…the LESS “confident” and LESS “positive” we feel about ourselves?
In other words: Looking in the mirror makes our self-esteem go down?
As women, we look at ourselves at least 8-10 times per day in the mirror. Couple this with all our body checking in window reflections, iPhone cameras and sizing ourselves up—in comparison to “that girl,” and there’s no hard and fast number for the amount of time and focus we spend thinking about what we look like.
Enter: Mirror Fasting—a way to change your own conversation with your image.
“Why don’t I look like her?”—That conversation that rings tried and true in the back of your head.
Take a moment to pause and think about how often you look in the mirror—and how often you compare your body.
Go on a mirror fast today—and simply note…what your thoughts are.
The greater challenge could actually be to go on a mirror and reflection fast for a week. Aside from the morning check-in to brush your teeth and hair, and maybe put on your makeup…ban your mirror and reflection looking.
What you will probably find?
Your body image and self-worth goes UP …not down.
Loving your body goes far beyond what you look like in the mirror—or weigh on the scale for that matter.
When we look in the mirror less, consequently, our whole ‘body obsession get-up’ thing begins to fall to the wayside.
You’ve got this.