Reflections on why we should like ourselves
Singer Megan Reece says people should look a little deeper for today's Talking Point
How do you address yourself in the mirror?
Do you greet yourself with the warm smile you would greet others with?
The concept seems foreign, doesn’t it? If you’re like me, perhaps you’ll think – ‘Gosh, I look tired’, ‘my hair is a mess’, or maybe you examine your reflection more closely; some criticise with ‘I need to lose weight’ or ‘my stretch marks are hideous’.
My talking point for today is: Would you say the things you say to your reflection to a stranger?
Would you pick their image apart as harshly as you do your own?
Imagine entering a room, meeting someone new, and having to describe every flaw on their face and body, saying ‘You’d look better if your waist was smaller’ or ‘your nose is too big and crooked’ just as plainly as you do to yourself!
People don’t do that, the very thought is quite uncomfortable.
And I’d pose the question the same the other way around, what if a stranger said the things we say to our reflection, to us?
When we meet a new person, we look for the good – the nicest parts. Often, we compliment others on their external appearance, before even knowing their personalities, and yet we can’t manage to compliment ourselves the same way.
The fact is, we see flaws in ourselves, but we do everything we can to prevent others seeing them, and we’d be downright mortified if they shared our opinion about it.
I have been very interested, lately, in the mindset we have in judging ourselves.
I’m wondering where this comes from and why we do it. What part of our culture made us this way?
While we pick apart that familiar image of ourselves each day, we reinforce those negative thought processes.
It is a dark habit, and leads to many of us feeling worth a lot less than we actually are, from a young age.
I have heard a beautiful, young, black girl say ‘I’d be prettier if my skin was lighter’.
And I’ve also known a man who admitted he would feel more valid and attractive if his skin were darker. What a tragedy that people are not comfortable in the literal skin that envelops them.
Now I’m not suggesting we all jump out of bed and hug our own body, before wolf-whistling at our own reflection, but how much better do you think that would make us feel than our self-loathing comments?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all at least be a little more mindful of it?
We should try to turn those thoughts around, and look for the good in ourselves, like we would a stranger
Ageing is inevitable, weight and fitness fluctuation is also inevitable,and we are all imperfect in our own glorious ways.
But we will be stuck in these bodies, and own our faces, for the rest of our lives.
Try to be kind to yourself next time you’re looking in the mirror.
- Megan Reece is a Wolverhampton singer who shot to prominence on hit talent show The Voice. She is also a mum to four boys.