I hate store mirrors. I hate staring into distortions of myself. I hate its convolutions, its reflectivity, its ability to complicate so thoroughly an image that you don’t know what exactly it is you are looking at. I hate to stand naked before its gaze. I hate the way it showers you with unwanted gifts: an extra limb, an unexpected deformity, a pointy nail straight through your sense of self. I am fat, unfit, ugly, tired-looking, uncoordinated in my fashion. My hair is unruly. My nose is too shiny to be clean. My t-shirt folds and hangs at atrocious angles. My jeans are wrinkled and messy. My shoes have an existence of their own, rebelling against codes of colour and cohesion. I am a ghost in mismatched clothes. I am depressed. I am not worthy. I am not a human being.
I know what this is. I know what I’m doing. I hate it when I do it to myself. It is not the mirror. It is my own self-esteem. Why am I so easily torn? So easily defeated, broken, reduced to shit? I know what this is. Inside my head, I am screaming, why am I not photoshop-perfect!?
I know this game.
I know the rules. Hideous, insidious little things.
Somebody save me from this nightmare.
Somebody save me. Somebody save me from myself.
Stop doing this to me.
Why can’t I be at peace? Why can’t just be myself? Why am I so helpless, so insecure, so afraid?
Fuck the beauty myth. Fuck the models. Fuck Glamour and pretty pictures of women. Don’t tell me how to be pretty. Don’t tell me what is right for my body. Don’t tell me what is perfect. There is no perfect. I am perfect.
But it keeps on happening.
I stand in front of a mirror, and I shatter. I shatter silently as my heart sinks. I want to pick up the ashen pieces of myself, littered all around me, beside me feet. The damage is done. No apologies given. You are what you are now; you are less than what you were before. With each twitch of the mouth and spasm of the throat you dwindle, words and voices and fiction pour over you like salt on slugskin. You feel sorry for yourself.
This cannot be me. This cannot be the reality. This cannot be me. Who is this pathetic creature, bleeding, flesh asunder, crawled up into a ball before me? What is this poor little thing that cower, begging for mercy, begging to disappear, so desperately? Is this me?
Is this really me?
It cannot be.
Wake up from this nonsense.
You are more than this.
You are bigger than this, smarter than this, forever more beautiful and wondrous than this simple beast. You are a complicated, ever-changing organism with a spiraling set of DNA that cannot be approximated by any other. Unique. Unprecedented. Singular. You are you. You can never be less than yourself, or more than yourself. You are a constant in this universe. You are not a loose variable predicated upon external numerical renderings. You are a prime number that can only be divided by one and itself, and you are what you allow yourself to be.
So don’t listen to yourself.
Don’t listen to the ever-nagging voice that puts yourself down. Exorcise the little demon inside of you. Stop telling yourself that you’re not enough, you’ll never amount to anything, you are not pretty, smart, wonderful, wealthy, popular enough. Don’t do it. Don’t do it to yourself. You’ll be a skeleton. You’ll be a spectre of smoke and imitation. You will be a roasted piece of nothing. Well-done. You are your own worst nightmare; your own prosecutor, your very personal terminator. Well-done.
So don’t play this game. Refuse. Step back. Give it the finger.
Fuck mirrors. Fuck their goddamn meaningless lies.
I don’t need you. Good-bye. Sorry, good-bye.
This is the end.