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Mirror Mirror on the wall…

Mirrors have been used in art for hundreds of years. They reveal, project, conceal and reflect.

When I started The Gracie Kendal Project, I used the computer screen as a mirror.

Gracie was/is my reflection while I also see myself in my shiny screen.

In my eating disorder support group, there is an exercise the leader has us do. We have to hold a mirror up to ourselves and say “I accept me.” For most, this is very hard. I accept some aspects of myself, the interior, but not the exterior. It is hard to look at my face, my body and accept or even like it.

Today my counselor told me to do another exercise. I have to look in a mirror and just look. I need to really look and find something I like. I have been thinking about this since our meeting, imagining myself looking in a mirror. I can see my face in my mind. I know what I look like. I can’t imagine finding anything I like about my appearance. I have crossed eyes, a big nose and a thick double chin but I did it anyway.

Where does our concept of beauty come from? From centuries of cultures who set standards of beauty? from magazines, advertisements who set standards? From movies and TV shows telling us that if you aren’t beautiful you won’t get far in life? From years of judgment and criticism if you are not the standard, but on the margins? Why is there such an emphasis on beauty? Why is it so important to our culture?

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