The mirror me is the me I know, I see it every day. I see it maybe too much. It’s the me that I see when I take photos for Instagram or pose for a photo on Snapchat. But, sometimes, I see a photo of me that I didn’t take.
In those photos of me that I didn’t take there is a person I sometimes can’t recognise. I don’t know that me. I’m starting to know that me. I am slowly coming to terms with her, learning that we’re one person and not separate. I understand she’s the same person I am, and I understand that she’s the person other people see when they see me. I understand that I have big eyebrows, green eyes, and squishy cheeks, that’s what I know, and that’s me. But what I don’t know is why my mind thinks that the girl in those photos are different to the person I see in the mirror. The human mind is kinda weird. Or at least mine is acting up. I don’t know why sometimes I care so much. I’m trying not to. Baby steps.
I guess I understand that I have a palatable appearance. I get told at least once every day of my life that I look like this model with big eyebrows and an appealing face. She’s conventionally attractive, people say I look like her, that means something. Right? That’s what I tell myself. I tell myself a lot of things now. I tell myself that I can’t do anything about what I look like. I tell myself that if there’s an image of me that I find ugly, then fuck it, that’s just another image of me. I am me, mirror-me is me and candid-photo-me is me. And nobody can do anything about it. That is my face. Only I have that face. Sometimes it looks different, and sometimes it looks the same. Sometimes I hate a photo of me, and sometimes I love a photo of me. Sometimes it gives me anxiety, it makes me cry, it makes me want to vomit. Sometimes it makes me happy, content, and proud that I pushed myself to pose in front of a camera that I didn’t have control over.
I don’t need people to tell me I’m pretty. I need me to tell me that I’m pretty. Sometimes I wish I was a Neanderthal. They had no mirrors, Instagram, makeup. Simpler times, I think. It’s so complex now. People think too much. I live in my head. I’m getting better I think. It does get better. Slowly. Baby steps. I still have a long way to go. It’s not that I want to be pretty. I think I’m just confused. I just want to be comfortable and content with how I look, no matter the angle. I wish I could have a 3D model of myself, so I can look at it and be like,‘Okay, cool, that’s what we’re working with here’. I wish I didn’t have to wish that.
I decided one day that I would stop caring. I told myself to stop running away so much. And when I did run away, I would tell myself it’s okay. Maybe I can do it next time. Sometimes I don’t know what I look like, but most times I tell myself it doesn’t matter. I say yes to things like photoshoots. I say yes to hanging with people from the internet who only know mirror me. I say yes to working with Fluff. Even if those things make me nervous beforehand. I say yes to telling people it’s okay if you don’t want to be in a photograph with friends. I say yes to telling people that sometimes you might not like a photo of yourself, I understand, I’ll put it away, or if you really want, I’ll delete it. I know it feels like you’re annoying. I know it feels like you’re being unreasonable. But sometimes you can’t help hating a photo, and that’s okay. Sometimes you might cry, you might be disappointed in yourself. But you’re allowed to take as much time as you need to love yourself. Fuck everyone who pushes you to do something you don’t want to do, fuck people who refuse to try to understand your feelings. Your feelings are valid.
I need you to tell yourself that it’s okay. I need you to tell yourself you don’t care what people think, even if you do. You’re allowed to fake it till you make it. Baby steps. One day, we’ll love ourselves. You and me both.