I read, what at first I thought was an article from The Onion, but it is, in fact, an astounding true article about mirrors being removed from store changing rooms. A survey found that three quarters of women are put off buying clothes by their reflection. You can find that article here. I’ll wait while you read it.
Apparently, according to the article, mirrors make women feel more “body conscious” and puts them off buying clothes. More than half of woman (52 per cent) are left feeling down after seeing themselves in the mirror, the research discovered. Well, I’m let down quite often when I look at myself in the mirror. Doesn’t make me want to remove that mirror though. I do this adult thing called accepting reality. Just because 52% of women have a feeling of being “let down” after glancing at themselves in the mirror doesn’t mean that those same women want mirrors banned from dressing rooms…or does it?…Let’s explore further, shall we?
Hammerson, a retail giant in England, has decided to do this because, as a regional marketing manager for them said: “One of the main reasons people come to our shopping centers is to buy clothes, whether that be a brand new wardrobe or a one off item for a special occasion. We want to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and confident when trying on clothes, so that’s why we’re trialing banning the mirrors”.
Ermmmm…a moment of silence please as those among us who are lucid and normal, digest that drivel.
So it’s now official….someone thinks that we are all delicate china teacups that will shatter into small shards of porcelain the second we are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror whilst we try on pants, bathing suits, dresses, suits, and apparently for some of us, bubble wrap. Someone has decided that since 52% of women surveyed feel disappointed when they look in the mirror, then that means that 100% of men (who always think they look good no matter what, am I right ladies?)
and 48% of women who live lives of authenticity, based in factuality, have to suffer and guess as to whether that shade of red is flattering to her skin tone.
Listen, I know I don’t look like the long legged, thin genetic freak that is a supermodel when I try on a bikini. I’m 55 and a realist. I might not exactly adore the way I look trying one on, but I’m also not going to have a meltdown, toss the bikini in a crumpled pile in the farthest reaches of the fitting room and stomp out in fear and self loathing. I WANT to see how I look in ALL the clothes I try on in a fitting room. This way I can stop myself from buying that asymmetrical, wraparound, multi-colored, fringed, leather trimmed dress with glow in the dark sparkles, that the shoppe assistant is assuring me looks fabulous on! On the other hand, it also allows me to actually BUY the items that my common sensed filled brain is telling me that actually look pretty good because I HAVE A MIRROR IN FRONT OF ME!
Clearly the banning of mirrors is an emotional decision, not one grounded in reason or logic. If all justifications for something are based in, and on, emotion then we will never make progress as a society, which actually explains quite a few things that are happening in the world right now.
I get that there are some people out there that loathe their bodies and think that nothing looks good on them. I imagine a trip to a clothing store is not fun when you have that mind set. How, though, does banning mirrors HELP that person? It doesn’t. It’s just another way that as a society, we are coddling people who don’t want to face reality. Not every bloody minute of your life can, or even should, be manipulated so that you are always in a state of euphoria, though it seems like at this point in time, there are plenty of people out there trying to do just that for us.
Perhaps I really should not be shocked at this turn of events. There are now “safe spaces” at our universities to make sure our coddled and entitled progeny do NOT have to hear or see anything that they might find unacceptable. Because of that, these young adults will never have to be pestered by a lot of viewpoints that go against their beloved and closely held beliefs. This will obviously set them up to succeed in life après university. Take a look at this to see how well things turned out for these recent graduates. Spoiler alert! Think Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
I’m visually assaulted with the words TRIGGER WARNING before reading an article or opinion piece quite regularly now. This is done, apparently, to caution people that the content might be troubling to them. Instead of being put off by such warnings, being the contrarian that I am and not the least bit fragile, I eagerly read the article thinking that perhaps I’ll be intellectually challenged or exposed to an idea or emotion that will make me more readily understand something. Perhaps it would even make me face some fears I have. There are times I vehemently disagree with what I read, there are rare times I am unmoved, and then there are times I completely agree with the author. I allow myself to FEEL those things and to process those feelings appropriately. Like a grown ass adult, without having a temper tantrum.
OKAY, there WAS this one time when I was told I had colon cancer and I informed my GI that she obviously had the wrong ass. My denial did not last long though, plus, in my defense, it’s not like I plugged my ears and repeatedly told her “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you” and not ONCE did I ask to retreat to a cocoon. In other words, I did not self-infantilize. I was feeling fragile and terrified, that’s an absolute fact, but I CHOSE to overcome my own fragility, by looking at the very thing that terrified me.
I fear we’ve brought all this asstastic behavior on ourselves. Mum’s and dad’s have been told to center life around their child in order to increase the child’s self esteem, which means before they even start kindergarten, junior and juniorette think they are WAY more important than they actually are. They have also been so micromanaged that many of them have a complete inability to think or make rudimentary decisions for themselves. Kids enrolled in school increasingly suffer from emotional addiction, a state in which it’s difficult to function without continual assertions that you’re a special snowflake. (Reason number 346,876 that public school teachers are NOT compensated nearly enough for the psychological nightmares they must deal with).
Is it any wonder then, when confronted with the reality of our own reflections in a fitting room mirror that some of us want to turn our backs or shut our eyes? Is it okay that we’d prefer to ban the very things that force us to really LOOK at ourselves? To accept ourselves?
Well, for me, I will always want that mirror in front of me, both figuratively and literally. How can we be fully ourselves if we don’t see who we REALLY are, acknowledge that, and be okay with it? Even if who we really are has some excess back fat or an ample rear….that’s easily changed, if that’s what you want.
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