How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Share about body image related issues. To share about physical struggles, i.e. pain, exhaustion, disabilities etc go to the "Physical Struggles" subforum.

Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby UnashamedAndAshamed » January 2nd, 2014, 11:54 pm

As an early developer, I had breasts by the time I was 10 and a lot of other things I wasn't even aware of. I figured that some small tufts of hair were growing in my armpits but didn't think it was a problem. Girls at school were always telling me to lift my arms, then laughing at me uncontrollably. It wasn't until I was 16 that I finally saw there to be a lot more hair than I'd imagined. Up until then, I hardly ever looked in the mirror. It was difficult enough watching as my boobs in early Junior High years were growing forward and.... down. Or my insanely crooked teeth. Or my relentlessly out-of-control dark curly hair. Or horrible acne. Gawd. You should see my Bat Mitzvah pictures.

But boobs! I had boobs! That meant I would look fabulous in a bikini, like those girls in Teen Magazine!

No problem! I'll try a bikini on at a department store! I went into the fitting room and put it on and...
...holy shit, that was disgusting. What's all that flesh on my stomach? My hips are too wide! And ugh... my skin was so pale as to be nearly translucent. Huge veins everywhere! "Oh yeah... Jewish stock."

It had been nearly impossible for me to look in a mirror again for a long time. Only in the last couple of years have I started to accept myself. Donald Rumsfeld said something incredibly cruel and ignorant when applied to military, but it kind of worked for me in body image: "You go in with the body you have, not the one you wish you had." After that it became a practical matter, a starting point, and kind of an adventure figuring out what to do with what I had.

Not every day, of course. Sometimes I wish I could build a time machine and tell my younger self to stop doing the stupid things that led to me looking the way I do now. On those days, I don't leave the house. But it's getting better.
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Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby Kittieface » January 5th, 2014, 4:43 am

I've been feeling particularly fat, i think the holidays will do that to you. Just add that little more so than usual.

I'm not sure where that block is that makes me sabotage getting healthier and bringing myself to a point where I'm happy to look at myself.

Lately with my new phone I have a flip camera so you can take selfies. And i use it sometimes to take pictures of my cats next to me or whatever. And i don't usually catch my full face because I'm disgusted by my neck. My face got rounder when i put on weight. And it's not something that I'm a fan of. But to the point now, sometimes i turn on my camera to take a picture and it ends up on the flip camera and it's always the worse possible angle of me looking down in bad lighting and there's such an intense moment of repulsion towards myself.

On top of that, not feeling my best, today there will be a photographer taking pictures of us practicing our dances. And i feel awful!! I'm not sure how I'm going to survive this and deceive those cameras...

I know the feeling of boobs growing out and down. I used to be a huge Tom boy and never really grew up wearing a supportive bra. But when i lost a bunch of weight that all sorted itself out and i was much happier with my boobs. They were smaller and with all the training the elasticity in my skin pulled everything back into place. But then depression and meds kicked in and i became this sad, hungry being again.

So back to eating properly and training. No excuses. It's hard to get up but Its only hiring me in the end so...
--So Long And Thanks For All The Fish--
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Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby MichaelHung » January 19th, 2014, 11:02 pm

I have definitely struggled with the mirror all my life. My perception of myself is immensely distorted and depends on how I am feeling about myself. I don't know what is real sometimes. I relate to what you stated about looking better in the mirror but then being disgusted when seeing yourself in pictures...I'm going through that now and again that distortion in the head can be so misleading. I remember reading a scholarly article in college stating that we often prefer our reflections to pictures because we are more familiar with what we see in the mirror (something we see close to everyday)...this may be he case, I don't know for sure. But I definitely think there is a problem when I feel "shame" about the way I look and allow my appearance to make me feel worthless or "less than" as a human being. It is definitely poison to assign self-worth as a human being based on such a small facet in life. I don't know, I wish I had answers but I just wanted to reach out and say I am struggling with body shame right now as well. I want to be able to separate feeling crummy about the way I look at this moment with how I feel as a whole person. I'd be okay if I gained some lbs or didn't feel I was "muscular enough"...if it didn't throw me down into a deep shame depression where I'm too ashamed to go outside and have people I haven't seen in a while see me. I bet those people wouldn't even care and still see me as the person I am. It's definitely a distortion.
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Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby snacks » May 30th, 2014, 6:36 am

I also think I look way larger in pictures than in the mirror. Because of this, I don't trust mirrors at all and feel super uncomfortable when people take pictures of me that show my body. When I was a teenager, I remember it being the opposite- I despised looking in the mirror and would poke and prod at any bit of fat I could find, but in pictures I wouldn't recognize myself because at first I saw a thin person. ???
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Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby Cheesehead » June 4th, 2014, 4:19 pm

I remember as a teen and young adult reading all the fashion magazines and literally studying the pictures of all the beautiful models just jealous as hell and desperately wanting to be perfect, sexy, and as desireable as those "women". It was a constant source of reinforcement of the idea that because I wasn't perfect like them, in fact the complete opposite as a fat person, I was a second class citizen. I worshiped those pictures and obessesed about how much I wanted to be like that yet I never would be. As a 46 year old woman I am now PISSED beyond believe that I was ever sucked into and believed the crap that media has made about what is considered beautiful. I am pissed at myself that I fell for that line of BS hook, line, and sinker. That my life was and is fucked up because of it. Yet I am also pissed at all of us that don't fit into that very small definition of beauty made by the media and we continue to buy into it and allow it. There are so many more of "us" then "them"!!! When are we going to stop allowing this torture and expand the minds of society to what really makes someone beautiful!
Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!
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Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby Kittieface » September 27th, 2014, 3:44 am

It's really crazy how we do this to ourselves. Sometimes when I'm feeling gross and fast I actually swish my stomach together even more to see how much fat I have all together. That makes it SO MUCH WORSE! I have been looking in mirrors again lately. I've been getting dressed with my glasses off so that I can vaguely check my outfit without seeing the details. I quickly put my contacts on and exit the mirror space... Fuck. That. I'm not gonna let myself break down again. I'll just have to figure out a way to look at myself. I'm seeing a new psychologist, so maybe she'll help.

Data - props to owning your cuddly power haha. Reading that made me smile! I send you big cuddles!
--So Long And Thanks For All The Fish--
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Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby MichaelHung » August 31st, 2016, 6:40 am

I completely relate...when I see myself in the mirror, I look okay....but then I get blind sided when I see a photo of myself. That's when I shut down into a deep depression and isolate to keep others from seeing me.
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Re: How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

Postby rogitgarg4411 » January 23rd, 2017, 5:34 am

I can't let myself start with a mirror, because once I do I get lost in it, I start obsessing with everything, I stare at my body and try to see if there are any angles that it looks ok from, I stare at my face and obsess over every little blemish.
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