Mirror mirror on the wall, you are not scary at all is a post by Maya.
Listen my friend, my comrade, my companion through this journey, you are beautiful. We are beautiful; we all are, despite the capitalist, fascist, patriarchal beauty standards that we are bombarded with everyday.
I am not writing this for you, or for me, I am writing it because these thoughts has been loitering in my mind like a carnival of questions that is so loud no matter how much I try to shut it up.
Everyday while I get dressed, I think of what has this system done to us, why my comrade you are not afraid to stand in the face of a thousand tank and millions of armed men, giving your chests to bullets, yet again you are too scared to stand in front of a mirror.
Why you my colleague, who can sit among tens of intimidating sophisticated academics, listen to them talk and then confront them with their own colonial discourse without a blink, but you are too scared to step on a scale, to gain a kilogram or two. Why do i have to remind myself everyday while getting dressed with my own convictions?
That beauty as we know it is just a capitalo-patriarchal commodity that feeds on our distorted body image while simultaneously producing it. Why you, my friend, my comrade, and one of the smartest people I know – you are never scared of voicing out your opinion in a middle of a room where nobody else agree with you, yet defend your argument in a way that nobody can refute, yet again you are horrified from aging, from wrinkles, from time.
Why are we so scared from our bodies, even though we understand the source of our own fear? Beyond understanding how we are surrounded by the constructed capital body that makes all of us look fat, ugly, hairy, wrinkly, old, too saggy, under-dressed, overdressed, over-naked and what have you not.
I will not engage in a conversation about beauty and it’s definition if there is anything as such – maybe some other day, but i want to reflect on our bodies. Our bodies are always under the microscope. There is one model tailored and set and those who do not fit in it are too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too hairy, too dark.
Our lips, nose and hips are either too big or too small. Our eyes are not colored unless they are green or blue. Our pussies are too hairy unless they are completely shaved, and our body hair in general should not exist in the first place. Our hair is too long or too short or too curly or too black or too blond or too brown or too red or too hip or too spikey or too conservative or too straight or too funky or too wavey. Our vagina is too tight or too lose. Our teeth are too yellow, too disorganized, too sharp, too soft, too small, too big. Our eyebrows hide our faces and our facial hair is a disgrace. Our breast size is too big or too small or too medium or too flat, or just too much. Our asses as well. Our bellies are too wide for the beautiful shape, you know, those illustrated or photoshoped bellies that you can’t get unless you remove your ribs?
Our bodies should be tight, but not muscled because muscled is ‘masculine’ and soft is ‘feminine’. But not too soft so our bodies don’t get wiggly. We should always feel so soft like a ‘baby’s skin’ and god forbids we grow a wrinkle. God forbid we age, god forbid we grow a white hair, or a pimple. Our bodies is full with cellulite, or scars. Our skin – don’t get me started on our skin. Skin color, skin shape, tight skin, pored skin, soft skin, hard skin, skin skin skin all this talk about skin! We are too short or too tall. We always have to smell like candy or flowers or like some expensive perfume. Our clothe are too conservative or too showy. Our cleavage is too hidden or too slutty….
I can count forever the comments, the arguments and the policing of our bodies. I can count the ads, the people from all age groups, the doctors, the friends, the beauty experts, the dietitians, the neighbors, the strangers and the relatives that keep telling us all the things i counted above and more, much more. I count them in my head often because only then our own insecurities make sense, only then i am able to rationalize why we all have our flows when it comes to our bodies.
I always make everything sound like a conspiracy theory, but this one is. We are not born with these insecurities we are socialized into them. And they stay with us not because we are not smart, or because we are not perfect, or because we are weak, but because everyday, everything around us tell us that we are not beautiful unless we look like the image you see on the billboard, that body that no one has but everybody should have.
Our body image is like our gender, our fears and our anxieties, we can barely get rid of them but we the only way to survive them is to deconstruct them, to realize their base, to everyday rethink them, to give a middle finger for anyone who tells us we are beautiful or ugly or fat or dark or fair or tall or short or whatever that is.
I don’t want to be beautiful, I want to be left alone, I want a day to pass without anyone commenting on how I look like. I don’t want you to be scared to look at the mirror, I don’t want to be scared to wear something that shows my subversive body figure.
Yes I want to think of my body, but outside these rotten norms of how it should look like, i want to enjoy my body outside these suffocating rules that define what is enjoyable. I want to exist in the public and the private and the bedroom and the counter private with my body without the anxiety that was tailored for us and never leave us alone, even when we are alone.