The Mirror

By Stephanie Bermudez

I’m still trying to figure out whether the mirror is my friend or my enemy. Sometimes I stare into my reflection so intently that it’s strangely mesmerizing. It’s as if I’m looking at someone else not wanting to believe my body is my body. My soul is inside not wanting to see that this person in the mirror is me. That it’s just my imagination running wild again. Eventually, I have to assert to myself that it is me and this is what people see when they see me. They might not feel what I feel when I look at myself, or think the things that I do about myself, but we see the same person.

We see the square face with all of its features: brown eyes, long eyelashes, thick eyebrows, puffy under-eye bags, rosy cheeks, big forehead, acne, dimples, medium-sized lips, and crooked tooth. We see the torso with the small chest, the hairy arms, the thin wrists, and the small hands. We see the lower torso with the short legs, the slight thigh gap, and the firm, curvy glutes. Others may see a different version, but this one stands out to me with its flaws and beauty; although I wouldn’t affiliate myself with beauty, I’d be the first one to admit that I seldom see a pretty girl in the mirror.

I mostly see a troubled one trying to find her feminine charm so she can love herself fully instead of being her own tyrant. But her hopeful attempts at self-acceptance and self-admiration fall short. She overlooks her best features to stare at the ones that make her less, the ones that give her natural beauty little value. This pains her deeply; so deep that her agony forms into brackish tears that fill the void in her wistful eyes. Those longing, poignant eyes sparkle with innocence as they have yet to learn to love what they see. One day she will see the mirror as a friend.