I’m starting to think the problem with mirrors is that we’re always standing still in front of them.
This thought first occurred to me when I came across a unique project from Interrupt Magazine in which Marie C. photographed and interviewed girls under the age of ten. Her goal? To discover what they like about their bodies. In an age where the female form is constantly criticized, objectified, and judged – too fleshy here, too wrinkly there, too big here, not big enough there – the girls’ answers are a breath of fresh air.
What struck me was the fact that the girls focused less on their physical appearance and more on their physical capabilities; they seem to care more about what their bodies can do than what they look like.
It’s a wonderful thought, isn’t it? This idea of a world in which we celebrate our bodies as verbs rather than adjectives.
The girls expressed a clear appreciation for their bodies based on movement . They seem to intrinsically understand that their bodies don’t exist to be looked at, picked apart limb by limb and blemish by blemish; rather, their bodies are meant to be vessels – beautiful vessels, yes, but still vessels – for living, breathing, doing, experiencing the world. To me, that isn’t what we see when we stand stagnant in front of the mirror, inspecting our frizzes of hair or examining the size of our backsides. These girls remind me that when we do that, we’re missing the point.
It breaks my heart to know that someday soon, maybe even tomorrow, these girls will have their positive perspectives challenged. Some of them will lose the self-love and respect they exhibited in these interviews. Some will have their attention drawn to supposed flaws and imperfections, and some will begin speaking to themselves in a voice not of appreciation and gratitude – a voice of awe as we see here – but one of criticism and condemnation.
I hate the thought of their fluid self-reflections growing gradually still, eventually motionless in front of the mirror.
Today, these girls are my inspiration and my motivation. They are my call to action and my catalyst for change. They are my reminder that our bodies are, indeed, magical.