All images by Jade Beall Photography
I’m sure you’ve made your resolutions by now, and feel as though you’ve gotten them all. And while this could be true, I have a feeling you might have forgotten the most important one. The Body Love Conference team would like to offer you a suggestion to add to your list. A suggestion that could change everything: this year, we propose that we all resolve to love the mirror.
Love your body and what you see … just as you are now.
Not later. Not “after.”
People might ask why we would choose something so superficial. Something almost narcissistic. To which we reply: The reality of our world is that we are more likely to be told that we are “good people” than anything else. Funny, creative, intelligent, communicative, generous, maybe even extraordinary. What we are NOT told is that our bodies are perfect just the way they are. We are taught that our body is flawed, and not only is it flawed, but that the majority of our worth lies within our physical appearance. Which, of course, is never “perfect enough” by society’s standards. This affects our lives on a monumental level, as our bodies are the vessel we move throughout the world in.
Our bodies are installation art that we curate publicly. Our bodies are our personal bookmarks in the world. Our bodies are magnificent houses for everything else that we are. Our bodies are a part of us, just like our kindness, talents, and passion. Yes, we are so much more than our outer shell, but our outer shell is an integral part of our being too. This is why loving the mirror is critical for complete and total self-acceptance.
To showcase what loving the mirror could look like, we invited 29 models into the photography studio of the magnificent Jade Beall. We asked the participants to come wearing whatever made them feel most confident … and the variety within these choices was beautiful. Some brought roller skates, some their violin. Some came in their dance clothing, some in their underwear. Some took off their shirts and some wore seven layers of clothing. And then one donned nothing but a gorgeous pink furry coat.
After each person modeled, I asked them a few questions in the back room before they left. The most pivotal question being: Why is loving the mirror important? The answers varied extensively, and listening to them all left me teary by the end of the night. The wisdom and stories shared were overwhelmingly profound and they reminded me that we (all sizes, shapes, shades, sexes, genders, and ages) are indeed in this together. And with our togetherness, we are strong.
I love everything about these photos. The smudged, imperfect mirrors. The flawless, completely perfect bodies. The potent personalities. The variations of confidence. And the superimposed wisdom shared by each of these beautiful people.
Wondering why loving the mirror is so important? Here are 29 reasons, given by people from all walks of life, along their own body love journey:
Rick was able to succinctly encapsulate our entire message in one statement: It’s only the person in the mirror that gets to decide if they are worthy. And that means that the person who holds the life-changing power is … you.
This year, decide that you are worthy of self-love, just as you are. And while you are most definitely free to make all the changes you’d like, just know that if you didn’t change a thing you’d be more than okay. In fact, you’d be perfect.
It might take more than a year. I think I’ll be learning to love the mirror for the rest of my life … but this year is the perfect year to start the journey. Because now is when it’s needed.
Want to join in on this resolutionary (see what we did there? Resolution + revolutionary? Clever, no?) campaign? We’d love to have you.
How to join:
- Decide to love the mirror this year, and share your picture (mirror in the background is a bonus but not necessary) with us on our Facebook page or tweet at us on Twitter!
- Use the text “This year, I will love the mirror.”
- Be sure to use the hashtag #LoveTheMirror so we can find you … We’d like to share some of you on our pages!
If you also wanted to share your quote on why you think body love or loving the mirror is important … we’d love to hear.
Will you join us this year and love the mirror?
Jes Baker is a mental health professional, pastry chef, and fat model. She is internationally recognized for her writing on her blog, The Militant Baker, the “Attractive and Fat” campaign, and her dedication to shifting social paradigms into a place where all people are offered the opportunity to love themselves just as they are. Follow her on Twitter @militant_baker.