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What I Saw When I Gave Up Mirrors for Lent

A reflection on fasting from my reflection.
What I Saw When I Gave Up Mirrors for Lent
Image: malomalverde / Flickr

I haven't looked in a mirror since March 5, the day my pastor thumbed a black ashen cross on my forehead. I won't look at myself again until the trumpets sound under my country church steeple on Easter morning.

I gave up my reflection for Lent because I'm tired. I'm tired of the self-degradation that we engage in as women. We tell ourselves that we're not enough—or let our bathroom scales tell us that we're too much. I'm tired of how we, as women, often see ourselves and each other as a series of parts and "thigh gaps," or lack thereof. I'm tired of the photoshopping and the airbrushing, and yet, I am guilty. I deftly wield Instagram's Amaro filter to magically take five years off my face.

I'm tired of being a hypocrite in front of my daughters. At ages 12 and 9, they're now are old enough to know when I'm talking a good game and when I'm actually living what I believe. Children are mighty fine accountability partners. They are also mirrors themselves, reflecting what they see in their parents.

We've all seen news reports of the studies about preteen girls and their eating disorders. Nearly 80 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being overweight, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. We're quick to point an accusing finger at the glossy covers on magazine stands. But what are we modeling in front of our own mirrors while our children watch? I wonder how many times our children ...

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