MAGIC mirror on the wall; who is the fairest of them all?
It was a simple question asked in a simple fairy tale with a simple answer – that still left the evil queen furious.
Snow White with her lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony and skin as white as snow had stopped the queen dead in her tracks.
That and her pretty blue and yellow dress and her skinny waist.
It was this fairy tale that came back to me when I started my diet this week.
I use the word ‘diet’ loosely because so far I haven’t succeeded as much as I have failed.
I ate KFC for dinner on Wednesday night and had a few mishaps with treats of the chocolate kind.
I did, however, manage to cut energy drinks from my diet.
That’s a win isn’t it?
I’m going to count it.
Thanks to the diet I have become accustomed to looking at two things – the mirror and the scales.
Unfortunately for me, I have plenty of mirrors in my home.
It does wonders for the layout, according to my mum, but not so many wonders for the soul.
Mirrors don’t lie. They reflect exactly what is in front of it (with the exception of the magic mirror in the fairy tale referenced above).
It’s simple physics.
So why, when we all look into it, are we left wanting more?
Or in the case of (most of us) and our bodies, less?
Why must it show all the curves I don’t want to see?
Why do I have to lose weight in the places I can afford to keep it and gain in parts I would rather drop it?
Which is when I heard about EMBRACE, a documentary the Riverine Herald (led by journalist Sophie Baldwin), in partnership with the Moama Bowling Club, is bringing to Echuca-Moama next month.
The documentary is being referred to as the body image movement.
Despite being happily married and successfully juggling motherhood while running a thriving photography business, Taryn Brumfitt was privately struggling with crippling body image issues.
Close to resorting to plastic surgery to ‘fix’ her post-childbirth body, Taryn decided what she really needed to change was not her body but her attitude towards it.
This marked the start of the movement – which is now an internationally recognised crusade recognising the importance of body diversity by encouraging people to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritise health before beauty.
You can read all about it in the next Bella, which is inserted free into the Riverine Herald on October 10.
After hearing about it myself I realised I could also benefit from watching the documentary.
I don’t consider myself a person that struggles with body image but I do care about my reflection in the mirror. I wouldn’t be dieting if I didn’t.
And if asked whether I am happy with my body my answer would be simple – no.
According to Taryn I am not alone. She says 91 per cent of women hate their bodies.
A bit frightening and sad isn’t it?
But when you think about it, it seems possible.
Most of the women in my office aren’t happy with their reflection in the mirror.
Diets or “lifestyles” aren’t strangers to the walls of the Riverine Herald.
I can tell them all they are crazy and don’t have to lose weight until I’m blue in the face but it doesn’t change their attitude.
“You’re just being nice,” they say.
Or: “Thanks but I think I’ll skip that slice of cake.”
I know that dieting or being “skinny” is not the be-all and end-all of our existence.
And I’m sure they know that too.
But it doesn’t seem to help when I consider how good I could look if I had an inch of self-control.
So I don’t think I can quit the diet today or tomorrow.
I will continue to fail at something I desperately wish I could translate to success on the scales.
I will continue to do so until – hopefully – I watch this documentary.
Then, here’s hoping, I get to eat anything and everything I want.
But I might try and keep the energy drinks to a minimum.
For now I think someone better tell Snow White to watch her back.
Because it looks like she might have to share her title with all of us.But we will have to wait for EMBRACE to confirm that when it’s showed at the Moama Bowling Club on October 27.