Illusions of the body … and ceiling to floor mirrors

I know that at some point everyone comments on body image, what the media presents to us, and what we as women expect/demand from ourselves in terms of how our bodies are, and appear.  And usually how out of whack our self images are with what the reality is.

No doubt I am not going to add anything unique to this discussion.  But I like to put things down that are running around in my head.  It helps me “park” my thoughts and if my thoughts are here, then they are less likely to run around on the hamster wheel in my head.

I have noticed that there is a lot of Facebook status updates with people tackling weight loss, and programmes.  Sleek Geek has proved very popular and is popping up all over my time line.

People are really into starting a weight loss programme.  I am guessing that was pretty high on 2014 resolution list.  Mine, not so much.  I ate two slabs of chocolate single-handedly this week.

I can honestly say that I have a fairly unhealthy relationship with my body.

I really hate what I see.  Not a little, but a great deal.

Unfortunately it does not help that in the bathroom, right next to the porcelain throne, there is a head to foot mirror.  Not quite sure what the people who put it in were thinking.

It unfortunately gives me a really good view of myself taking a morning squat – and my guess is, that it is not the best time to look at yourself under any conditions. Ever.  Unless you are into that sort of that look.

I can’t blame the mirror.  It is not the mirror’s fault for what I see, and my reaction to what I see.

I would like to blame my present weight and how unattractive I feel, but again, that would be an excuse. I disliked my body when I weighed 55 kilograms  (I am 1.73 metres tall).

I hated my body when I weighed 65 kilograms.

And I loath my body now that I am tipping the scales at 75 kilograms.

I have read dozens of articles that tell me how great my body is.  It produced and carried three healthy kids to term.  It gets me through each day without falling over too much.

I know that if I looked at the “bigger picture” I am probably fine.

That is sort of the issue with body image.  You can never see the “bigger picture” because you are focused on the minutiae of your stuff, and everything about what you see in the mirror is a point of loathing.

Right now my plan is to always wear denims, and a black shirt that hangs over the waistband, then I just pray that nothing causes my shirt to flip up.

Today I was collecting the kids – and a mom walked past me in the parking lot. I know her, her daughter is in the same grade as Connor.  She has always had a nice figure, and she was wearing this black dress, and heels, and really just looked great.

Immediately I thought to myself “If I looked like that I would really be happy…” and then I realised I probably wouldn’t be.

I would probably still hate the way I looked, and still hide it behind poorly fitting clothing and uneasiness.

I have also had those moments of deep introspection when I have realised that I would KILL to look like I did at 15, or 20 or 25, or 30 – but the reality is that I did look like that, and at the time I still hated my body when I was 15, 20, 25 or 30.

I never wear shorts. I cringe at short sleeve shirts, and pick them with care.  I never wear shirts that fit too snugly.

Maybe in time, maybe with more self-confidence, maybe with more care I will view myself differently.

Maybe.  My guess is not likely, unless I go through a serious shift in my attitude and my view on myself, which if you would consider the present situation is unlikely.

I saw this great photographer – GRACIE HAGEN – who has a wonderful project on her website called Illusions of the Body.  She is looking at the way someone presents their body and how this changes how their body appears, and affects what we see, what we are jealous of and what we desire.

Imagery in the media is an illusion built upon lighting, angles & photoshop. People can look extremely attractive under the right circumstances & two seconds later transform into something completely different.

Please visit her site and view her work – it may not change the way you see everything, but it may give you a few moments of thought provoking thinking.

This is one of the images from her series ….. which shows what almost appears to be two different people, based on how she is presenting herself, and how this affects how we view her.  Quite incredible!!


Image source Grace Hagen based in Chicago  :

Leave a comment


  1. That photographic image is incredible…and just so true. I’m going to go onto her site now to see more. As a personal stylist I see way too many woman who literally don’t know how beautiful their bodies are, and who hide themselves behind ill-fitting clothes in bland colours so as not to stand out…it kills me as I rarely work with someone who is 100% confident with their body, no matter how great it is (myself included). We all need a wake up call..

  2. Please do yourself a favour and read ‘a course in weight loss’ by Marianne Williamson its not a diet book but rather a lesson in self love. I also hated my body my whole life, when I was a size 8 then a 10 then a 12 then a 14 and finally a 16. Equally loathed each and every phase. Now I’m somewhere between a 12 and 14 – by no means slim (71kg and 1.64m – you do the math) but I’ve never felt more confident or comfortable in my skin as I do now. I wear clothes that I like not things that are going to hide my body. Because guess what, a baggy shirt just says you’re chubby in a baggy shirt instead of y ou’re chubby in a dress you really like!

    i know you don’t do self help books but this is really really worth the effort. Nelson Mandela quoted Marianne Williamson (remember the whole ‘who are we not to be… poem) so she really is onto something.

    Your girls will benefit from you reading this book too – try it.

  1. Illusions of the Body by Grace Hagan |

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