A Look in the Mirror


Makiah Parris, Co-Assistant Editor

The smooth, finished hardwood vanity in the corner of my room is where I spend the most time. The older I got, the more I found myself sitting at that desk staring back at myself in the mirror hanging above. Critiquing every little imperfection I told myself I had depending on what I saw other girls have that I didn’t. When I was younger, there were only a few things on the desk: my hairbrush, my perfume, my hair ties, etc. The more time went on, the more full the organizers on my vanity were getting. Filled with more makeup and more products. More things I could use to cover up all my pimples, hide all my dark circles, and conceal all my imperfections. As I continued to clutter the vanity, buying more and more products, I began to see the reflection in the mirror change. For a while, I was happy about it. I thought I was finally starting to be like the other girls who have perfect hair, perfect teeth, and a perfect face. It just wasn’t the same girl who first hung up the mirror looking back at me. The more I tried changing my appearance the more my personality changed with it. I wanted to look different, act different, and be different. Not different from the other girls, but different from me and who I was. 

As I got older, I realized I wasn’t the only one, and that it was the majority of girls my age too who felt the same way. All these girls who wanted to be like each other. All these girls who didn’t view being different as a good thing. Even though it is, and our reflection shouldn’t be what matters most.

I struggled a lot with finding my own personality, which is why I wanted to mimic others so bad. I became very materialistic and only wanted the ¨expensive things¨ or things that were ¨trendy.¨ Not because I wanted it, but because I saw other people have it and wanted to be like them. Whether it was the newest Iphone, the latest shoes, or a pair of jeans that were always out of stock, I told myself I needed to have it. I figured it was just a teenage thing, and maybe it was, but I really started to let all these things define me. I didn’t put on makeup for the fun of it, or curl my hair because I liked to wake up an hour earlier. I did it because the other girls did, and like every girl, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted it so bad I changed everything about me: my personality, my looks, my style. I changed me.

Every time I cleaned that vanity, a little bit of realization hit me. It wasn’t about how much makeup I put on, how expensive my jewelry was, or the way my hair rested on my shoulders, it was about me and who I was. It didn’t matter what everyone else wore or what everyone else did; it was about the way I felt and what made me happy to be me. Being materialistic and wanting what other girls have isn’t what life is about. It’s about enjoying the things you have and making them you. We’re all different, and that’s what makes life so discrete and interesting. So, trying your hardest to be someone you’re not is a waste of time. Because there’s no point in trying to be perfect in a world that isn’t.