Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Yes, these are the very words the wicked Queen in Snow White would ask her trusted mirror,
“Who’s the fairest of them all?” As I got older, I began to question, why did she need to be validated by a ghost behind a mirror, as to who she truly was? Are cartoons teaching children to not search for their own identity but ask for validation as to who they are? I have come to the unfortunate conclusion, yes. I am not saying that these are the affects Disney movies or any show has on a every child. I am only suggesting that there is a possibility that at a young age we looked in the mirror, and say those words, possibly just pretending but symbolic for unknowing, I know I have. Honestly, I think the Queen was having a mid-life identity crisis, going to the extreme to kill off Snow White, only to steal what she already was, a Queen. Although she wanted to proclaim the title “Fairest One”, some of us struggle with those exact variations at work, school, home, and even church. I call this The Mirror Complex, identifying self image by the validation of others or mirroring one’s image after another, such as a role model, athlete, celebrity and etc. Some of you just call it “copy cat,” but the mirror complex goes deeper than that.
Pouring Water in a Broken Glass
Finding my identity was the hardest task, I put myself up to do. No, I did not know who I was for almost 27 years and I am 28 years old now. I had the mirror complex bad, always needing validation from others only to find myself, unhappy, lonely and scared about the situation or circumstances, I found myself in. I never made a decision on my own because I was convinced it was the wrong one, before I even tried my ideas. I called around to family and friends asking, “What should I do?” Always frustrated with the same answers, “It’s up to you Jenna, it’s your decision.” I finally came up with an excuse as to why I had difficulty making wise decisions on my own, my Mother dying when I was four, Father dying when I was 13, but before then never playing any fundamental role in my life. As logical as they might be, my excuses made no change in my life, I was still lost in realm of life. As I got older and begin raising my daughters, I knew I lacked guidance and felt selfish for having children that I could not steer in the right direction, when I was lost myself. Hence the subtitle, “Pouring water in a broken glass,” I was that broken glass, chipped, unstable, and useless to my family.
Cut and Paste
Today, I cannot stress enough to my girls how much being someone else or accepting someone else’s opinion as truth is damaging to their hearts and well being. Mostly everyday last year, my oldest daughter would come home crying about how some boy in her 1st grade class called her ugly, stupid and other unkind words that made her question if those statements were true. Being lost myself, I would give her a speech Doctor Phil would say and hoped she would accept it and move on. It did not strike me until one day, my five year old said very honestly, “I wish I was white, mommy.” I wanted to cry and slap myself, I was raising “Me,” my daughter was developing the mirror complex before my very eyes. Although I did not like many attributes about my personality at the time, I am a proud Black American, but I never thought I would have to tackle this subject so early. From that day forward, I knew it was time to look in the mirror, cut out the perception of what others wanted me to be, or for that matter, what I thought they needed me to be, and paste on the person I found looking the mirror.