What I See In The Mirror Doesn’t Matter

We will never achieve equality while women continue to be judged by their appearance.

I was recently sent the latest video in the continuous campaign for women to learn to see themselves as beautiful. While I believe in body love, as you know, I’m getting pretty tired of the constant story of women who don’t realise how beautiful they are.

This video, which asks women what they see when they look in the mirror, shows a variety of women talking about how they don’t see someone who is beautiful, the unspoken implication being they don’t see someone who is valuable.

Therein lies the problem. A bigger one than how these women see themselves.

You don’t see these videos about men. You don’t see men being told they are, after all, beautiful and should see themselves that way. You don’t see men being reassured “don’t worry about losing part of you from cancer, you’re still pretty”.


I can’t help but think it’s because, as a society, we still judge the value of women by their appearance. We still comment on what a female politician is wearing, and ignore what she is doing. More airtime is given to Duchess Catherine’s wardrobe than her works. We still sell magazines for men objectifying the female form for their viewing pleasure, and we still sell women’s magazines doing the same.

When a woman’s photo can be stolen to promote an app for making yourself appear thinner, there is something wrong with society and how it tells women to judge themselves.

Until we stop judging the value of women by their appearance there can never be equality. Until we stop instrinsically linking a woman’s self worth to what she looks like, we will never be able to achieve for women what society has achieved for men.

The video sets forth a challenge. It asks you – what do you see when you look in the mirror.

What do I see? I see a woman who is pretty sick of this bullshit.



  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    Yeah, I watched this over the weekend as well while I was programming my New Music Revue blog…

    While I’m sure the women are genuine — and I couldn’t help but feel moved by some of the stories — I also wondered what women really think of these videos…

    And you’re right — you rarely see the same thing done with men.

    I wonder why media and marketing types still use these types of campaigns? This video was essentially made to promote John Legend’s “You and I” music video… it’s designed to sell… and they wouldn’t make this video unless they thought it would work… The video itself has had almost 100,000 views, with over 3,000 likes, but only 52 dislikes… that, to me, is cause for concern in itself.

  • Chocolate For Everyone

    Here’s the problem – Heterosexual women essentially compete with other women for men. If you want a more attractive, successful, powerful mate, then you in turn must offer something of increased value in return.

    Women like men, don’t want to end up with the ugly guy, they also don’t want the short guy, the weakling, the poor guy and so on. So they enter what is effectively a sexual value marketplace with its own inherent sexual economics with two participating heterosexual parties.

    With the rise of sexual freedom, women have had to increase their sexual appeal to match the heavy competition or they can simply settle for less.

    The most relevant part of the previous three paragraphs is the phrase “Settle For Less”. As long as women refuse to, men will too, so therein lies the circular dynamic.

    Objectification is a fallacy in of itself.

    To liken a human to an inanimate object is to in fact prefer the object. If men were more interested in objects they wouldn’t paradoxically be interested in women.

    What the problem is, boils down to is dogmatic ideology and the view of male sexuality as problematic.

    If the argument can be made that consentual sex is morally acceptable, then the same acquisition of sex is not immoral, unfortunately this slippery leap has been universally applied to the sexual attraction and subsequent want of biological coupling, to be somehow wrong when and only when it’s a man wanting sex and only sex with a woman.

    But why?

    Why is the drive that is biologically determined and fundamentally accepted withing the conservative construct of a relationship okay, but when it’s not, or more to the point, when it’s a man viewing a women as a human being whom he’d very much like to have sex with – It’s somehow subject to this ideologically driven buzzword “objectification” and deemed immoral.

    By using objectification, the notion of female sexual power is easily disassociated and I suspect in the past some feminists have used this to deliberate means.

    Many women want an attractive, powerful and wealthy men and many men want attractive women, but low and behold you’ll find whomsoever has little to offer their opposites, invariably must accept less themselves. No conspiracy, no unfairness, just a fairly obvious market dynamic.

  • Maryann

    In the mirror I see me. I think the real problem is that too many women have been taught to trade on their looks, that how they look is a valuable commodity and equates to self worth. This is really sad because most of us are just ordinary and that is just fine. Until we talk about women’s achievements rather than what she is wearing, her hair colour or weight society is not balanced. By we I mean men & women. Beauty needs to be an irrelevance, character is paramount. I am not and will never be beautiful, how I look does not rule my world or how I interact with people.

  • 26 Years & Counting

    I’m a bit too tired for a deep comment, but on the general topic, as someone who doesn’t wear makeup, I’ve often wondered how many jobs it has cost me…