Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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The Skinniest Mirror

Ever seen that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine buys a dress because it looked good on her in the store but like a Hefty sack when she got it home? The one with the skinny mirror? Yeah. Well, I never really bought into the whole skinny mirror thing, but, people, they exist. BIG TIME.

When we first moved here to Green Acres I bought a mirror for our bathroom from Walmart. You know, one of those large rectangle jobs? A full body type mirror. And this isn't one of those cheap-o mirrors, the flimsy kind with the one inch wooden frame. This is a really nice mirror with a thick silver frame. Or a thick imitation silver frame, anyway. But the frame is thick. The mirror is fairly sturdy, is what I'm saying.

So I lugged that sucker home and propped it against my bathroom wall so I could marvel at how much baby weight my body was still desperately hanging on to. But a funny thing happened. Almost immediately, I began to feel really good about myself. Like, whoa. My pre-pregnancy jeans may not fit anymore but maybe my hips are just wider or something, because, according to this mirror, I look stunning. Hello there, beautiful!

Then one day while dragging a load of laundry into my bedroom I happened to gander my ass in the older mirror hanging on the door there and I was like, whaaa? That's not what I looked like this morning. I went back to the bathroom mirror and I am telling you, I looked twenty pounds lighter. Bathroom mirror - Gwyneth Paltrow. Bedroom mirror - Gwyneth Paltrow in the fat suit for Shallow Hal.

I'm not kidding. I really wish I could photograph what this lying, bitch ass bitch, bathroom mirror is doing. Here I was, parading around, looking a fool in my skinny jeans. Now that I really see the difference, the bathroom mirror is almost like a fun house mirror that stretches out your body. Oh! I thought of a good comparison. Remember this Paula Abdul video? Where the image is all stretched out? Like we all don't know Paula is trying to look tall and skinny? Anyway, that's about the same effect as my bathroom mirror.

At first I felt betrayed. Like, here I was feeling all good about myself when really I was sporting around a big ol' donkey booty. But a funny thing happened. I kind of realized I like a big ol' donkey booty. Flat asses suck... Well, they suck ASS. Who wants to look at a bony ass? I like a big round butt. A butt's supposed to be round, ain't it? Ever watched a skinny chick dance at a club? Demi Moore, anyone? EESH. I mean, I'm down with dancing like nobody's watching and all but, guurrrlll, sometimes you gotta know everyone is watching. Gotta have a little junk in the trunk to shake yer booty in such a way and look good, is all I'm saying. I mean, I still can't dance. But more booty equals less chicken-like, ya dig? A skinny chick has to work hard to look good dancing. A curvy gal just needs to shake her booty a bit and she is good to go.

Or maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. Maybe I'm offending legions of ass-less chicks the world over. But hey. It's about time we offend the thin a bit instead of worshiping sacks of bones parading around as supermodels. I dunno. What I do know is that I've got a drawer full of pre-pregnancy jeans that don't fit that I should totally get rid of but can't quite bring myself to toss because some jacked up part of my brain is telling me I should get back to what I weighed at 25. I want to rewire my brain so that I don't have a fucked self-image, you know? So that I don't think a slight muffin top is a big deal but, alas, I'm a victim of Seventeen magazine from way back in the day. And society took it from there. But, man. If if I can recover from Mormonism can't I recover from the beating society gave my mind in regard to the ideal female form? If not for me, for my daughter...

Can I? Can you? Can it be done?

Reader Comments (18)

Donkey Booty - haha I love that! You sound like Phaedra from the ATL Housewives in the most recent episode, I know you're a fan - have you seen the new one? Too funny! Anyhow - I feel ya on the skinny mirror. I have one of the extremely tall ones in my closet and it's propped up on a stool (because I'm short) but it makes me feel taller. Those dressing room mirrors....ewww things never look as good on me in the store as they do when I come home to my own mirror.

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

OK this is a really stupid question... but do you have one mirror nailed to the wall, and the other leaning against the wall? A leaning mirror will always look better because of the angle.

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

Ugh, this is exactly the thoughts that go through my mind on a daily basis....

As a non-skinny girl it has always been a struggle to maintain a positive self-image in the body-obsessed society we live can be so rough being female with all the crap we get fed every single day about how we should look. And 8 months after my daughter was born I am still so much heavier than I was, and still not sure how to deal with that in my head.

I proudly say I am a feminist, I am aware of all the reasons and manipulation behind the images we get sold via the media and society in general....I know that history of the way the 'ideal' women's body has changed over time and how it has been used to control whole generations of women....I get the how and the why of the whole thing and it makes me furious...

BUT it still is a daily struggle to challenge all the messages in my head about how I 'should' look and what is attractive or not. Sometimes I do feel so programmed to feel a certain way - and it is so easy to feel so rubbish about myself.

But then I have a daughter too. And it terrifies me that she has all this shit to contend with as she gets older. And probably way more shit than I ever had - girls are being sexualised and made aware of their bodies at a way earlier age than when I was little. But I know that I have the power to be the one that provides the big FUCK OFF to all this external pressure for her. Sure, a lot of it is unavoidable....but if she has a mother that provided the right messages and loved herself for what she was, surely that has got to be good for something.

So yeah, I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel ya, and for mine and my daughters sake I am going to keep working on rejecting as much of all this stuff as I can. And when I can't, which will frequently happen, I am going to fake it in front of my daughter so she never hears her mother being negative about her body and the way she looks.

Oh, and it turns out my bedroom mirror is my 'skinny' allowed me to go out wearing shorts that were MUCH shorter than I really feel comfortable wearing...grrrrrrrr..

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Dee

I'm an ass-less chick and somehow my post baby ass is even smaller than before. Ouch! I'd love to eat a ton and have it all go to my ass but alas it goes to my stomach and creates a paunch. Paunch + negative ass = a seriously unattractive woman.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled about being thinner in general (thank you breastfeeding!) but man, my butt is embarrassing.

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEdie

@Amy Dee - EXACTLY.

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who

I hope you know how BEAUTIFUL you are, Monica!!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

I'm a relatively new reader; I saw this post and couldn't help but respond. I found this website earlier today and it definitely gave me both a laugh and a self-esteem boost :)

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

Dang! This is exactly why I LOVE what you do with words! You rock!

November 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershannon B.

My work staff room has a skinny mirror. Is it possible that's the real mirror and all the others are just fat mirrors?

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermr

why do skinny chicks always get negatively dragged into the big bootie celebration? Celebrate yourselves without bringing other women down.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa

@Teresa - I see your point but skinny chicks will be just fine, trust me. Think of this post as "reparations" for fat chicks.

November 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

I'm a skinny chick. With a booty. Hate me if you want, but us skinny bitches get sick of being the subjects of jokes about our weight too. Especially since the world would come crashing to a halt if we retaliated in kind.

But I know all about the good/bad mirrors. The good mirrors = so good. The bad mirrors = stay away.

December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterR

Oh, you guys. I'm not a fat chick either but COME ON. The load of horseshit society dishes out to curvier girls is crap. Skinny chicks are worshiped by most media outlets etc so a couple of skinny gals acting all upset about a few flat ass jokes is silly - this is the shit fat people deal with all day every day.

December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who

Word to the last comment, Monica. The crap that fat and obese people have to take will always be worse than whatever "skinny" people hear. Sorry, but there's no comparison.

December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Ho-Boy, the muffin top. I'm hoping they make a come back, cause I'm rockin' one like crazy.

December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

man I just hate it when people call me insulting geez *sarcasm*

lol sometimes i feel like my eyes have the skinny mirror effect one day i'll look svelt and wonderful and the next day i'm gigantic

December 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterashley

@ Ashley-No one is saying that they are insulted to be called skinny.They said they don't like when people say comments like "and you are gross" or "and you look stupid dancing because you have a flat butt"

I have seriously never thought about what my butt looks like while I dance, but thanks to this post, I have something else to be self conscious about next to my big nose, and my 32A cups that are all shapeless and flatter (if that is possible) looking from breastfeeding. My butt just doesn't look the same since I had my baby and I hate it. It looks like flat, pancake, old lady in the locker room butt.

I guess it does look stupid... probably. =( lol.

December 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa

I don't know if you'll see this since the comment thread is older, but I wanted to pass this along since I know you've been using Pillsbury products lately:

December 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJust fyi

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