Before I moved out of home I had a beautiful, antique wardrobe that I got from my great grandma, it was gorgeous. It was also very heavy I would like to add in. Now, this wardrobe had a full length mirror on one of the doors that opened up, you could see yourself from pretty much every angle. I thought this was great! It wasn't until I moved out of home without my full length mirror (because no one was willing to carry the wardrobe) that I realised how much damage that mirror was actually doing.
I would stand in front of the mirror for hours analysing my body- my stomach was too big, my hips too wide, my 'thigh gap' wasn't wide enough. The list was endless, endless amounts of things that I thought were wrong with me thanks to looking in this mirror. I would get dressed up in something that I thought looked great, and then look in the mirror and that was the end of that, off came all the clothes and it was time to start again, pull some different clothes off the rack and let's try a whole new outfit. Often going out would involve multiple different outfits and a huge pile of clothes on the floor after I would get frustrated that none of them looked how I wanted them too look, for that I blamed my body.
Since I moved out of home almost a year ago I have been without a full length mirror what's happened? Sure I still have a small mirror in my bathroom (how is a girl to do her eyebrows without one?) but that's the only mirror I have, you can only see the top of your head to your boobs. And that's how I like it. Now I wear the clothes that I want to wear, I don't worry about how I think other people are going to look at my body. I could never wear leggings without a large, oversize shirt covering my 'hip dips', now I'll leave the house wearing some high waisted leggings and a crop without a second thought.
I used to use low cut tops to distract people from my legs, they were always the thing I was most self conscious about, always. I don't wear low cut tops anymore (getting conservative in my old age apparently!) because I don't feel like I have to divert attention.
I'm not embarrassed of my body anymore, I'm happy with it, I'm comfortable in my own skin.
It never occurred to me that to love my own body I needed to stop looking at it so critically. It never occurred to me that people don't actually look at your legs and think 'she hasn't got a thigh gap' or look at your stomach and think 'well you can't grate cheese on that'. But they don't, people don't see you walking down the street and judge your body and they don't because they don't have the right to do that, it's your body and you should feel love towards it.