Body Image Issues Inspire Kansas Teens to Fight Back Against Their Mirrors

Female students at Kansas private school, Trinity Academy, brainstormed a new way to promote positive body image while on their senior trip. In an effort to maintain that worth is not based on appearance, the girls have decided to plaster their bathroom mirrors with brown paper. The girls have used the paper to reflect their own values—Bible scriptures are quoted and colorfully written all over, as well as stuff like, “No beauty shines than a good heart”.

“My sister is a freshman and I take her home and to school and she just talked to me about how it’s important that she got to see this,” Hannah Hancock, one of the girls told KWCH1. “And it does make a difference when you get to see that as a freshman, and you’re not looking for your worth from boys or things like that but she’s discovering that she’s beautiful not because of anything else.”

The plan is temporary, but the girls maintain that the effect will be long lasting. Jezebel is somewhat skeptical, citing a tipster whose cousins attended Trinity Academy: “I grew up in this culture, and being told ‘your beauty should not come from outward adornment!!!’ just sounds like MORE exhausting shaming and policing… leaving that culture has given me significant mental health gains.”

An article titled, “10 Steps To A Positive Body Image” by the National Eating Disorder Association, advises girls to “Look at yourself as a whole person.  When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts.  See yourself as you want others to see you–as a whole person.” In other words, there may be negative effects of separating physical and emotional qualities, or like the tipster said, to believing that inner or outer beauty ‘should’ be in any certain way. What do you think? Would covering your mirror make you feel better about yourself?

Another piece of advice from the association: “Do something nice for yourself—something that lets your body know you appreciate it.  Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.” That, at least, we can all get behind.

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