Who hasn’t anticipated a trip to the clothing store, only to stand in front of the dressing room mirror feeling more and more depressed? I don’t know what it is about dressing room mirrors, but they never seem to show me to myself the same way mirrors at home do. And it’s not always worse than at home — sometimes the clothes look better on me at the store, sometimes not. Either way, I often have to remind myself not to revert to those old negative messages that can truly damage self-esteem when I don’t like the way things look.
The Dressing Room Project recognizes this behavior. It’s an effort to help young girls, who arguably may be the most body image challenged of us all, help themselves change that negative self talk in dressing rooms. Along with workshops that help girls focus on their positive qualities and expand the defintion of ‘beautiful,’ they provide cards to post on mirrors in dressing rooms, the gym, school bathrooms, at home. Messages like “Worry about the size of your heart, not the size of your body.” And “You will be beautiful if you believe it.” And “Beauty is within.”
While it’s targeted at teenage girls, we could probably all benefit from seeing those messages every day as we look in the mirror.