Today I was peddling away on the bike in my gym, trying not to look ahead into the sea of mirrors which blanket the entire wall in front of the exercise equipment. From this vantage point, I couldn’t help but notice that the only ones working out in front of this massive mirrored wall were men. Some watching their form as they lifted weights, others twisting and stretching, practicing a golf swing, or simply standing and gazing at their image.
As I looked around the room I realized there was a much higher percentage of women working out, but none were anywhere near a mirror. Now, it could have been coincidence, but it didn’t seem coincidental. Ok, not exactly a scientific study, but no women were willingly facing the wall of mirrors except those, like me, that had no other option and we were all intently watching CNN, reading our books, leafing through magazines or listening to our IPOD’s looking anywhere but straight ahead.
So, I asked myself, are men in the 21st century becoming more vain (you know, the whole metrosexual thing), or are they simply unaffected by the idea that their image is anything but ok? Through the ages women have been labeled the vainer of the two sexes, but in reality the truth is something else. Women are simply too hard on themselves. That’s an issue of self-esteem, not vanity.
Today, watching men admire themselves and their efforts in front of the mirror I thought, God love ‘em, men are blessed with enough self esteem to fill Dodger Stadium! When they look in a mirror they see Rhett Butler, but when we look in the mirror we tend to see something else. So, is there anything to be learned from our male counterparts in this little gym parable? I don’t know, maybe this, isn’t it nicer to gaze into a mirror and see someone you like looking back at you? Here’s to waking up your Scarlet O’Hara!
Here are 2 books to consider if you’d like to read more on creating a positive body image and self-esteem:
Taming Your Gremlin: A Guide to Enjoying Yourself
The Body Image Workbook: An 8-Step Program for Learning to Like Your Looks