Freshmen year was awkward city and I was trying my best and failing horribly to find out who I was, it was mainly a lot of things I am not proud of. But a couple great things (or people should I say) came out of that year. That year in geography I met my best friend Katie Mansfield. We were separated several times in that class for talking too much and I highly doubt we could tell you anything about geography, but I will forever be grateful for that class. She looked like Christ then and she looks like Him now. What a gem. She is so full of life, joy, and laughter. She tells both bad and good jokes (we laugh either way), she'll burst into laughter at inappropriate times, and loves Jesus vibrantly. We became friends over a love of all things silly (namely Nacho Libre and Napoleon Dynamite) and getting caught passing notes. But my friendship with Katie would be so much more than the fact that we could laugh about anything together. Katie was one of the women who always pointed to me to Christ, sometimes with her words, but mostly with her loving actions and unconditional love that she extended towards me when I was clearly not walking with Christ.
I am so thankful for Katie's honesty, humility, and willingness to bare her soul for the sake of Jesus being glorified. We have both always loved writing and entertained the idea of being professional writers, and now we know more than ever that that is exactly what Jesus gifted Katie for. Katie is a brilliant writer with the greatest of imaginations. She writes books you guys, she's way cooler than me. She writes devotionals and lately has started a blog to share her gift with everyone. I am so proud of my friend!!! Here is one of my favorite articles about the joy that we can give and receive when we see ourselves through "skinny eyes." Please check out her blog, twitter, instagram and Facebook. Xo
On: Skinny Eyes By Katie Mansfield
Today, I went to the mall. While at the mall, I tried on some clothes. While trying on those clothes in the fitting room at Macy’s I stumbled upon an incredibly rare, highly sought after, much-desired commodity. It’s like a unicorn or The Sorcerer’s Stone… Maybe even the Holy Grail. I found…
A skinny mirror.
A skinny mirror is the mirror you look in and see you, but it’s you skinnier. I love to find a skinny mirror, it only happens once every so often. A woman can go months, even years, without finding one and when she does find one, she cherishes it. Today, I found myself cherishing it. Then I had some other feelings.
The skinny mirror started to make me angry. Because I realized that even if that’s what I see right now, in that fitting room all alone, that’s not what everyone else sees. I’m still me, normal. So what good is it to see myself in this skinny mirror and be fooled into thinking that I’m something that I’m not? Why lie to myself like that?
Then I started thinking about how I’ve attempted to redefine beauty for myself and how I want to view my physical appearance differently. I started to think about the progress I’ve made towards loving myself and letting go of the need to view anything about my body as flawed. Honestly, as much as I know the right things to think and say, it is still sometimes so hard to believe. Because, looking in that skinny mirror, I saw something I liked but I didn’t feel it was accurate. It was more than being “skinny.” I saw myself on the outside how I felt on the inside.
And in that moment, I realized this: why did that reflection have to be the lie? Why should others not also see me on the outside how I see me on the inside? What if instead of calling women to just viewthemselves differently, we called women to view each other differently, as well? No woman is an island. It’s better when we help each other and not just ourselves.
It’s better when we help each other and
not just ourselves.
Thus, the birth of skinny eyes. In my last post, I mentioned how I view my best friend. I don’t see her outward appearance the way she sees it and she doesn’t see me the way I see myself, either. We are looking at each other with skinny eyes. And it isn’t a lie.
We do not see each other as something we are not. So, as a woman, I am asking all other women a favor: let’s see each other accurately. That mirror that we all think we look better in than all the other mirrors? Let’s make that our reality. If we all view each other differently then no one will feel like they are lying to themselves. I can tell myself that I am beautiful and I’ll believe it when I do. But when it’s just me, it’s like running up a steep hill. I can do it but it’s going to be very, very hard. Having others reaffirm what I know to be true makes it like running on flat ground: it’s still a challenge but at least I am the only thing I’m battling.
Here it is: I hereby declare the abolition of the skinny mirror and the in-statement of the fat mirror. Any mirror you look in and see a fat girl looking back at you… That is the warped mirror. That is the lie. That is not the woman that your best friend, your husband, your mother, your brother, or your sister sees. That is not the woman that know you are. Because you know what? The mirror is a tool. It does not think, it does not have an opinion. It gives you what you want.
Let’s be our flawed selves and love each other no matter what. When we look in the mirror, let’s see the beautiful people we really are. When we look at each other, let’s do it with skinny eyes. If we see each other as beautiful, whole people long enough then eventually it will become normal. And those who refuse to love others will be the weird ones. And when that happens… we will still love them. They will still get skinny eyes from us.
Every mirror in my home just became a skinny mirror. My intention is to look upon my fellow woman with skinny eyes. Let’s help each other out because as of right now, there are only two types of mirrors in the world: the real ones and the fat ones. Burn the fat ones… They are the lie. Look at the women surrounding you and bask in their beautiful glow. I would say that it’ll mean more to them than you know but… You know exactly what it will mean to have everyone around you see you as beautiful.
And if any man has made it thus far, just remember that every woman around you is either reminding herself that she is beautiful or struggling to see herself that way. You need skinny eyes, too. See that gal as a whole person and tell her that you do. No matter how confident she is, tell her. Let “beautiful” mean “I adore your heart as much as your face.”
I am beautiful. I no longer need to convince myself of that fact because it’s true. And I have my best friend who sees me like that but I sincerely hope that more join in. And I hope and pray that your heart turns towards that thinking if it’s not already there. Because you have at least one sister who sees you with skinny eyes and together, we make that the norm. Do it for strangers, do it for loved ones, and do it for everyone in between. Because no one should go years without seeing themselves in a skinny mirror.
You are beautiful. That is your reality. Stay grounded in that truth.
We’ll talk again soon!
Prospective Wife for Captain America