Reality is Overrated if You Love Your Body

Kennesaw State University is getting dumber.

I received this email blast on Monday afternoon:

Mirrorless Monday

Mirrorless Monday is the first day in Love Your Body week where reality itself is suffocated in saccharine denial sitting at the intersection of comedy and tragedy. Bathroom mirrors are completely covered in paper and people are invited to write positive messages about their bodies on the paper.

Self-esteem issues instilled by a childhood filled with unrealistic media is an interesting point for discussion, as is eating disorders brought on by those insecurities. But a proposed solution should probably not include feeding students sugar-coated mixed messages as an esoteric form of “therapy.”

A covered mirror inviting unwarranted optimistic writing says “Love your body! But don’t look at it. Instead, write what you wish you would see, you worthless sack of infected pus.”

I asked who was behind the event and ended up with a flyer detailing the week’s festivities. KSU Student Life told me that both men and women’s bathrooms would be affected by Mirrorless Monday, which the flyer describes as “a day when the mirror doesn’t judge you.” I visited men’s restrooms in the following buildings:

  • Social Science
  • Science and Mathematics
  • Library
  • Student Center
  • Student Recreation Center
  • Kennesaw Hall

There were no covered mirrors. This was disappointing because I already ran over to the bookstore and bought a big Sharpie. I had planned to write all sorts of things, like “I love my body so much that I never want to see it again!” and “Reflected light is privileged!”

Sadly, the mirrors scribbled with empty-headed niceties could only be found in women’s restrooms. I wanted to find who was behind all this. Because KSU is ridiculous about answering questions, I had to walk in the following path just to find Shameka Wilson, the Director of the Women’s Resource & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center and the sponsor for Mirrorless Monday:

It's like Family Circus, but somehow less funny.
It’s like Family Circus, but somehow even lamer.

I called Wilson (no recording this time) and found out that they didn’t bring a man along to get access to the men’s restrooms.

Whatever. I was too exhausted to start another quarter-long conversation with KSU staff. Trudi Vaughan’s cowardice is about all I can handle.

There was also a photo shoot (“STEP ON IN AND SMILE PRETTY,” says the flyer). At least the cameras get a “shot” (heh) to share their story. But today, students are going to bring their own bathroom scales to smash with hammers. I’m guessing this is to give women the illusion of control so that they don’t have to deal with the burden of responsibility.

Granted, an anorexic or bulimic woman may on some level benefit from beating what is basically an unconventional effigy. I don’t know enough about the relevant psychology to take a side on that. But given the obesity rates here in the Southeast, I suspect that most attendees do not need a hammer to break the scales. Call me cynical, but I expect a rehashing of fat acceptance by undisciplined cake chutes who blame men for preferring to look at strippers.

I could be wrong.

But I do know for a fact that both scales and mirrors report reality. They tell you something about yourself you might not like, and that makes them evil. Why reject and attack what would never lie to you? A KSU Dietitian told me that Love Your Body week was meant to end the “abusive relationship” between women and their scales or mirrors.

My understanding of body acceptance is that one accepts his or her body for how it is, not by remaining blissfully ignorant of facts about it. Even if one did have a serious eating disorder, at no point can responsibility be put on anyone but that person to make a change (possibly with the help of good friends). But no, apparently if you love your body, you must cover or smash the honest and replace their function with your wishes.

If the participants of Love Your Body Week wanted to escape all possible forms of judgement, I wonder how they are handling the Zumba workout at the end of the week.

Now that I moved into my new house, I have a lot of unused boxes lying around. My new Sharpie needed a purpose, so I put ink to cardboard to make some tributes for the scale smashfest.

He would never lie to you.
He would never lie to you.

I’ll be bringing my buddies Wednesday to see what happens when what cannot tell a lie meets those who cannot handle the truth.

Scales may not report a number that is as representative as body fat percentage, but don’t judge them for what they are!

Scales are our friends.

Don’t be that girl.

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