Let’s face it, our teenage years, by far, were some of the most awkward times in our lives. But looking back on it, the pressure from our peers and society made things a lot worse than it should have been. However, growing up as a teen today is a totally different game. With the craze of social media, silicone-injected backsides, and ridiculously plumped lips, the standards of beauty are just too much for a teen to manage.
One Christian high school in Kansas, however, is breaking the unrealistic mold for their students. Seniors of Trinity Academy have covered the bathroom mirrors in their school with brown paper affixed with a slew of body positive slogans and inspiring/religious messages, in a attempt to make underclassmen feel better about themselves and spread self-love on the school grounds.
Titled #BanMirrors, the movement focuses on young girls and finding love from within instead of outwardly.
“We were trying to think of ideas of how we could serve the underclassmen and make the most impact,” one of the girls behind the project told local CBS station KWCH. “Especially as freshmen and sophomores, you’re trying to find your identity and who you are, and we want them to find their identity in God and in Christ and not in a mirror and not what their outward appearance looks like.”
Even still, with a movement based on love and positivity, there are others who say the campaign isn’t all that positive. One Jezebel writer notes that the idea is just another way that religious schools encourage girls to cover up.
“I get that it’s trying to be positive about the girls… but it feels to me like they’re papering over the mirror because they can’t go all out and ask the girls to wear paper bags themselves. Believe me, 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.”
While I totally understand where the upperclassmen of Trinity Academy were coming from and only trying to help with a serious issue that plagues many young girls, I do think another initiative would have been a better route. For me in particular, I need a mirror handy, always. What happens if my hair is standing straight up on my hair? or, perhaps, after lunch I have something caught in my teeth? Maybe I’ve got a shiny t-zone and need to dab my face?
As trivial as it seems, I do wholeheartedly think that mirrors are a necessity, even if you don’t necessarily like what you see. More than a mirror, positive body image also comes from your mental and emotional state. Simply removing mirrors won’t make a significant change, but at the end of the day, I do applaud these ladies for their effort.
What are your thoughts? Are you on board with the #BanMirrors movement?