Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 160: "No Mirrors at My Nana's House"

I am so grateful to the reader who directed me to this beautiful youtube video, produced by Nickelodeon.  It manages to stay sweet and innocent while poignantly illustrating the more serious issue of how our beauty culture contributes to internalized racism.  The song was written by Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey and the Rock.

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  1. I just wanted to say how amazing I think it is that you're doing this! I have struggled with low self-esteem since I was sexually abused when I was 7 for 4 years by my Step-Dad. My mother was also a bulimic, and passed her self-loathing on to me. My self-esteem ( or lack there of) has caused me many issues in all my relationships. I go to therapy, which is nice, but I still struggle with it on a daily basis. Talking with other women has never helped much, as they have not had my experiences. Thanks so much for the non-conventional way of trying to heal! It gives me hope!
    Ashley T.

  2. that is such a wonderful video!!! thank you for sharing it with us!

  3. Just the right message to send to our youth!

  4. Thank you for sharing this song! I just played it with my little girl and she and I danced to it:) It's important to share that beauty isn't what is in the mirror - as early as possible :)

  5. I just discovered your blog last week during my daily read of the Huffington Post. I think this is such a cool and really BRAVE project you are undertaking. I posted your story along with your link on one of my blogs ( I have 4) and have been telling everyone I know about your site. Then, today I read about this touching little video that depicts with such truth how innocent little children can come to hate their own self image. I have another blog which I am just launching which will (among other things) discuss the issues surrounding self hatred as it pertains to hair in the African American community. This will be a perfect little video to post. Hope you don't mind passing it along! Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Been reading your blog for a while now. I'm also a PhD student in sociology. I'm working on a project on obesity right now and today came across your 2010 article with Saguy. When I saw your first name I had to stop back by the blog to see if it was you (wasn't sure of your last name). Just had to comment to say, small world!

  7. Love the song! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love your blog and the concept for your experiment in shunning mirrors. When I was a thirteen old girl, a Sunday school lesson taught by one of my favorite teachers really struck a cord. She told us how "mirrors lie" and do not reflect the true beauty inside and out. This message inspired me to write the following short poem:

    Mirror, mirror on the wall,
    I feel the fairest of them all.
    I'm Heavenly Father's daughter dear,
    And that can show without a mirror.

    Whether you believe in a God or not, it is so true that our perception of our reflection would change dramatically if we saw ourselves through the eyes of those who know us, love us, and see our best selves.

  9. yeah! that was nice. both moral and intellectual issues were tackled there. nice hit!

    1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand.

  10. I first heard about your project on the morning news the other day and was inspired to check out your blog. I've always struggled with being obsessive about my appearances. One of my main issues is facebook-and being tagged in pictures...I've researched studies about narcissism and facebook, and it seems very interconnected. I was wondering if you had any insight on the affect facebook has on girl's appearances. I am constantly untagging pictures I hate and making sure I appear flawless to anyone who views my page. I've seen the damaging affects to my self-esteem but can't seem to stop using facebook. Just wondering if maybe you've had any similar experiences with facebook, or maybe you don't even have one-ha. In that case-nevermind!
    I wish I could just quit facebook-I get so sick of myself sometimes-and my over-preoccupation with myself. And also, if maybe you had any advice how to not fall prey to this self-obsession and still keep my facebook account. Thankyou! I'm also contemplating taking some drastic steps with not wearing makeup anymore and possibly only looking in the mirror-once before leaving the house everyday-and that's it. Thanks for the inspiration ;)