There are three types of mirrors: great mirrors, regular mirrors, and very bad, no good, terrible mirrors. My bedroom is home to a great mirror. It's seen a lot. Five years ago, it was my contribution to the half-furnished apartment I shared with a boyfriend in the suburbs. When we broke up and I moved out, I left him, the cat, and the wine rack he'd gotten me, along with wine and a bottle opener, for Christmas. (The gift's implication was not well-received on my end.)
I did not leave the mirror. I picked up its full-length, 70-pound body, jammed it awkwardly into a Ford Escape, and brought it to the city for its sparkly new life. I've since dragged it to three more apartments — that's how fucking good it makes me feel about myself.
If all mirrors treated me like my bedroom mirror does, I wouldn't be accused of having body dysmorphia by people who are sick of hearing me talk about my "saddlebags" and "hips that bulge in unnatural ways in Zara pleated skirts" because I wouldn't even see those things. I'd only know smooth, even skin and a personally satisfying bust-hip-waist ratio. Which is why I'm fairly convinced that our self-image is only as good as the last mirror we looked in, though I'm willing to concede that there might be some rare birds out there for whom an unflattering glass slab is just that, and not a reason to feel a crushing sense of self-loathing that lingers for days.
I'm still recovering from my last bad mirror experience weeks ago. The mirror in question was in an Orlando hotel (as if a trip to Florida itself isn't punishment enough for a snake-fearing, heat-avoiding, big city liberal) and it taunted me for an entire weekend, showing me cellulite in places I'd never seen cellulite before and sharp, black chin hairs that, as an obsessive plucker of all hairs, I knew for a fact had not been there prior to check-in. I was also greyish, like a dead body before it's been given the special pink-tint formaldehyde treatment. I left feeling horrible about myself because I am a person whose self-worth is in an inextricable relationship with physical appearance (at least I recognise it, ok?). Even my loyal mirror couldn't get me out of the funk; I'd seen things I couldn't soon forget.
But then there are normal mirrors that just show you... you. They don't give you the magic Snapchat airbrushed effect, but they also don't make you go, wait, why the FUCK is my ass suddenly covered in pimples I've never seen before?! Those mirrors are acceptable to me.
Here's what I just cannot wrap my head around: why anyone in charge of designing an office or a bathroom or the reflective side of a building looks at a piece of glass that does not fall into either the "great" or "normal" category and says, "Yes, that's the one I want to put in all my hotel chains across the country, so that guests spending their hard-earned money to relax for a few days will want to cry when they glimpse themselves stepping out of the shower."
Does it have to be this way? Do we have to constantly confront different versions of our bodies and question which is the real one? I want to live in a world with a single regulated and enforced mirror type — and it just so happens there's one very image-focused man with the power to make it happen. His name is Donald Trump, and as an expert in developing hotels whose bathrooms have terrific, tremendous mirrors (don't ever say I don't give credit where it's due), he's actually perfectly qualified to lead this specific charge.
Given all the other shit floating around the Senate, the universal mirror mandate is a modest proposal, really. This is how we make America, and my body image, great again.