‘Mirror Mirror’ Takes a Deeper Look at Beauty

January 17, 2013

Plenty of teenage girls (and indeed, women of every age) face issues related to what they see in the mirror versus what they see in the media, and it can lead not only to a loss of self-esteem, but a loss of self, leading to behaviors that aren’t at all healthy on an emotional or spiritual level. But according to Shelly Hitz, author of the audio book ‘Mirror Mirror…Am I Beautiful?: Looking Deeper to Find Your True Beauty’, girls must look deeper than the image in the mirror if they want to discover their true beauty and value. In her estimation, this journey begins by being the person that you were created to be. Although Hitz imbues the book with her own religious beliefs, frequently citing scripture and drawing on the WWJD aesthetic, even those who aren’t particularly spiritual will be drawn to what she has to say on the subject of looking within, largely because she also injects her own experiences and the lessons she’s learned throughout her life into her narrative.

Being a teenage girl is no easy feat, as about half of the population can attest. While male adolescence is likely no picnic, either, girls must face a world where they are bombarded by imagery that tells them they have to look a certain way, attain a certain ideal of feminine beauty that is, in fact, a figment of some magazine editor’s imagination. With models being airbrushed to within an inch of their lives, all a real girl learns from these images is that she is not now, nor will she ever be, good enough. And most girls not only have to deal with this negative media message, but they must also wage what amounts to a war amongst their peer group. In case you’ve forgotten, teenage girls conduct a kind of uber-competitive preening and one-upping that would put political rivalries to shame. In the midst of all this turmoil, it’s amazing that more teens don’t simply throw in the towel.

However, Hitz wants to remind listeners that there are voices of reason out there. And in fact, there is a voice of reason within, as well, if only they’re willing to dig deep and listen. Our beauty, she posits, radiates from the inside out. Think about it; when you’re feeling good about yourself, people take notice. They comment on how good you look and smile when you enter a room. When you allow the beauty of your spirit to shine, it has the power to transform you from someone who may appear merely average on the outside to a beacon of joy and light. Hitz attributes this phenomenon largely to God and the willingness to allow his grace and light to shine through us. But you could also take it to mean the light of your own spirit and personality, your own heart and soul.

Reviewers, many of them teenage girls (although several are older women, as well), wax poetic about the change this audio book has made in their lives. Many relate their own stories, their struggles with self-esteem and the other issues that teens are prone to face, and cite Hitz’s advice for bringing about a turning point in their lives. While some girls will try to reach a beauty ideal through superficial means like cosmetics, face lifts,¬†skin lightening¬†treatments, and so on, and others will try to find their self-worth through shopping, sex, or the approval of peers, Hitz advises looking deeper, finding a connection with God and with one’s true self. This is the path to true beauty, and to a long, healthy, and happy life.

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