The Broken Mirror: How I Overcame Low Self-Esteem

Every morning I stared at myself in the mirror. I stared at my face and all the minor imperfections. Like, I do not like how big my nose is or how big my lips are. I questioned why my eyes were so big. I asked myself, why is my hair so unruly, kinky and nappy? When I stared at myself, I wished that I looked better; not just face, but my body too. How I long to have a bigger butt or have a flatter stomach. I did this just about every morning. After I was done ranting, I put make up on my naked face.

There is nothing wrong with a little make up right? Well, it became a major problem for me because I started to use it for the wrong reasons. I did not use the make up to enhance my features, I used it to mask my low esteem. I want to share my story with you and how I truly overcame low-self esteem.

About 2 years ago I did the big chop, I cut off my chemically processed hair. I reflected on my journey to find that I was a little insecure about my hair. Even though I knew that I was beautiful, I felt the need to wear make up. I put on a lot of make up. It was almost like I was hiding. Apart of me felt like beauty meant long hair straight hair. I felt ugly with short kink coily hair and no make up.  Although I know that I am beautiful because I feel it on the inside, I still had issues seeing it on the outside.

I know that I had to do something to change this. I decided to wear less make up and some days I didn’t put any at all. I went to work, church, dates with my husband, and outings with my friends without make up on. I felt weird at first, walking around with no make up. I felt naked (I had clothes on), I felt like I could not hide behind this superficial version of myself. I had to face the truth. This is who I am…this is the real me. During this time I still stared at the mirror, looking at my faults. Until one day, the mirror fell from the wall and shattered. I was glad that I was not hurt but I was so distressed that my mirror broke. My husband found me crying by the mirror as he helped me clean up the mess. I cried my eyes out as if someone I knew passed away. He said to me, “what’s wrong? It’s just a mirror.” My reply was, “it’s not just a mirror…this was my mirror! ”  The mirror that broke was a gift from my mom because it was my favorite mirror when I was growing up. She knew how much I adored the mirror so as parting gift when I got married, she gave it to me. If you have ever had something from your childhood break then you understand how sad I was. 

 Then it hit me…I was  clinging onto the past; I was holding onto my old image of myself as well as who I perceived myself to be. In order to move forward and to embrace change I had let go of my past insecurities. The mirror was a symbol of my insecurities and low self-esteem that I had built in since I was a child. I told myself that I let them go but I didn’t. The mirror breaking was a symbol that those insecurities were gone. The idea of superficial beauty was gone. I swept up the broken glass (broken pieces of myself) and put them in the trash; my insecurities were in the trash. After the three months went by, I realized that I didn’t need make up. I used it as a crutch to overcompensate  for my low-self esteem and what I thought true beauty was. Now I have a new outlook, better perception of myself, and who I want to be. I decided that it’s time to buy a new mirror.


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