A group of seniors at Trinity Academy, a private Christian school in Wichita, Kansas, have papered over the mirrors in all the girls’ restrooms in an effort to promote positive body image. Rather than their reflections, female students are met with an array of Bible verses and old chestnuts on inner beauty.
Senior Hannah Hancock explained the motivation behind this project to KWCH12:
“We were trying to think of ideas of how we could serve the underclassmen and make the most impact...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.”
The mirrors will eventually be uncovered, but in the meantime, the response among the female underclassmen has been quite positive. Hancock’s younger sister, also a student at Trinity, told her “how it’s important she got to see this.”
On August 29, the school’s official Facebook page was updated to feature an album of these concealing word collages.“We love what the Trinity girls did to the bathroom mirrors this week!” reads the comment introducing the album. Praise continues in the comments, along accompanied by videos of song covers, like “Virtue Makes You Beautiful” (for the uninitiated, this song riffs on One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”).
But according to a Jezebel tipster whose siblings attended the school, even efforts like this—meant in part to remind adolescent girls that they’re not defined by boys—carry strong undertones.
Our tipster writes,
“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.”
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Trinity Academy/Facebook.