“Mirror Mirror”

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My own mind eats at my life 

Fitting in a gown, half my size

Clawing at my curves, fire breathing words

In my blood, they burn

Will I ever learn, my body is crumbling?

Am I the monster of my own story?

Mirror mirror on the wall

Who’s the thinnest one of all 

Shallow thoughts and a tired mind

Is this kinda life worth my time?

Mirror mirror on the wall

Gotta keep it together for the ball

Can I break this glass and end the war

What’s this silver plate and wardrobe for?

Running for my life, as my essence dies

It’s a battlefield of societal lies

Don’t want to size up to the horror 

Will I ever morph this monster?

Mirror mirror on the wall

Who’s the thinnest one of all 

Shallow thoughts and a tired mind

Is this kinda life worth my time?

I feel as if my gut

Stretches to sky 

All this emptiness inside 

Eating me alive 

Disintegrate to dust

non-existent self-love

It’s what I gotta find

If my mama’s right 

Mirror mirror on the wall

Who’s the thinnest one of all 

Shallow thoughts and a tired mind

Is this kinda life worth my time?

Mirror mirror on the wall

Gotta keep it together for the ball

My name is Renee Audrey, and I am a singer-songwriter-musician at Muhlenberg College studying media and communication and minoring in Spanish. Upon graduating from Muhlenberg, I will be pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers’ Graduate School of Applied Professional Psychology in Fall 2022. Aside from my academic pursuits, I have been singing, songwriting, and performing music since the age of four. I have found immense solace in songwriting coping with my mental health journey, and the lyrics I share with you in this piece helped me process my difficulties with Body Dysmorphia, my relationship with food and eating as well as exercise.

In my newly released song, “Mirror Mirror,” I allude to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves through my lyric, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the thinnest one of all.” Instead of keeping the original, well-known, “fairest of them all” phrase, I wanted to use it to emulate the pressures of diet culture, social media, the food, and fitness industries to be thin. Although the standards of what is “attractive” and “acceptable” are always changing, the standard of “thinness” equating with beauty is what I personally struggled with. I wanted to use princess and fairytale-esque themes throughout the song to display the way beauty standards seep into childhood with Disney princesses, and the idea of being the most beautiful for my future prince. 

Wordplay is something I loved utilizing in the creation of this song. Not only did I not realize how much of our daily vernacular alludes to diet culture, food restriction, and the toxic need to be “perfect,” but it helped me see the thoughts that broke me inside as something beautiful to be included in a song. Lyrics such as, “running for my life, as my essence dies” allude to excessive exercise, “don’t want to size up to the horror” allude to the fear of not fitting the Eurocentric beauty standard, and “fire breathing words” allude to how horribly mean these thoughts can really be. Although, one of my favorites, the last line of the chorus, I feel, speaks to this idea. I wanted to pair the rather “proper” phrase, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the thinnest of them all?” with something more colloquial, “gotta keep it together for the ball.” I feel like these lines express how we have to force a smile and push through the internal suffering. In this case, it is to “keep it together for the ball,” a place where beauty is the focus and all that matters in the way you exist and present yourself. My mother’s encouragement of self-love is what got me through those extremely hard times, and with her mention in the song, I wanted to pay homage to how supportive she has been throughout my journey.

With songwriting, I sing my obsessive thoughts and pain into oblivion, and I hope this song provides comfort to those who are struggling and need support. Thanks to musical composition and performance, I have been able to take the thoughts that brought me pain and exhaustion and see them as a gift because I believe they make me a more empathetic and compassionate songwriter.

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