Photo courtesy of and copyrighted by Roger Bultot


“Nobody can see themself properly.” Rhian watched her sister glaring at the mirror. “I promise you look fine.”

Bryony twisted her torso, trying to make her belly disappear. The extra inches just moved to her hips, and then onto her thighs. “Urgh. I’m disgusting.”

Rhian wrapped her arms around her sister’s emaciated frame. “No more mirrors,” she said. “Let’s go get ice cream!”

“I ate already.”

Rhian remembered her sister taking an hour over a single cracker at breakfast. Then she thought about what Dr Sarah had said. Pamper her.

“OK,” she said, grabbing her makeup box. “Makeover time.”


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32 responses to “Reflections

  1. Nobody can see themselves properly. There’s wisdom in that

  2. Dear Jen,

    Body image is a tough thing to overcome. So many facets and reasons for eating disorders. Your story shines a light in a very dark corner where many of us have dwelt and too many still do. Well done.



    • Thank you, Rochelle. I’d originally written a more fluffy love story, but the photo called for something more significant. Thank heavens for wise medical professionals and loving support systems.

  3. Ain Starlingsson

    Very interesting story, a lot in it there. Good read.

  4. Good story with important education in it.

  5. Very good story. It is scary and sad that people with those types of disorders do see themselves that way.

  6. This makes me so sad. Eating disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder. At least Bryony was a thoughtful sister willing to spend the time required to help Rhian.

    • Thank you for your comment, granonine. It is fiction, but I think everyone needs someone who has their back, people with mental illnesses even more so.

      • Your story is fiction, but the struggle is a reality. One of the most difficult things in a counseling office, because the person truly believes she/he is fat, ugly freakish, etc. What they see in the mirror? Doesn’t exist!

  7. Even Rhian’s thoughtfulness doesn’t stop this being a very sad story. Poor Bryony – she needs skilful professional treatment. I hope Dr Sarah can provide it. Well written, Elmo.

  8. ‘Nobody can see themselves properly.’ How true. You show the anguish and the hope in just 100 words and in an understated way that makes it all the more impactive.

  9. sadly, accepting yourself as is can be problematic sometimes.

  10. Very cleverly handled. Not a word about the problem, but it came across with shocking realisation.

  11. It seems your character has the professional help and support she needs, but there are far too many who do not. Your story highlights a terrible affliction that many women and girls have been touched by. It’s a very sad phenomena. Very well written story.

  12. Thankfully she shares her problem. So often even family members are not aware of what goes on these poor folk’s minds.

    Here’s mine!

  13. I got shivers reading this. The distortion those aflicted with eating disorders see is so obvious to those of us on the sidelines. Thankfully, her sister is mindful. I hope she does see clearly (as much as she can) in the very near future. Well done, Jen!

  14. Bryony is lucky to have a sister like that who cares, acts, and most importantly wants to see.

  15. You’e ccaptured the problem brilliantly here. It’s a truly sad condition. I hope she manages to see her true reflection soon.

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