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The recommended videos section of my YouTube account is currently populated with what are known as reaction videos. These videos are exactly what they sound like – the creator reacting to different things like new music or music videos.

During a recent video watching binge, I watched about five different reactions to the same original music video. The concept of the video was fairly simple – the singer doing an interpretive dance to the song about body dysmorphia while surrounded by different mirrors. Every reaction I watched included a reference to the symbolic use of the mirrors, especially poignant as the video ends with the mirrors being smashed by the singer.

As noted by one of the reactors, each of the mirrors in the video reflected things differently. It is something you can experience in real life as well. During a trip to the pediatrician years ago, my daughter noted that most of the mirrors were “crazy” mirrors that distort the viewer. She thought she had found one that wasn’t, until the nurse pointed out that the mirror was a “crazy” mirror, but “you can’t see the crazy up close.”

With all of these thoughts about mirrors, reflections, and perceptions, I came across a social media post about how people are mirrors of each other, reflecting the behaviors and attitudes of those around them.

All of this got me thinking about how the youth in the care of Boys and Girls Homes are mirrors of their life experiences. When they arrive in care, they reflect the negative experiences of abuse and neglect that have shattered their self-image. As they begin to experience the positive interactions within the Waccamaw Way, they begin to reflect that positivity. You can see them bloom into the best version of themselves. It doesn’t necessarily eliminate those moments where they would like to smash the metaphorical mirror, but it does make them less frequent. It is a reflection of the environment of care that promotes health, healing, and hope.

Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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