You are enough

Jessica Hische’s “You are enough” mirror
Jessica Hische’s “You are enough” mirror

In the Summer of 2020, Jessica Hische posted the following on her instagram:

I had a heartbreaking conversation with my daughter the other day: she told me that sometimes she looks in the mirror and wishes she had a different and more beautiful face. I nearly broke down and cried on the spot. She doesn’t watch shows that are all about superficial beauty (her favorite show right now is Jake and the Neverland Pirates). She isn’t into dolls. She’s got a mom who is constantly putting body positive books / media in front of her and makes a BIG conscious effort to only talk positively about herself/her body in front of her kids.

But Ramona is incredibly perceptive. She still managed to internalize what features society has decided are “beautiful” and is already, at age 5, judging herself against that impossible standard. It just shows you how vigilant we all have to be with our kids, especially our girls.

I got a laser cutter recently and new creative tools are always really inspiring to me. I’m not the first person to have an idea to write positive affirmations on a mirror—if you look on Pinterest there are about a billion of them. However, most of them validate beauty. “You are beautiful” or “You are perfect” are common phrases. There’s a wonderful children’s book titled “I am enough” and that phrase has really stuck with me. Of course I think my daughter is beautiful (and strong and smart and creative and kind…) and tell her so all the time. But it made me really want to tell her that who she is right now, whatever she looks like, whatever she’s good at or bad at, she is enough.

I instantly thought this would be the perfect gift for my niece, who I do think might need some reassuring from time to time. Sadly, the mirror was not for sale outside of the USA. Until last Summer! I immediately bought one, and gave it to her on Christmas. She is only 8 years old, so she might not appreciate it at its right value (which is subjective anyway, as it is a design object). But my sister recently told me that she is already having completely unfounded negative thoughts about the shape of her body. At 8 years. Societal pressure is fucked up. Exactly how Jessica tells it.

I actually don’t remember how I originally came across this creation. I’ve known Jessica Hische for years, and love pretty much everything she does. For example, I have her book In Progress—actually since before I took that lettering workshop, but I somehow forgot everything that was explained in the book. Or I always try to apply—which is one of her procrastiworking projects—to my daily work, much to the dismay of my colleagues who could not care less about such typographical technicalities.