“Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all?”
When we look in the mirror, what do we see? Do we see ourselves or someone we don’t want to be? For this month’s theme, we will be exploring some of our favorite anime and other pop culture mediums that redefine individual beauty—inside and out. Some topics we may explore are physical appearances, social expectations on gender, and the importance of self-confidence.
(May contain spoilers but ONLY in the anime and not the video game.)
Magic Mirrors are Real
Mirrors is the most useful tool in mankind in which allows us to see things on us that we can’t see. A mirror can help us comb hair, try out a new dress or check for blemishes. Sometimes, a mirror can reveal our darkest fears and give us a false sense of security. In Disney, mirrors can be used to show us things that we can’t see or what we desire.For example, in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the evil Queen used the magic mirror to find out who is the fairest of them all and the mirror revealed that the fairest was Snow White and this caused her to be jealous. In Mulan, when Mulan sings the song “Reflection” she asks herself “who is that girl staring back at her”; she feels that her reflection is not her and it just shows a woman who believes she failed to bring honor to the family. In Beauty and the Beast, a magic mirror is used to help Beast and/or others to see things that can’t be seen at all in normal eyes.
Even though these movies are works of fiction, they can be taken literal if you examine it. In the topic I will discussing, I am hoping to teach you guys what is like to see ourselves in and out and what is like to reflect back by using one of my favorite anime Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV.
Background – What is this anime about?
If you have been following me in my tweets, you would know that I love Final Fantasy XV. To be super brief about this game, Final Fantasy XV is about a prince named Noctis Lucis Caelum, with the help of his friends/Chocobros Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus, must reclaim his stolen kingdom and save the world from an evil Empire who tricked his father with a peace treaty. Noctis must work together with his friends to save his home and his fiancee Lunafreya who is also targeted from the Empire.
The anime Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV is a very short (5 episodes) anime original series where the anime focuses on Noctis and his friendship with his party. Even though these episodes are short, fans are given details on who are these characters and what do they think of Noctis and why are they important. I reviewed this anime and if you wish to read it without spoilers, click here.
As we begin this blog tour, let’s talk about one of my favorite characters in the game that fits the topic…
Prompto – Dogged Runner
In the video game, Prompto is the livewire of the party in which he likes to make funny comments and enjoys teasing the bros. He is a guy who can make anything funny with something off topic or he can be annoying when he gets scared. His only skill in the games is the ability to wield guns and shoot at enemies at critical areas and take snapshots with his camera. Based on this description, he might as well be Deadpool minus the healing factor and more seriousness as well. However, even the most happiest and funniest character can also be the most hurt character. In the second episode of Brotherhood, viewers are given a backstory episode on this blond guy and learn how he met Noctis. Viewers are surprised to see that Prompto wasn’t always the cheerful man, he was a chubby and lonely kid with no friends.
Prompto life was just an average kid who takes pictures, go to school and eat alone, but his life changes when he finds an injured puppy and nurses her back to health. The healed puppy is actually named Pryna who actually belongs to the royal princess and oracle Lunafreya. After finding out who nursed the puppy back to help, Lunafreya sends a message to Prompto and telling him that she is the princess and wants him to be Noctis friend since he doesn’t have a real friend.
At first, Prompto introduction to Noctis was quite bumpy and it didn’t go as plan. After making a small blunder, Noctis tries to help him but calls him to heavy (he never called him fat, he just said heavy). This causes Prompto to rethink his life and decides to change life by exercising and dieting in order to fulfill Lunafreya’s promise. After years of exercising, Prompto finally gets slim and by the time he makes it to high school, he decides to start over a new life and reintroduce himself to the young prince Noctis. Prompto was no longer shy and he was more energetic when he met Noctis and surprisingly, Noctis accepted his friendship and they stayed friends even after high school. In the video games, Prompto is Noctis partner in his adventure and acts very much like a brother.
Being Skinny, does it make you happy?
Now that I told you about this episode, I will now tell you the meat of the topic of mirrors. Is being skinny is the key to happiness? The idea of being skinny can be good and bad idea for many reasons. For Prompto’s case, he changed for the better so he can have a fresh start and feel like he is important for Noctis. Thanks to this change, he is able to go through many adventures with Noctis and have a sense of purpose. How is this bad idea for us? In today’s society, people believe that if you are skinny, you will be happy and people will find you attractive. Some people will even go as far to be skinny by eating less food or pay money for liposuction or fitness clubs. Personally, these are unnecessary if these techniques are not giving you happiness. In Prompto’s situation, he was chubby but he was not happy; it wasn’t until he got skinny and he was happy. If you are trying to be skinny because someone tells you to do it or you trying to be like your idols or favorite model, you will unlikely find happiness.
Should I change myself?
If you are reading this now and asking yourself “should I still try to be skinny and continue my workout”, I have an answer for you. I say, you should only change if you going to be happy; instead of doing this for your friends, love ones or other peers, do it for yourself. If you have someone who already accepts your body the way you are, you should not change yourself. The purpose of dieting and exercising is help improve your life and build your self-esteem. Prompto changed himself and he was no longer that shy kid, he is a fun-loving young man who enjoys adventures and spending time with his friends. Prompto even shows us that anyone can change themselves if you have the confidence and determination for it. We are living in a judgmental world where people think skinny bodies is attractive but I say the true beauty is the thickness of a well-managed body. God gave you a great body but you also need to make sure you take care of it. Maintain a moderate diet and enjoy the food you eat. I would say “it’s the inside the count” but it’s kind of cliche, so I will say this instead: don’t compare yourself to others, be yourself because if nobody told you to change, don’t do it.
Feel free to watch this anime if you are curious about it. It’s very short.