When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
I see an American woman. I see someone who has been through one divorce, six pregnancies, two husbands, two surgeries, two careers. I see someone Jewish who cares deeply about her heritage and her legacy. And while I still have the weight from a few babies, I am finally at a point in my life where I like what I see in the mirror.
Like every American woman, I have gone through many, many times in my life when I was less happy with what I saw—especially when I was a younger girl. I couldn’t see myself in a mirror without seeing the overlay of perfection and all the ways I fell short (literally and figuratively) of a physical ideal. As I grew up, and over time, this all came to matter less to me.
However, as Hillary Clinton’s new commercial, “Mirrors,” points out, Donald Trump is someone who, despite being almost 70 years old, still regularly evaluates women on their physical characteristics, loudly and offensively. He praises his own daughter regularly—by saying how if she wasn’t his daughter, he would date her, because she is so beautiful. For him, physical characteristics of women are paramount, above all else.
Clinton’s commercial hits a nerve, because any girl or woman who has ever looked in a mirror has heard voices, at some point, of self-doubt and self-negation. And no one wants their child to be governed by those voices.
I’m not only an American woman, but I’m also the mother of four daughters. They are little now—but they won’t be forever. And I don’t want my daughters to grow up in a world where women are treated like pieces of meat. If any man ever treats my daughters the way Donald Trump is proud to acknowledge he treats women, I would want them to call him on it, loudly.
I’m also a mother of two sons. When they look in the mirror, I want them to see someone who treats all people—no matter their gender—with respect. I do not want them to grow up in a world where people are applauded for treating women like trash. I do not want them to think that the way Donald Trump talks about women is OK: It is not.
When I look in the mirror November 8, after I have voted, I will be proud of what I see and what I have done for my future world, for myself, and my children. I hope you will, too.